Tag Archives: Injuries

A Hot Topic: Avoiding Silk Burns

 Why We Burn

We’ve all been there – you climb up to do a seemingly harmless move and YOWZAHS!!! Silk burn! Never fear, Dear Dangler, help is on the way.

Why do we burn, anyway? Well, it surely isn’t rocket science – it’s friction! Some friction is good, and helps us maintain our position on the fabric. But, friction has an evil stepsister – HEAT. When you add in 80+ degree temperatures and rising humidity (which, predictably, increases friction), you generate enough heat to actually burn the skin; sexy welts, oozing sores, and leperosy open gashes are the result. We most often burn on the lower back, behind the knee, and the dreaded armpit burn (can we all agree that those are the worst?).

 

When it’s Not a Burn

When is a burn not a burn? When it’s an abrasion! When the humidity rises, there’s even more fun to be had. The silks can stick to the skin, resulting in an uneven, rash-like area, which scabs over quickly, but is often very sore until it heals. We most often find abrasions on shoulders, lower back, and thighs (again, did I mention how sexy this is?).

 

OK, Miss Know-It-All, How do we Prevent Them?

Oh, you’re gonna hate my answer: long leggings, long sleeves, and unitards; essentially, an aerial burka. Your best defense against burns is fabric – the thicker the better. Don’t worry, I’m not suggesting that you don a chunky wool sweater in July, but protective clothing goes a loooooooong way towards keeping you intact. Thick leggings make a world of difference, start there. A long-sleeved t shirt that extends past your hips is your best defense against lower back and armpit trauma, and you can take it on and off as needed. And, of course, you’ll want to hold off on some of the moves that are almost guaranteed to leave skin on the fabric (Plummeting Whore, anyone?).

 

 First Aid for Your Burned Bod

You want to keep your ouchie moist and covered to help it heal faster, and reduce the risk of scarring and infection. My first pick is Burts Bees Res-Q Ointment – it’s got all sorts of good things in there that will heal you up nice and quick (I don’t love antibiotic ointments like Neosporin because it’s overkill – you don’t need it unless your burn gets infected). Medical tape and a light layer of gauze will keep your clothing from rubbing against them, and you’re good to go!

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