Why Is My Neck Raw After Wearing a Wetsuit?

Suffering from a raw neck after wearing your wetsuit? The back of your neck has some of the most sensitive skin on your body. When you put on most brands of wetsuits, the rubber material reaches up to your hairline. With each turn of your neck to breathe when swimming, that sensitive skin is rubbing that virgin skin and, in many cases, creating painful chaffing and burning. 

For some this never occurs…why is this? There is no rhyme or reason other than some people must have skin that isn’t quite as sensitive as others. Happy day for them! But for those who have these awful burns on their neck after a long swim in their wetsuit, how do we prevent this from happening?

Stick applicator

Anti-Chafe Products

Non-petroleum-based anti-chafe products are your best bet! Tried and true products like Body Glide (deodorant stick-like application) or TriSlide (aerosol spray application) are best. Apply LIBERALLY around your neck, thighs, arms, and anywhere else the rubber seems to rub your skin raw prior to your swim.    

KT tape

Don’t Use Petroleum-Based Products

Do NOT use petroleum-based products like Vaseline. They will deteriorate the rubber and the SCS coating of your wetsuit, and prolonged use will ruin your wetsuit. When that doesn’t cut it, many athletes have found KT tape to be a lifesaver. This tape adheres to the skin and creates that barrier between your sensitive skin and the rubber. Many long-distance swimmers swear by it!

One thing to note: Don’t expect any product to work well after you’ve rubbed your skin raw. If possible, get your swim training in at a heated pool or anywhere you can swim without a wetsuit on to allow time for healing. 


Shop Triathlon Gear and Accessories!

Along with wetsuits, we also have a wide selection of triathlon gear and accessories, including anti-chaff products. We’re here to help support your athletic goals, keeping you safe and warm in the water! Browse our triathlon wetsuits and apparel, and if you have any questions or concerns, contact the team at Just Wetsuits today! 

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