Sweat is burning my skin…literally

I’m a salty sweater. Fact. I always have salt stains, even during low intensity. I lived in San Diego with this & now the Mojave Desert for 2yrs. Not always, but sometimes (lately) I will finish a run or bike workout (outside) & have burn marks on crotch, underarm…& “junk.” Dude…it hurts!! Soap & water immediately after & a little ointment. Back in the fight; but, dude…

I have to increase my electrolytes in the heat, so I have 1 scoop(!) of Gatorade Endurance in every bottle per hour. It packs a heavy dose of sodium & potassium, with good performance results. I don’t fatigue quickly, nor do I feel like passing out post rides/runs. (FYI: I’m doing polarized, so no big efforts/intervals most days.)

Here’s my question(s)?
1- do I have too much sodium in my life??? (I find this hard to believe given history.)
2- how can I prevent this, besides lots of body glide (which works)?
3- am I alone (in this…I got Jesus, baby!)?

Looks like Gatorade Endurance is only 300mg sodium which is not very much if you actually are a salty sweater. I had the precision hydration sweat loss test done and am at 1556mg/hr sodium loss which is pretty high, I do see the white salty build-up on shorts during hot rides always. I add sodium citrate bought in bulk to Tailwind to put around 1800mg per 24 oz bottle. I would doubt the amount of sodium in your drink correlates to the burn marks, body is going to sweat the same until depleted anyway I would think.

I also have the burn trouble when sweating a lot on hot rides. Only thing that seems to help a bit is even more chamois crème, really make sure there’s plenty. I haven’t figured it out how to really stop it either.

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Dude, this is soooo appreciated. Thanks for insight & encouragement. No one locally could understand or help

You need to see a dermo here.

This sounds like heat rash.

Do you have some sort of infection? As a sweater, I’ve had a yeast infection that gave me “non-tanning” spots on my body. Try A-D Anti-Dandruff Shampoo for this.

Washing machine… are you using too much soap/not rinsing enough?

Save your money and just use petroleum jelly

That or something like Bag Balm was going to be my suggestion…it brings in other issues (washing it out of your chamois), but in this case, the tradeoff is probably worth it.


Funny side story… last year I went on a ride. About an Hr in, I got that burning sensation. I was about 30mins from home so I just ignored it & kept pedaling. The last 10mins were hell. I ran into the shower & stripped down. Guess what I found? A partially dissolved Tide pod!!! THAT was a chemical burn!


I had something similar on my forehead. It was contact seborrheic dermatitis. A prescription shampoo and creme have cleared it up. Don’t know if this is what you have, but I would recommend seeing dermatologist. I did my virtually through Teladoc…just uploaded about 4 pictures and described the symptoms. Answer back within 30 minutes.

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Update: saw my dr this morning. It is definitely a “burn” caused by my sweat. Top layer(s) of skin are gone, not merely responding or secreting. There is scabbing as the skin tries to cover & regrow. No good! Dr sad it was quite serious, and while not common…it us not altogether uncommon for salty sweaters who do not cool off or rinse off during exercise or prolonged sweating. No “cure,” just prevention.

I’m more predisposed to this reaction bc I am (1) a salty sweater and (2) prone to naturally dry skin.

1- RINSE, RINSE, RINSE. Get the salty sweat off during exercise!
2- use ointment BEFORE exercise kit n body parts/ares where sweat can pool or where chafing may occur. Irritated skin is compromised &much more likely to “burn.”
3- shower ASAP post exercise or sweating. Mild soap & water, dry completely & moisturize with good non-watery ointment/cream.

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