by Fran of Contour Corsets
Copyrighted and used by permission of the author
When you wear a corset every day it is so very important that you tend to your skin to prevent problems that can occur from having inadequate hygiene.
First, you need to wear a properly fitted spandex liner under the corset, and this needs to be changed daily for a clean one. The liner will do a great deal to protect your skin from chaffing, as it allows you to adjust the position of your skin under the corset, and it protects your corset from the oils and dander that your skin gives off which will also help extend the life of your corset as well.
Secondly, you need to keep your skin clean and exfoliate every day. I use a loofah in the shower to exfoliate all around with an anti bacterial soap. It is a good habit to rub the antibacterial soap into your belly button and thoroughly clean it out each time you wash. Doing so will prevent the otherwise problematic tendency of rashes in and around the navel which occur due to the proliferation of bacteria trapped there in the warm, moist conditions. If you do get an itchy red rash it is smart to take a break from the corset until it disappears, and treat these rashes with an antimicrobial ointment twice daily until they are gone.
Thirdly, you need to moisturize. The liner and corset will constantly wick away the moisture from your skin and so you may tend to experience dryness and itching over time. After washing it is often necessary to apply a good skin lotion to the area before putting your liner and corset back on.
Lastly, you need to be mindful of any folding or pinching of the skin when you lace in and go through your day. The smooth spandex liner will perform its function by relieving a lot of friction as you adjust the corset by allowing the corset to slide along your shape without snagging your soft skin. Still, as the day goes on and you move around inside the corset, your skin can develop small pinching folds, particularly in the back under the lacing system and around the sides of the waist where the contours are the most pronounced. Most pinching is easily alleviated by pulling up on the top of the liner and down on the bottom of the liner to stretch out the liner under the corset and remove the wrinkling. This is usually sufficient for any pinching, but for those with really high reduction and more radical curves there is another trick that I found solves this problem. I keep a long ½” smooth flat steel stay for this that I put a slight bend in one side. (If anyone needs this little tool please contact me and I will send you one) I slide it down under the tightened corset between the liner and my skin, and like a shoe horn I slip it down to the trouble spot, and by gently sliding the rounded end of the stay up and down over the pinched skin, I relax and smooth out the skin there deep in the corset and remove the pinch. If you do not manage pinch points or re-position the corset when you feel them then the result will be sore red marks on the skin when you remove the corset. These tiny contusions can swell up and they take time to heal, so it is best not to accumulate them at all.
Tending to your skin is a part of the great responsibility that you have to your body as a tightlacer. Maintaining healthy skin and preventing infections, rashes, and small contusions not only make you feel better as you tightlace, but it also assures that you can put hours in your corset unabated, and thus you will reach your goals more quickly and maintain your shape in a healthy way.
Please be sure to check out Fran’s custom corsets at http://www.contourcorsets.com/