Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Beware the Smiley Burn!

Back burn smiley

Don't let this happen to you! I hope this gets to you before it's too late.


You know, that part of your back between the end of your jersey and the start of your pants that gets exposed when you're in aero position for a long time. Or if your jersey is just so teeny weeny it doesn't cover all of your back.

Don't just put sunscreen on, reapply every few hours. Get a tiny bottle of spray sunscreen and put it in your Bento Box, lest you get a burn that frightens other people away from you in your gym's pool because you look part crocodile, part human. Or part puff-pastry, part human, depending on the stage your burn is in when you decide to douse it in chlorine just for kicks.

Should you fry your smiley, which may seem inevitable if you're racing an Ironman, see a dermatologist. She can prescribe a topical cream that will make it heal faster than any combination of Neosporin/aloe vera you come up with. Plus, she can look you over to make sure the thousands of other times your white skin has turned rouge since you became a triathlete haven't given you any suspicious looking specs. (Plus, you'll be building a good relationship so when your skin becomes all prematurely wrinkly and saggy down the line from all those burns, she'll know how to liven you back up.)

You could also try wearing a jersey that doesn't expose your back, but if you're going for fashionable over smart on the day of your Ironman, stick some spray sunscreen in all of your transition and special needs bags. Then use it. It won't take much time, and your new friend the dermatologist, as well as the first several layers of your skin, will thank you for your effort.

Happy smiling with your face, not your back!

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