Is there any silicone pad for avoid the neck mark and hurts?

June 28, 2021, 7:07 PM · I tried everything, microfiber cloth, chin rest pads... but my neck still suffers. I had a big mark on my neck it hurts. I’m not sure if is because the wood of the chin rest or because too many hours with the violin.
Some people told me about a little silicone pad that you put between the chinrest and the tailpiece. I searched on internet and didnt found nothing, Only founded that “I think” David Garrett use the same. Can someone help me to find this product or recomend me something for this?

Replies (28)

June 28, 2021, 7:21 PM · I assume you have tried and written off the Strad Pad? Don't really know of others. I've actually taken that off, now that I am using the taller Flesch rest. Sorry.
Edited: June 29, 2021, 5:29 AM · Two possible causes?
- incompatibility between skin oils and wood oils;
- too localised contact, pressing or pulling on a very small skin area.

Either way we need something soft, squishy, and washable, and disinfect regularly both skin and chinrest.
Another vote for the Strad Pad..

PS I find my beard helps.., and I have re-carved my chinrest for a maximum contact area.

Edited: June 29, 2021, 6:29 AM · You say you have tried everything. I'll take that literally.

Being descended from fish we have residual gills in our necks when we are foetuses. Sometimes these survive in adults. I had a friend who was a professional violist in the 80s, and she had (internal) residual gills which got inflamed from her viola playing. She had an operation, but it didn't work out. They didn't dare try a second operation because it was too rare and they didn't know what they were doing.

If it looks pathological, go to a doctor. Diagnosis is better than ignorance. At least you'll have a more precise knowledge of what you are working with. And you'll know, if something doesn't work, why it isn't working.

If you are playing the violin 14 hours a day, then the diagnosis is insanity.

June 29, 2021, 6:29 AM · Its usually not the chinrest itself, its the metal clasps that are the most allergenic. It sounds like you have a very sensitive Nickel allergy. Your luthier can fit tungsten or steel clips onto the chinrest which would solve the problem. I have the same thing but use a leather chamois that I wrap over the (side-mount) chinrest and attach with an elastic band. It hangs down to cover the rib and clips. Also keeps the instrument nice and fresh!
Edited: June 29, 2021, 7:54 AM · Occam's razor: you're probably squeezing if you have bruises on your neck.
Edited: June 29, 2021, 11:02 AM · Chamois works very well - yes! even the stuff sold by auto-parts stores. There are also some cotton chinrest pads one can buy; check out SHAR or some other dealer.

Zephiran Chloride heals chinrest hickeys very effectively. It was sold in drug stores 40 years ago but it seems to have become difficult to find in recent years. You might find it under the name "Benzalkonium Chloride" but be sure to dilute it to the 0.13% level that was used in the "Zephiran Chloride" solutions.

June 29, 2021, 1:18 PM · Zephiran chloride is just a topical disinfectant. The thing about the violin hickey is that if you've got a sore one, then you have to let it completely heal before trying any of the improvements such as Strad Pads and so forth, otherwise it's not a fair test.
June 29, 2021, 4:07 PM · I found the strad pad irritating because its made of artificial fiber. The chamois is far more comfortable.

Its generally nickle guys. And no, Cotton, its not squeezing.,in%20women%20and%20girls%20than%20men%20and%20boys.

June 29, 2021, 4:54 PM · per NIH: "Benzalkonium chloride (BAC) is a widely used disinfectant/preservative, and respiratory exposure to this compound has been reported to be highly toxic." Maybe this is why it's hard to find...
June 29, 2021, 5:20 PM · Erin, the dose makes the poison. Benzalkonium chloride is safe for topical use at a concentration of 0.1%.
June 29, 2021, 5:25 PM · Gordon, I think the word you want is "vestigial." Like the hind limb bones of whales.
June 29, 2021, 5:26 PM · How would one reach and test the dilution at home?
Edited: June 29, 2021, 6:55 PM · Erin, It's readily available over the counter as any number of wound cleaning products by large makers such as Neosporin. It would be difficult to buy pure BC in small amounts.
Edited: June 29, 2021, 9:56 PM · It's on the label.

I was introduced to the stuff by another violinist at the 1977 San Diego Chamber Music Workshop. After the first morning (very intense 4 hours of quartet playing) I had developed a very red chinrest-hickey. Another player suggested chamois and "Zephiran."

I used my lunch hour to buy some of each.

And they worked - very rapidly. I've had to use the Zephiran a few times since, but I have used both chamois or cotton protections on all my chinrests ever since - for 44 years. VERY BIG HELP - either type.

June 29, 2021, 9:38 PM · Erin, I don't know what "per NIH" you read but it's certainly taken out of context. In fact it mentions respiratory exposure of concentrated amounts. Again, the dose makes the poison.
June 30, 2021, 6:24 AM · yeah, vestigial.
Edited: June 30, 2021, 11:48 AM · Ann, here is the source, nothing was out of context:
Here is another study:
I believe these studies on toxicity are fairly recent.
June 30, 2021, 2:13 PM · It is out of context in that they are studying inhalant exposure to it, where as currently discussed it is used topically , and most probably in ointment form, so not likely to be breathed in.
June 30, 2021, 7:11 PM · I know you said you'd tried everything, but you didn't mention flannel. I have successfully eliminated the mark on my neck by playing with a flannel cloth that I put between my violin and my neck. My original intention was just to protect the violin from my skin, but it had the happy side effect of eliminating the "violin hickey" that I had for years.
June 30, 2021, 7:29 PM · Cotton's thesis seems plausible to me. I doubt there are many violinists who couldn't stand to have a lighter contact with the instrument.
June 30, 2021, 11:17 PM · Rosemary, Yes, and the FDA would not allow an over the counter topical to contain a contact poison.
July 1, 2021, 7:46 AM · I don't understand - why are you all ignoring Nickle allergy?

Here is a scientific report on 'Fiddler's Neck' if you don't believe me:,on%20the%20violinist%27s%20supraclavicular%20neck.

July 1, 2021, 8:26 AM · The chinrest "pads" I have made and bought for the last 44 years always cover the chinrest metal hardware. I think they would take care of nickel-allergy problems.

I don't think I have an allergy to nickel, however I have found the Hill-style chinrest hardware very irritating. My pads have solved that problem.

Edited: July 1, 2021, 8:53 AM · "why are you all ignoring nickel allergy?"
Because it's clear that Brian has tried various materials between his violin and his neck.
July 1, 2021, 3:39 PM · "Because it's clear that Brian has tried various materials between his violin and his neck." I think if you read what he wrote he has tried a lot of things between the chinrest and his neck, not necessarily between the bracket and his neck. That's what those pads are - they stick onto the surface of the chinrest itself.

Andrew - are you really sure? The nickel can dissolve and work its way through a sheet if it is not changed regularly. I found out when I wore a cheap silver necklace - it left a red itchy mark that did not clear for a month. IMO most of these 'hickies' are nickel allergies. However, some people do become allergic to various woods - the best one it seems is boxwood - but of course one can get an artificial (composite/plastic) one to rule a wood allergy out.

July 1, 2021, 5:42 PM · I think Elise has got it right: I know folks who must varnish metal buttons on the waist bands of their jeans. Nickel, chrome, and even silver can cause open wounds lasting for weeks. (Curiously, nickel & chrome alloy is used in dentures!)
However our skin can also be intolerant of (rather than allergic to) synthetic materials.
July 1, 2021, 9:28 PM · Silver is very rarely allergenic. The problem is that it is always alloyed with something else - and for cheap silver its nickel.
Edited: July 1, 2021, 10:05 PM · I got titanium CR hardware. It doesn't turn green.

Regarding the concentration of BC and such, one good option, I would think, would be to ask your local pharmacist. Explain what you want and why you want it. They can show you what products they have in their store and they can find the concentration of the active substance if it is not on the label (which it should be if it's intended for topical application). If it's part of a cleaning solution or such, they don't have to give you the concentration then (although you can often find a concentration range on the Safety Date Sheet).

The thought occurs to me that as consumers we really do need to put more pressure on our legislatures to direct regulatory agencies to enforce better transparency. We need to know what is in the stuff we buy. I teach university chemistry and I created a lab experiment where students analyze the fragrance compounds in commercial "air freshener" samples using GCMS. They were generally quite horrified by what the manufacturers expect us to enjoy breathing.

I know what y'all are saying about "squeezing" but there is invariably some contact there, and depending what you're playing sometimes one clamps down a little more, even if only momentarily. These microaggressions can add up to a fair amount of stress on individuals whose flesh is more sensitive. I'm surprised that nickel allergies are so common but I'm entirely ignorant about that aspect of it, so I'm not ready to disagree with Elise, who would know how to research that kind of issue properly.

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