Friday, February 5, 2010

The cure for sticky nipples

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Dan here. My nipples are killing me lately. In the winter the skin gets sort of dry, which is a pain in and of itself, but it seems to make nipple-chafing during runs much worse. Plus, I'm on the end of a stick of Body Glide -- actually using what's left in the plastic bit that holds the stuff in. I've been using Band-Aids because they're what I have in the house, but I keep worrying that it's a waste of Band-Aids and one day I'll slice my finger of and there won't be any left when I need them to stanch the bleeding.

On the advice of fellow badass @keeponrunning, I decided to try duct tape. I have hair on my chest, which would deter most mortal men from applying an adhesive to it. But I figured if I just use a small piece and take it off in the shower, I could minimize the pain I'd feel later. So I dug out an old roll of duct tape in Nik's collection of art supplies, cut off three pieces and stuck them on my nipples. (The third piece I threw away because it got stuck to itself, silly.)

Went for a 3-miler. No chafing. Perfect, right? Got home, popped into the hot shower and started to peel off the tape, and immediately I began to regret it -- the plastic backing slipped right off, but the sticky residue still coated my nipples like a gooey film, gumming up the hairs encircling it. Soap didn't help at all, even when I turned up the heat to scalding and used a hard-bristled scrub brush. I tried pulling off tiny strings of goo with my fingers, but it barely came off. I'm not trying to make this sound hot. It just happens to deal with nipples.

I informed Nik of my situation. She promptly fell over in her chair in hysterics. Between crying jags she told me her roll of duct tape had been through several scorching summers in the attic and had mostly melted. She only kept the roll to use as a paperweight. I could see she was going to sit back and enjoy the situation as opposed to trying to help me.

So I turned to the Internet. Being a nerd, it's where I go whenever I have a problem. At this point, I'll turn things over to my Twitter feed, where I began to live-tweet the situation:
- OK, first and LAST time I ever use duct tape as nipple guards. I've got fking glue residue all over them and I can't get it off

- My shirt's literally sticking to me

- They're covered in duct tape goo. Tried nail polish remover, didn't work. Tried scrubbing w/ soap, didn't work. A scrub brush didn't work
[Several minutes later]
- I'm up to peanut butter. I'm going to put peanut butter on my nipples in the kitchen and hope the neighbors don't look in. Thanks, life. FU.

- I could probably try to unstick it with more duct tape, but I have a hairy chest. I didn't picture myself getting a waxjob today
[Several minutes later]
- So far the thing that's working best is more duct tape. @painternik thinks this is hysterical, by the way
After dabbing at the tape with MORE tape, I did succeed in removing a tiny bit of the goo and several strands of hair. I got several suggestions from followers on Twitter to use Goo Gone (I didn't have any), lighter fluid (I didn't have any), and olive oil. Nik suggested that the thing to do might be to wait it out -- let the stuff dry out and flake off on its own. That could take days, I thought. Meanwhile my T-shirt was sticking to my body.
- I think I'm gonna try the olive oil. Back in a sec

- Wonder if it matters if I use extra virgin

- So I, what? Put olive oil on my nipples and let it sit for a while before wiping it off? This is sounding filthy. I'm not spam, honest
At this point, @kelownagurl asked me to take a picture of myself. In other words, share topless photos of myself on the Internet covered in food products and sticky goo. How come if I asked women for things like this, it would be frowned upon, but in my case it's OK?

I tried one picture. It looked porny. I deleted it immediately.

Anyway, I soaked a paper towel in vegetable oil (I had olive, but it's extra virgin, and so too expensive to waste on nipples) and began dabbing myself with it. To my surprise and relief, it slowly began to melt away the tape goop, with the unexpected bonus that my chest began to smell like french fries. After a few minutes, it was all off and I was nice and smooth again.

So that's this week's Running Tip: if you've got sticky duct tape residue coating your nipples, rub in vegetable oil liberally. I swear I'm not trying to make this sound hot.

Thanks to everyone who helped me out with the suggestion.

Believe it or not, I may try duct tape again, but from a fresh roll this time that hasn't been through heat extremes. I'll report my findings after a 5-mile tempo run.

7 comments:

Bambi said...

Next time if I were you, I would try some diet coke. It is useful on stickyness left by dentists moulds also. May help. And in the most pleasant way, LOL.
Keep running, you are awesome.

Rio said...

I may have to start following your twitter feed! I'm glad you got the sticky mess situated. Glad you got the run in!

Anonymous said...

I've tried different things and nothing does the job (for me) like NipGuards. They are octagonal, bandaid-ish dealies that adhere to the areola so few, if any, chest hairs are harmed in their use. They stick really well during the run and I take them off in the shower after my runs.

JP Burke said...

Um, that'd be zinc oxide, not titanium dioxide. It's the anti-sunburn stuff, not the white paint!

JP Burke said...

Oops, looks like my earlier comment didn't go through, making my above comment absolutely incoherent.

I was saying that I noticed that zinc oxide works well for my long runs on parts that otherwise tend to chafe. (But I made the mistake of calling it titanium dioxide -- don't use paint!)

Also, I wanted to say I'm happy to see a running blog and a fellow local skeptic. Cheers!

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Mrs Swan said...

Just ran across this post while reading your latest. I cannot believe my husband (The Crazy Runner) did not share this tidbit with me. Bwahahahhahaha

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