We ask ourselves this question every time we catch a whiff of our favorite workout shirt or shorts. That lingering smell may be a sign that you need to switch to a specially formulated sports detergent. We created this fun flow chart to help you decide!
Follow this path to fresher, cleaner athletic wear!
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Bacteria On the Feet
Blister FREE Summer
Why do Blisters happen?
Blisters are typically caused by the rubbing or friction between your skin and your sock or your shoe. A few things make you more susceptible to blisters, sweaty feet or wet feet from the rain, small shoes, tying your shoes too tight, or even having shoes that are too big that allow your foot too much movement.
How do I prevent them?
1) make sure you are running in properly fitted shoes. Go to your local run store and have them help you find the right shoe and fit for you. Go in the afternoon because that is when your foot is at its biggest and typically when you run your feet expand.
2) While you are at the run store buy RUN SPECIFIC socks like Injinji or Balega, they have moisture wicking properties that will help keep your feet dry and are shaped so that the sock doesn’t bunch up or rub your foot awkwardly.
3) Apply 2 TOMS Blister Shield or Sport Shield all over your foot and especially between your toes. Always lubricate your toes and feet with anti-blister, anti chafe products.
I have a blister, now what?
If you already have a blister forming, you can put moleskin or 2Toms Skin on Skin Dressing kit over your blister areas to prevent further rubbing. Even duct tape will work. If you have calluses DON’T remove them. They might be ugly, but they form for a reason. They protect you from blisters.
If you already have a full blister, try to just leave it alone. The skin is protective, it will eventually burst and drain by itself. HOWEVER, if you are like me and can’t stand not to pop it, do it the right way. Drain it while leaving the skin intact. Use a sterilized needle and pierce the blister around its edges, again you are trying to leave the skin intact. Press the fluid out and put some Neosporin on it and cover with a band-aid or moleskin.
Meghan is a USA Track & Field coach and a RRCA (Road Runners of America) certified distance coach. She is a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and a level 3 USA Cycling Coach. She has over 12 years of experience teaching spin classes, weight-lifting, and group exercise. Meghan is also experienced runner, ultrarunner, and triathlete competing, winning, and placing in 5Ks, 10Ks, half-marathons, marathons, ultra distances, and triathlons. She also holds multiple state Powerlifting records. Learn more about Meghan www.trainwithmeghan.com
Medi-Dyne is proud to have Meghan as an Athlete Ambassador.
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Preventing and Treating Skin Injuries
You train for months. You plan your kit, your nutrition, your hydration plan. Then Mother Nature has other ideas and the weather turns ugly, testing all your preparation. This happened recently with the Boston Marathon. Runners bravely fought temperatures barely getting out of the 30◦’s F and heavy rain.
Conversely, the London Marathon recorded one of the hottest marathons with a predicted 24◦C (75◦ F). These sudden changes in weather can prove dangerous for the athletes, sending many to medic tents for treatment and dehydration. Having the proper gear and contingency plan is necessary to turn a possibly dangerous (and miserable) race into a success at the finish line.
One such issue that typically arises from increased heat is chafe and blisters. 2Toms® attended the London Marathon Expo and helped hundreds of runners find the best protection. SportShield® and BlisterShield® are top rated to protect skin from chafe and blisters before they start.
Sportshield is a roll-on liquid that creates a smooth, silky barrier between your skin and friction. It is waterproof, sweat proof and lasts 24 hrs! Long enough to get you through any race chafe-free.
BlisterShield is a powder formula that protects skin by preventing moisture from contacting the skin and reducing the friction that causes hot spots and blisters. It allows the skin to breathe and is comfortable for all 26.2 miles.
One runner saw the benefits of SportShield protection first hand:
Hello! I bought some of your anti chafe wipes on Saturday at the ExCel for the marathon on Sunday. I’ve always suffered horrendously with my inner thighs (I’m not ‘big’ by any means) destroying themselves and have spent a small fortune on various products claiming to work…all crap! On Sunday I ran 26.2miles without a single thought to any kind of chafing, it was incredible, absolutely incredible! Will be buying loads more in bulk for future runs now I know I can do it without the fear of destroying my thighs! So just a thank you really! Awesome awesome product! Kindest regards, Chris
2Toms will protect you during the most grueling of race conditions and help you get across the finish line chafe and blister free!
The London Marathon has additional tips on racing in the heat. Read their full article HERE.
Check out SportShield and BlisterShield for yourself!
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Is Chalk Or Grip Tape Enough?
If you do anything that requires a secure grip you already know all too well that sweaty hands and moisture are the enemy. Whether you’re dealing with heat and humidity or sweating under pressure, you’re not going to maintain your grip until you can control the moisture.
For most people, the first line of defense often comes in the form of grip tape or chalk.
In the gym, grip tape is used to keep your hands protected during high-intensity training. The coverage helps reduce friction and prevent painful skin injuries.
On your racquet, overgrip tape is designed to increase padding and improve grip. While some tapes may even promise to reduce perspiration, be resistant to sweat, or repel water the simple truth is that they’re not designed to hold up under prolonged exposure to sweat or moisture. The result? You lose your grip or even worse, you end up with blisters given the large amount of friction created.
You can find everyone from weightlifters, to cross-fitters, gymnasts, and rock climbers using chalk to dry their hands and improve their grip. The right amount of chalk is imperative to ensure proper friction reduction. Re-applying chalk during activity isn’t always convenient. And, in many cases, chalk can cause extreme dryness. Studies have shown that too much chalk can cause build-up and have the adverse effect of creating a slippery layer.
While chalk and grip tape serve an important purpose of reducing friction, neither is ideal for also keeping fingers and hands sweat and moisture free.
The Winning Combination
Designed specifically to prevent sweating and repel moisture, GripShield® works instantly to dry your hands, keep them dry – not sticky or greasy — and will not rub off. GripShield creates a moisture barrier to improve grip and enhance your performance.
Used alone or in combination with grip tape or chalk, GripShield delivers the dry grip essential to compete and succeed in humidity and is perfect to be used by anyone whose performance is adversely affected by sweaty, wet hands from perspiration. GripShield can even be used inside of gloves. It’s ideal for golf, tennis, gymnastics, climbing, weight lifting, cross-fit, baseball, football, and more!
100% Guarantee: 2Toms GripShield comes with the 2Toms 100% guarantee. Users, if not completely satisfied will receive a full refund.
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Introducing 2Toms GripShield Grip Enhancer
All of us try to take care of our skin on a daily basis. We follow daily routines such as putting on lotion, wear protective clothing and minimize exposure to the sun in order to maintain healthy skin. Healthy skin should be free of blemishes and slightly moist. The two divisions of the skin are the epidermis and dermis. Whereas the epidermis is the outermost layer first shield against cuts, blemishes, and injuries. The dermis is the layer below the epidermis that contains pain receptors and hair follicles.
When the epidermis is injured due to burns, blisters, chafing, or stings; bacteria can enter, creating discomfort, swelling and pain.
Function and Benefits Hydrogel for wound healing
On a molecular level, hydrogels are three-dimensional networks of hydrophilic polymers. Depending on the type of hydrogel, they contain varying percentages of water, but do not altogether dissolve in water.
Hydrogels are permeable to water vapor, gases and small protein molecules, and protects from bacteria. The cooling element of the dressing provides a moist environment at the surface of the wound and this has been found to reduce pain in wounds. When pain is reduced, quality of life is improved (Hampton, 2004; Collins and Heron 2005).
2Toms® Skin on Skin® hydrogel is two-sided, colorless, transparent hydrogel formed around a supporting blue polyethylene matrix and contain approximately 90% water with the remaining 10% consisting of a mesh support. The skin’s properties for healing are enhanced by locking in moisture through the hydrogel’s skin-like properties.
The Skin on Skin hydrogel moistens the wound and slightly and temporarily drops the temperature of the wound (Moody, 2006) thereby soothing painful tissues. The temperature then climbs to an optimum condition to promote wound healing.
Hydrogel may be placed directly onto the surface of an exudating wound and held in place with tape or a bandage, as appropriate. If additional absorbency is required, an absorbent pad may be placed immediately over the dressing.
Hydrogel can be cut to the shape of the wound if required. This ensures that the peri-wound area does not become macerated. Hydrogel also helps with pain reduction (Collins and Heron 2005; Hampton, 2004)
The cushioning effect protects the area from any further discomfort and minimizes additional rubbing or irritation on sensitive areas.
List of Benefits
- reduces wound pain by cooling inflamed tissue and bathing nerve endings
- dynamically responds to the wound environment to treat the underlying causes of pain
- removing devitalized tissue by donating moisture to dry wounds and absorbing exudate from wet wounds
- pain is managed throughout wear time – not just at dressing change
- gentle even on the most fragile skin
- effective under compression therapy
Benefits of hydrogel vs traditional bandages
In summary, hydrogel products are made from pure water to cool and soothe on contact. The moist comfortable barrier encourages healing while protecting injured skin. Hydrogel pads help protect against pressure, friction and blisters, and are highly absorbent, more than ordinary plasters.
- Soothing and cooling and moisturizing
- Provides instant relief
- Protects and cushions
Hydrogel vs Hydrocolloid
Hydrogel has flexible & thicker layer which helps to absorb forces released on skin.
- Pain relief
- Advanced Moisture management
- Variety of indications: Insect Bites, Wound healing, Blister protection
2Toms Skin-On-Skin Dressing Kit and Skin-On-Skin gel pads offer relief from skin irritations such as blisters, chafing, burns, insect stings and other superficial skin injuries.* Learn more about these products here.
*Always consult a physician prior to administering self treatment.
Welcome to summer! More specifically, Summer in Texas. It’s hot. It’s humid. It’s downright miserable some days. With heat indexes reaching 110, it’s not hard to imagine the amount of sweat being produced in the Lone Star State. ::bleh:: Now add exercise, sports leagues, outdoor activities and it becomes a breeding ground for smelly clothes and gear. One of my goals this summer was to figure out how NOT to throw away my favorite pair of yoga pants, volleyball kneepads or gym bag due to lingering odors. What I discovered is that, like Bill Nye The Science Guy says, “It’s Science!” I learned about fabrics and their functions. I learned about sweat. I learned that not all odor treatments are created equal. Let’s dive in!
I started my journey with trying to understand just what makes certain items smell more than others. Why do my somewhat-new yoga pants smell more than my favorite 90’s band t-shirt? (Gavin Rossdale for life!) For this answer I dove into the world of textiles. The dictionary defines textiles as a type of cloth or woven fabric. My yoga pants, gym bag and volleyball kneepads are one textile, while my concert shirt is a different type. Athletic fabrics are typically a blend of polymer fibers, which are designed to pull sweat away from your body and evaporate from the material quickly. However, the only thing that evaporates out of the material is the H2O component of sweat. The rest of what makes up sweat, salts and urea, is left behind. Ick! How clean do you think your stuff is now?
Cotton is the opposite. Cotton is a natural fiber that has a hollow core called a lumen that draws in H2O through its tiny tubes like a straw. It’s called capillary action. And that’s the structure of cotton, now for the chemistry behind all of this.
– Bill Nye, The Science Guy
Cotton fibers are 99 percent cellulose, which is a long chain of connected glucose molecules with a slightly negative charge. If you were paying attention in high school chemistry class, you’d remember that H2O has a positive charge. (Don’t worry, here is the bonus point question!) What happens when you get a negative charge near a positive charge? BOOM! Attraction! Water stays attached to the cotton fiber, weighing down your t-shirt and taking forever to dry. Ugh! Did you know that cotton can absorb up to 27 times its weight of water! That’s a lot of sweat to be weighing you down.
The structure of cotton fiber.
So now that we know the absorption properties of different fabrics, what causes the smell? That question comes down to sweat. Sweat is composed “of 99 percent water and small bits of carbs, salt, protein and urea” provided by glands. Sweat itself does not smell. The odor comes from bacteria breaking down secretions from the apocrine glands which provide the salts, protein and urea. Bacteria feeds on the secretions in sweat and creates a by-product which is the cause of the smell or what is called body odor.
So I wonder – if I can’t stop from sweating (Thank you, biology!) and I can’t prevent my clothing and gear from absorbing sweat, what can I do? I can remove the feeding bacteria from the materials. Hello, laundry day! But not so fast…
I know you’ve wandered up and down the laundry aisle again and again sniffing “mountain breeze”, “island getaway” or even “fresh linen” and thinking “hmm, I’d prefer fresh linen over b.o. any day!” But you might be only adding to the odor problem if you are trying to tackle your stinky athletic apparel and gear with a common detergent or treatment. The majority of popular laundry detergents and fabric sprays only remove or mask the odor on a natural fiber, like cotton or linen.
But when it comes to polymer-based fabrics or materials you need a formula that will penetrate the fiber to release the salts, urea and carbs. This will remove the bacteria buffet and the odor with it! Specially formulated sports detergents break down the chemical bond in the fiber, allowing it to enter the fiber, attach to the nasty gunk, and exit the fiber with the stinky stuff; leaving behind a fresh, clean poly fiber to take on your next sweat sesh!
An extreme magnification of fabric threads releasing bacteria
I came across a great stink stopper at my local running store. How convenient! 2Toms® StinkFree Shoe & Gear Spray™ tackles my gym bag, kneepads, yoga mat and more. 2Toms® StinkFree® Sports Detergent is perfect for that load of athletic wear. My yoga pants have never been fresher and I even use it for my bath towels and bed linens. (Bet you didn’t know those were wicking too!) What’s better, is that StinkFree® is exactly that! It frees my sportswear and gear of stink, not masking it with “tropical getaway” fragrance. The only smell that I will be sporting this summer is the smell of awesome! Trust me, it smells better than last weeks’ hot yoga class.
Check out 2Toms® StinkFree® line here.
Learn more about fabrics and “the science behind stink” at the links below.