Nipple bleeding is real, people! You have probably seen your fellow runner struggling with it in a race (see above pic) or experienced it as a newbie before. Two streaks of blood running down your shirt from your nipples is not a pleasant sight! And horror of horror, it stings like hell too, especially when you shower after the run!
When men run, their nipples are constantly rubbing against the fabric of their shirt. Over the course of a long run (21km and above), this sensitive area can be rubbed to the point of bleeding. Because women wear tight-fitting sports bras, this shouldn't be a problem for them.
Various methods for treatment include applying an antiseptic cream to reduce the chances of bacterial infection and then slapping a plaster on it to prevent further irritation to the skin.
The preventions of bleeding nipples are simple. You can try one of these methods:
1) Put a plaster over each nipple before going for your run.
2) Smear some lubricant like Vaseline, BodyGlide to reduce the friction in the area prone to chaffing.
3) Avoid wearing a new vest for your long run. “Season” or wear it a few times first.
4) Avoid cotton shirt. Cotton keeps moisture in. This causes the soggy fabric to shifts back and forth. Switch to a synthetic sweat-wicking fabric to pull the moisture away from the skin.
5) Go topless. But then again, you are exposed to the sun and risks sunburn. Don’t forget to apply sunblock. Heheh!
Photo: Courtesy of Tey Eng Teong, taken at 3R International Marathon in Putrajaya on 19 April.