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On The Run | Top Skin Care Tips for Marathon Runners

Running is a  great way to stay active and fit in our beautiful city of Austin, Texas. Whether it’s the Cap10K, 3M Marathon, or simply a Turkey Trot, it’s not too difficult to find a big running event with a bit of Austin-pizazz! With all the prep and training, your skin can also feel the strain while getting your legs race ready. So, for this upcoming Austin Marathon and Half Marathon, Sanova Dermatology’s got you covered. Try these simple helpful tips to keep your skin in shape for the big race.

Safe In The Sun


As with any outdoor activity, it is important to stay aware of the hazards of being in the sun without proper protection! “Covering all exposed skin with sunscreen is a must before hitting the pavement,” says Dr. Adam Mamelak, a board certified dermatologist and skin care expert in Austin, Texas. The rates of skin cancer continue to increase, which makes taking care of and protecting your skin a crucial part of your training and your race. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends you use 1 oz of sunscreen – enough cream to fill a standard-sized shot glass – to cover the entire body.

Many event organizers are now understanding the importance of sunscreen. It’s commonly included it in race packs or offered to participants at the event. Sunscreen will come off with sweat and moisture. Apply it before the event, but also consider bringing a travel size or spray sunscreen for re-application to ensure your skin stays protected all day long! Hats and athletic clothing with a UV-protective factor (UPF) is effective in blocking out harmful UV rays and is much harder to sweat off.

The Chafing Game

Friction and sweat that occurs with running can cause chafing in the underarms, under the breasts, the inner thighs, and even around the nipples. This can interfere with your race performance but also bother you for days after. “Anti-chafing sticks and petroleum jelly-based products  are fantastic for minimizing the amount of friction that you may experience with the skin,” says Emily Johnston, certified physician assistant at Sanova Dermatology. Choosing appropriately fitting clothes is also key in avoiding chafing. Most outdoor or athletic attire is designed to fit with the activity in mind, to minimize these hazards.

A Great Feet

Marathon day may not be the best day to make a fashion statement! It’s easy to throw on a pair of running shoes and hit the pavement, but you may not be doing your feet a favor by grabbing the cutest pair in your closet. “Whether it’s a stability or motion control shoe, ensuring your foot fits snugly, but not too tight will help prevent ingrown toenails and runners toes,” explains Dr. Mamelak.

And don’t forget socks. Socks shields the skin from constant rubbing and irritation during your run. Investing in a pair non-cotton socks, like dri-fit or acrylics, is a good option to wick away sweat, avoid blistering and athlete’s foot.

Contact Us

Gearing up for race day can involve a lot more than mileage and speed work. If you have questions about skin care or protecting your skin, please contact us.

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