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## How to Prevent Chafing from Scuba Diving

Scuba diving is a great way to explore the underwater world, but it can also lead to chafing. Chafing is a skin irritation that occurs when two surfaces rub together. It can be caused by the friction of your wetsuit against your skin, or by the movement of your body against the inside of your wetsuit.

Chafing can be uncomfortable and painful, and it can even lead to infection. If you’re planning on going scuba diving, there are a few things you can do to prevent chafing.

### Choose the right wetsuit

The type of wetsuit you choose can make a big difference in preventing chafing. A wetsuit that is too tight or too loose will be more likely to rub against your skin and cause irritation. When choosing a wetsuit, make sure to try it on before you buy it to make sure it fits properly, and is not too tight. It should be snug, but not so tight that it restricts your movement, or cuts off circulation.

### Wear a rash guard

A rash guard is a thin, form-fitting shirt that you can wear under your wetsuit. Rash guards help to reduce friction between your skin and your wetsuit, and they can also protect your skin from the sun.

### Apply lubricant

Lubricant can help to reduce friction between your skin and your wetsuit. There are a number of different lubricants available, including petroleum jelly, lanolin, and silicone-based lubricants. Apply a thin layer of lubricant to your skin before you put on your wetsuit.

### Take breaks

If you’re going to be scuba diving for a long period of time, take breaks throughout the day to give your skin a chance to rest. Getting out of your wetsuit and rinsing off with fresh water can help to prevent chafing. Taking a break from diving also gives your body a chance to regulate its temperature, rehydrate, and eat nutritious snacks.

### Treat chafing

If you do get chafing, there are a few things you can do to treat it.

* **Clean the area.** Wash the chafed area with soap and water, and pat it dry.
* **Apply a topical ointment.** There are a number of different topical ointments available that can help to soothe and heal chafed skin.
* **Take a cool bath.** A cool bath can help to reduce inflammation and pain.

If your chafing is severe, or if it doesn’t improve with home treatment, see a doctor.

### Additional tips

* **Avoid wearing cotton under your wetsuit.** Cotton absorbs water and can become uncomfortable and chafing.
* **Wear synthetic fabrics.** Synthetic fabrics are moisture-wicking and can help to keep your skin dry.
* **Change your wetsuit regularly.** If you’re going to be scuba diving for several days in a row, change your wetsuit every day to help prevent chafing.
* **Rinse your wetsuit with fresh water after each use.** This will help to remove salt and other irritants from the wetsuit.
* **Hang your wetsuit to dry.** Don’t leave your wetsuit in a pile, as this can cause it to mildew and become uncomfortable to wear.

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