Health Issues for Rubbermen

WARNING!!!
WE ARE NOT PHYSICIANS. THIS PAGE RECOUNTS ANECDOTAL EXPERIENCES ONLY. YOUR EXPERIENCES MAY DIFFER. CONSULT A PHYSICIAN IF THERE IS A HEALTH ISSUE.

SUN EXPOSURE

We like to wear our latex in public. This poses a problem if the Sun is out. Long term exposure to sun can damage rubber (See the Care Guide). Daylight wear of rubber is possible for a couple of hours, and the sun beating on black rubber creates an incredible warm rush across the body. It can also increase the risk of skin burns or heat stroke. We make an effort to stay in or near shadows as much as is practical without seriously impacting our activities. Of course, a bright sunny day in July and August in Tejas is not the best day to be out in rubber. Not that we haven’t done it!

OVERHEATING

Even indoors, an encapsulating rubber suit in a warm room under vigorous conditions can be quite warm and taxing on the physiology of a rubberman. Since rubber blocks off the normal perspiration mechanism by which we cool, rubber will trap body heat.  While this can be very pleasurable, it can also add risk. The simplest solution is to cool the room down several degrees. Keep a spray bottle of water and portable fan handy for quick cooling. If you are new to rubber, a slow, staged approach with incremental increases in layering and activity may be advisable to determine your personal limits.

Every rubberman should be fully in tune with his condition and that of his rubber mate, and get himself or his rubberman out of the situation and into a cooling environment as soon as unusual signs develop. Consult online Heat Stroke resources now so that you are familiar with early warning signs. In diving this is called the Buddy System. We encourage this in rubber life as well.

DEHYDRATION

If you get headaches the day after a heavy all-day sweaty rubber session, this could be related to dehydration. Dehydration can lead to other complications and should be avoided. Dehydration will depend on individual physiology, and aqualaboy is more prone than most. I have found that electrolytes (Gatorade, Powerade) and plenty of water after a rubber session, coupled with eating well in the hour afterward can help prevent dehydration and exhaustion. And remember that alcohol increases your fluid loss.

COLD!

Anyone attending NIR in November knows that Chicago is a cold city!  Walking around in latex naked to the wind can be brutal but it can also be stimulating.  Like a thousand tiny needles poking you everywhere.  While this can be fun, it is also not without risk of hypothermia.  Rubber has ZERO insulation against the cold.  If you don’t or can’t cover up, Don’t stay out in the cold for more than 15 minutes.

SKIN CARE

We have found Eros and other silicone oils are good skin conditioners during and after rubber wear. Unscented Talc is the best dry lubricant, especially if you are prone to moisture rashes.  Treat any persistent rash or reaction by consulting the web or a physician. Remember to remove any ointments or creams before putting rubber on, as this will deteriorate the rubber.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that corn-starch powders may be responsible for allergic reaction, so stay with recommended powders. Stay away from bulk rubber gloves unless specifically labeled non-allergenic.