The world's toughest triathlon is said to be the Hawaiian Ironman. Every year, the lava fields of Big Island attract some 2,000 extreme sports competitors vying for the title of World Champion. The effort involved is enormous: they must swim their way through the Pacific swells, defy severe cross-winds on the bike course and run a marathon in temperatures of 35 degrees Celsius.
To become top dog in this discipline takes years of grueling training – as Frederik van Lierde knows only too well. The Belgian is one of the world's best triathletes and a regular on the starting line in Hawaii. “I sometimes train three times a day for the competitions, and often spend up to six hours in the saddle," he says. His body suffers a great deal. And eventually the T-shirt, shoes and sports pants rubbing against his sweating skin leave their mark. “During intensive bike training, the skin in the pelvic and groin regions tends to chafe the most. That can also be very painful when I'm running and swimming," explains the veteran sportsman.
So, when he heard that a Belgian company called ReSkin makes silicone-based dressings that are inserted between the skin and the sports clothing, he sat up and took notice. “I tried out ReSkin dressings for the first time when I was training in New Zealand. They made cycling much more comfortable. I didn't experience any skin irritation or pain, not even after weeks of intensive cycling,” reports the triathlete.
What makes ReSkin dressings so special is that they are very soft, elastic and pliant. “Each dressing acts like a cushion, absorbing the frictional forces and then dissipating them elsewhere. That reduces mechanical stress on the affected skin,” explains Stany Haentjens, Product & Business Development Manager Medical, at ReSkin.