Surf rash, what is surf rash

It’s a familiar, painful feeling: you’re out on the water, and you feel a painful tingling. Perhaps it’s behind a knee, or around your neck. At first you think it might be a jellyfish sting, but then you realise it’s even worse than that. You’ve got a surf rash or wetsuit rash, and it’s only going to get worse until you get out of the water. 

There’s no doubting that getting a wetsuit rash is the pits. At best, a surf rash is a painful distraction that can ruin a session, and look pretty grim when you get back on land. At its worst, a wetsuit rash can be a bleeding sore at risk of infection and permanent scarring. 


What is a Wetsuit Rash? 

A wetsuit rash is caused by your skin rubbing against your wetsuit, usually in sensitive areas around your neck, under your arms, behind your knees and on your chest. Board rash is also pretty common if you are using a foam board. 

These rashes come from repeated contact with wax or a wetsuit, rather than the act of surfing itself. While today’s wetsuits are great in that they tend to be seamless, and have been tailored effectively to avoid most rashes, one stray seam or wrong cut in the fit can be a major irritant to the wearer.


How To Not Get Surf Rash – Preventing a Wetsuit Rash

Do you need a rash vest to surf, no, but some surfers have been forever scarred on the backs of their necks from years of a wetsuit rash, so it’s best that you do whatever you can to avoid getting one in the first place. 

A well-fitted wetsuit

The easiest way to prevent a wetsuit rash is to wear a well-fitted wetsuit, especially around the knees, armpits and neck. Where the neoprene of the suit fits tightly against the skin, there will be less friction to cause a rash in the first place. 

Wear a rash guard

You can also wear a rash guard in the water. Not only will wearing a rash guard add an extra layer of warmth in the water, the material will also provide an extra layer of protection between your wetsuit and your skin. 

Quiksilver long sleeve rash best

Quiksilver – Long Sleeve Rash Vest

A long sleeve surf rash vest that also has great sun protection 50+SPF. Wearing this rash vest under your wetsuit will help to prevent wetsuit rash. Quiksilver have been making quality surfing products since 1969 and this is another one of them and its made from recycled yarn.

Lube up, with Vaseline

You can try to use petroleum jelly to avoid wetsuit rash. Simply apply a liberal amount on high-risk areas of your body, and wear your wetsuit over the top. It’s not a guaranteed prevention tip, but it will definitely help. 

Treatment for surf rash

Vaseline – Pure Petroleum Jelly

Surf rash cream this 100% Pure White Petrolatum Jelly boasts amazing healing and restoring properties that can prevent and protect your skin. This extremely versatile petroleum jelly can be applied to any part of your body that could use instant moisture and advanced protection from further wear. 


Wetsuit Rash Cure

Sometimes called surfers rash. The best cure for a wetsuit rash is rest: it is a friction burn, after all, and giving your skin a break will give it time to heal itself. 

If you want to be proactive in helping your skin heal during your rest time, you can try Neosporin antibiotic ointment or a skin lubricant called Belly Jelly.

How to not get surfers rash.

Belly Jelly – Skin Jelly

A great way to help prevent and treat skin irritation the is caused by wetsuit rash or a skin irritation. It’s made from aloe vera and has a great and addictive coconutty bubble gum smell.


Even then, if the rash starts to look super irritated, or swollen with raised white edges, its best to check it with a doctor. A wetsuit rash can, sometimes, get infected. 

These are a few simple tips to give your skin the best chance of surviving a heavy-duty session in a wetsuit. Have fun, and take care! 

Surf rash or wet suit rash can be quite uncomfortable and a painful when you have it. If you are in your suit a lot your skin will toughen up and make it less common. But as with everything surf rash prevention is always better then the cure.

One thought on “How To Deal With Wetsuit Rash or Surf Rash”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *