So this is actually not trolling, serious question.

I have also looked at what-can-i-do-for-sore-nipples and is-it-harmful-not-to-wear-an-underwear-while-running as well as a couple of questions that suggest bodyglide etc, I use bodyglide elsewhere, but i don't feel this is the answer in my case.

I feel my question is different from the above because I'm male, with a hairy chest- the questions above don't take this into account. .

Common solutions are band-aids and bodyglide (as mentioned). To use band-aids I'd have to shave to get them to stick. Shaving would open up another can of worms with rubbing from short hairs on my trisuit, which I'd prefer to avoid.

I can't imagine bodyglide working in this case.

Are there any solutions besides shaving and using band aids?

The following details are more case specific to me, but feel free to take them into account if you like:

  • I'm doing long distance triathlon
  • The run is where the friction happens
  • I'm not overweight
  • I wear a lycra tri-suit (obviously this is tightly fitted)
  • The rubbing is worst when the suit is wet, I can minimise wetness by not pouring water on my front, but I'm running long distance triathlons in France, some wetness is to be expected
  • 1
    If only I had a nickel for every time this happened to me, I would have saved enough for the band-aids.
    – Viv
    Jun 1, 2018 at 18:13

3 Answers 3


There are a couple of solutions that I would consider for this, both of which are fairly easy.

  • Change - You say you are doing long distance triathlons, I am assuming that you mean longer than an Olympic distance, where transition time is more critical, such as half and full Ironman distance. I would take the extra couple of minutes in the bike/run transition tent and change into a loose fitting shirt.
  • Shave - Go ahead and shave. You can shave close enough that you don't have to deal with short hairs rubbing, and/or put a bandaid over the area. It also offers an advantage in that if you are that hairy, a general close shave all over can have heat dissipation benenfits. Besides, you're already shaving your legs (and if not, see this article. You could be wasting a 4-5 minutes of time) so why not a little more?

If you've already tried bodyglide and similar remedies, I think those two may be your best options left.

  • @Thanks John, might have to bite the bullet and go hairless. I'll accept the answer if alternatives don't come up. appreciate your time.
    – Preston
    Jun 1, 2018 at 14:22
  • @User632716 - You might find a lot of benefits. I did short/Oly distance for years, and shaving really helped with heat in a lot of ways. (I overheat easily).
    – JohnP
    Jun 1, 2018 at 14:28
  • Try changing, it makes sense because its a free option that alters nothing - you can throw on a fresh top a couple hundred metres down the run. Your support people can make sure the new top has gels or whatever in the pockets and you dump any empties with the dirty top.
    – Criggie
    Jun 2, 2018 at 0:22

Being both hirsute and a runner, I've had the same issue.

The best solution I've found is to apply the adhesive portion of a band-aid directly to the nipple. Take one band-aid, and cut or tear the two adhesive parts off:


Then carefully move the hairs off the nipple (getting them a bit damp can help) and apply one on each side.

Plastic bandages seem to work best, and come off without too much trouble in the shower. Removal can be a bit painful, but far better than chafing!

  • 3
    Alternatively, there exists round bandages that happen to be the exact size of the nipple.
    – DeeV
    Jun 1, 2018 at 15:30
  • @DeeV I almost bought those once, but then stuck with band-aids which are cheaper and have a wider variety of uses.
    – LShaver
    Jun 1, 2018 at 16:00

Do you wear a Heart Rate Monitor on a chest strap? These will monitor your heart rate at the torso and log it to a running watch or a bike computer.

Position it just right and it should function exactly like the wound plasters, providing coverage without moving back and forth causing friction.

Example HRM on chest strap.

  • 1
    .... this could potentially be genius...
    – Preston
    Jun 2, 2018 at 21:28

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