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  BodyGlide for latex neck gasket antichaf
  Posted by: pikabike on Sep-16-13 2:13 AM (EST)
   Category: Other Gear 

I've had lots of trouble with severe neck chafing from wearing a drysuit in salt water, sometimes even in fresh water.

Last time I used it, I tried putting BodyGlide on my neck, in a wide band that should've been bigger than the contact area. That helped; I didn't get the dreaded hangman's neck until after a couple of hours. But eventually it hit me. Because the chafing takes so long to heal, I have not tried it again.

Anybody else use it for this reason? Maybe I should have coated my entire neck and jaw bottom with the BodyGlide.

The chafing has been the worst when rolling many times or doing a lot of backpaddling or checking what the water is doing off to the sides. Unfortunately, those are exactly the times I would prefer to use a drysuit, unless I'm in both warm air and warm water, which just doesn't happen anymore unless it's a little pond.

I've been using wetsuits instead to avoid the problem, but with winter fast approaching those are going to be too cold unless I get a thicker wetsuit.

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Messages in this Topic


  Don't know about the neck, but it ...
  Posted by: JackL on Sep-16-13 6:55 AM (EST)
is my savior for blisters.
One of our grandaughters was having trouble getting blisters on her toes from her ballerina lessons, and we gave her some to try, and now she uses it all the time.
I am guessing it will work well for your application

Jack L
  Tried It...
  Posted by: sing on Sep-16-13 7:02 AM (EST)
and gave up on it long time ago. Glide doesn't last anywhere as long and is way more expensive than silicone grease:

  Already tried silicone grease
  Posted by: pikabike on Sep-17-13 12:23 AM (EST)
Like the BodyGlide, it helped for a while. And then the salt particles or sand or something seemed to act like a file on my neck.

But I'll thoroughly wash the gasket with bar soap and try wearing the suit without any lube. If it still happens, I'll rewash it and try silicone grease again.
  No luck
  Posted by: natehanson on Sep-16-13 10:18 AM (EST)
2 years ago i was getting a lot of neck irritation. I tried glide, and didn't find it helpful. I got one of those gooey neck cover things, and it was too weird. The problem was resolved when the gasket failed very quickly, and when I replaced it I wasn't irritated anymore. I think the glide, the gooey thing, or likely both of them, caused my gasket to break down very quickly.

Best thing for me is to clean the gasket every day, with fresh water. Even on multi day trips. Gets salt, sand, sweat, sunscreen, and other irritants off the gasket, so there is a smooth surface against my skin the next day. Also prolongs the life, and I think that for me, a partially degraded gasket really irritates my neck fast.

  I rinse the entire suit after each use
  Posted by: pikabike on Sep-17-13 12:18 AM (EST)
But I have not focused on washing the neck gasket in particular. I will wash it with regular bar soap and rinse well. That's what I use to completely wash sunblock residue from my hands (before going paddling), so I know it will wash similar build-up, if any, on the gasket.

This irritation developed only after a lot of use on my first drysuit (mainly was used in fresh water, though). After the first such incident, it became more and more frequent. Then, on the new drysuit, the irritation happened after only a couple of uses. I'd hate to replace a gasket that hasn't seen much use but if I can't get the residues off, that might be worth trying.
  Posted by: jbernard on Sep-17-13 6:46 AM (EST)
I used it several times one winter and early the next winter the gasket failed, I think the glide contributed to the degradation, it wasn't that old. I now cut a LARGE amount off my gaskets now so that they are not that tight against my neck. That seems to help.
  Plastic bag
  Posted by: Jaybabina on Sep-17-13 9:27 AM (EST)
Try a thin plastic bag like you get free in the produce section of the grocery store as a sleeve. I would think you'll still get a good seal and avoid the chaffing or allergy reaction. Powder your neck first too.
  Does anybody get neck calluses?
  Posted by: pikabike on Sep-17-13 6:59 PM (EST)
That would be the simplest barrier. Ugly, though.

The produce bag idea is interesting. I'll try that one also.
  neoprene gasket
  Posted by: Peter-CA on Sep-17-13 12:24 PM (EST)
A bunch of people I know have swapped out their latex neck gasket for neoprene. If they are sized well, neoprene can be almost as water proof as latex, but are much more comfortable.

My first dry suit used neoprene, and I would get a tea spoon or so of water in with a roll. I now have a dry suit with latex, but when that gasket goes, I am already set to replace it with neoprene (have the material already). My dry top is neoprene.
  second that
  Posted by: slushpaddler on Sep-17-13 12:51 PM (EST)
My neoprene gasket makes a watertight seal. From what I hear, neck size may be a factor for some people though.

Can't imagine going back to a latex neck gasket.
  My Wetsuit Gives Me "Ring Around
  Posted by: sing on Sep-17-13 4:31 PM (EST)
the neck" too if I don't apply silicone grease. In fact, when surfing (don't have as much problem with fresh water), I have to apply grease on any skin area that comes in contact with something else, be it latex, neoprene or nylon strap (from my helmet)... Otherwise I end with up with a very short session.

So, for some, it's not just latex that is an irritant.
  Similar experience
  Posted by: pikabike on Sep-17-13 6:56 PM (EST)
The neoprene cap's chin strap and the wetsuit collars sometimes irritate my neck also. Just not nearly as bad as the drysuit gasket.

Last week I watched the DVD "Source to Sea", which documents Christopher Swain's swim of the Columbia River from Canada to the river mouth at Astoria, OR. Somewhere along the way he began wearing a Buff between his neck and the wetsuit neck. Even in fresh water, frequent repeated turning of the head will cause chafing, latex or not.

I don't have latex allergy; it seems to be a case of mechanical irritation from the rubbing, worsened greatly by sandy salt water.
  You might want to give neoprene gaskets
  Posted by: dong on Sep-17-13 9:15 PM (EST)
a try. They aren't that hard to make and they make wearing a drysuit a joy. The best part is that their very dependable. Here is a link to help you if your interested.
  If it Was Me...
  Posted by: Kudzu on Sep-18-13 6:09 AM (EST)
I'd get out the scissors and start trimming. If that didn't fix it I'd replace it with neoprene. I trimmed my neck gasket and made cold weather paddling much more pleasant.


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