WTF Is Writer's Rash and How Do I Avoid It?
People, we need to talk about this.
If you're familiar with Coraline, not Caroline, you've heard Charlie complain about something called writer's rash. Um, writer's what?
For the record, I have yet to experience writer's rash, but I'm going to go ahead and assume it's pretty damn hellish. To be fair, there's no clear definition of the phrase, so we're stuck Googling every possibility.
Ignorance is not always bliss, people.
There's the obvious answer. I think?
At first guess, let's say that writer's rash is something you get on your butt... because you're sitting on your rear and writing all day long.
Uh, can that really happen?
Can you actually get a rash on your ass from sitting on it all day doing creative work?
Unfortunately, I took a trip down Google lane with this very question and wound up (or down) a rabbit hole. First of all, it turns out that butt rashes are not just for cute babies in diapers. Adults get them too:
A butt rash is common in babies, but adults can get them too. They have many causes, and sometimes the rash is…www.medicalnewstoday.com
As if that wasn't bad enough, I also stumbled across this gem. It's gonna make you feel bad for your butt. I sure feel bad for mine:
If you have a desk job, chances are you're sitting in your chair for 8+ hours each day. When you get up every now and…www.self.com
Oddly enough, and despite those horrors linked above, sitting for long periods of time doesn't seem to have a high correlation with developing an actual rash. It seems more likely if you're wearing itchy underwear (why...?) or you've already got a pre-existing butt condition (I'm so sorry!)
Then there's the more likely answer.
What if writer's rash isn't a rash at all? People who sit all day are prone to developing something called pressure ulcers. These little baddies have been known as bedsores in previous years, but you certainly don't have to be bedridden to get them.
Bedsores - also called pressure ulcers and decubitus ulcers - are injuries to skin and underlying tissue resulting from…www.mayoclinic.org
I'm gonna go ahead and call it. I think writer's rash is much less likely to be a real rash but(t) more likely to be those darn pressure ulcers. And pressure ulcers, which are also called pressure sores, can actually be pretty serious.
According to the Johns Hopkins website, a sore can develop in as little as 2 to 3 hours. It just takes sitting in the same place for long enough, with enough pressure to cut off the blood supply to a portion of your rear.
There are multiple stages of pressure ulcers, but the initial signs of a problem include discoloration, itching, pain, or burning. It could feel unusually warm or cool to the touch.
Let's be nicer to our rears.
Some of us wish our butts were smaller. Others may even desire a bigger derriere. Yet all writers, big and small, ought to be grateful to the butts we sit on that allow us to write at all.
Here are a few tips to prevent a problem:
Take a break!
As impractical as it may seem, getting up every 15 to 20 minutes can do wonders for your bum. Take a potty break, drink some water, or just get up to stretch. The frequent movement will help avoid a pressure-related injury.
Use a special cushion.
Seriously, friends. There are butt pads specifically engineered to protect our rears. There are even different shaped pillows to help deal with any problem areas, like your cheeks or tailbone.
Exercise daily. And focus on your tush.
Daily exercise won't just help give your butt a break from the pressure. The right exercises will actually "wake up" your glutes. Yes, sitting all day makes your butt muscles lazy since you're not actually using them much at all.
Eat a nutritious diet.
Sure, people will always disagree over exactly what a healthy diet entails. However, everyone needs adequate protein, zinc, vitamin C, and vitamin A to help promote healthier skin and tissue.
Only you can prevent writer's rash.
At the end of the day, it's up to you to take care of your body, and that includes your booty.
Stay happy as a fanciful writer by saving your butt.
Start by taking a walk.
Google some butt exercises.
Say no to scratchy underwear.
And be sure to warn your fellow writer friends.
Apparently, the itch of writer's rash can be prevented.