How To Prevent Thigh Chafing
How to Prevent Chafing Between Your Legs
Chafing between your legs can be incredibly painful and irritating. If you experience this, don’t worry—you’re not alone! It’s a common problem among athletes, people who are overweight, or anyone who wears dresses or skirts in hot weather. To prevent chafing, make sure to keep the inner thigh area dry and reduce friction. If you do experience some chafing, wash and moisturize the sensitive skin right away to help it heal.
Keeping the Area Dry
Apply some alum or baby powder to your inner thighs.Moisture can break down the top layer of the skin and make it irritated and painful.Use your fingers to smooth on a thin layer of powder over the skin that rubs together when you walk or work out.
- This solution works best with light-colored clothing that won’t show any smudged powder like dark clothing would.
- You can also carry a small container of baby powder with you and reapply it throughout the day.
- Make sure to use a talc-free baby powder. Talc has been linked to extreme health risks, such as cancer, so avoid products that list it in the ingredients.
- For a cheap, easy option, you could also use cornstarch.
Wear moisture-wicking material instead of cotton when you work out.Loose cotton material will trap moisture and rub against your legs. Instead, opt for form-fitting workout bottoms made of a synthetic, moisture-wicking material such as nylon, lycra, polyester, or spandex.Synthetic fibers reduce friction and dry quickly, which will reduce the likelihood of chafing.
- For example, you could wear a pair of spandex compression shorts to protect the inner thigh while you work out.
- You should also look for pants with smooth seams and small, flat stitches that won’t rub against your skin.
Change out of sweaty clothes and shower immediately after working out.Staying in damp, sweaty clothes for a long period of time can trap moisture and break down the skin between your legs. After you work out, make sure to change right away. Rinse off in the shower to remove sweat, then dry off thoroughly to keep moisture from getting trapped between your thighs.
Apply petroleum jelly to your inner thighs to lubricate the skin.Rub a little petroleum jelly on the inside of your thighs where they brush to allow the skin to glide smoothly. This will help retain moisture in the skin and let the chafed areas, or “hot spots,” heal more quickly.Apply the petroleum jelly before working out or before heading out for the day.
Use a special lubricating product for an easier application.If you find that petroleum jelly is a little too greasy or messy, purchase a lubricating product like Body Glide. It's specially formulated to keep the skin lubricated all day and it comes in a stick, so it's easy to carry in a purse or gym bag. It's also easy to apply, since you don’t have to get any of the product on your hands.
Apply a diaper rash cream with zinc oxide to already-chafed skin.If your skin is already starting to feel raw or irritated and you want to prevent it from getting any worse, use a gentle product that contains the active ingredient zinc oxide. Diaper rash cream may sound crazy, but its soothing and antibacterial properties are perfect for taking care of inner thigh chafing.
- Keep in mind that this product can be quite thick and sometimes messy! Avoid wearing pants and shorts in dark colors that will show any white smudges.
- Some popular options include Desitin and A+D Zinc Oxide cream.
Wear shorts underneath a dress or skirt to reduce friction.Wearing cotton or spandex cycling shorts underneath your clothes is an easy, subtle way to take care of the problem. Having a cloth barrier between your thighs will protect the skin from rubbing together.
Switch up your workout to give the inner thighs a break.Change your workout every few days, alternating between exercises that focus on the upper and lower body.If your skin shows some chafing after a workout, avoid exercises that will irritate it for the next few days. Alternating your workouts will help you keep from constantly irritating one area.
- For example, you may experience chafing from activities like running on the treadmill and performing mountain climber exercises. The next time you work out, focus on upper body exercises like weightlifting, performing tricep dips, or holding a plank position.
Stay hydrated to minimize the salt concentration in your sweat.Salt crystals form when you sweat and act like sandpaper on your skin, leading to more chafing. Hydration can reduce the amount of salt in your sweat, and as a result, minimize the amount of salt crystals that form. Drink water before, during, and after your workout to keep friction at a minimum.
- Drink 17 to 20 fluid ounces (500 to 590 mL) of water about 2-3 hours before working out, then another 8 fluid ounces (240 mL) about 20-30 minutes before you start the workout.
- While you exercise, drink 7 to 10 fluid ounces (210 to 300 mL) of water every 10-20 minutes.
- Drink 8 fluid ounces (240 mL) of water within 30 minutes of completing your workout.
Caring for Chafed Skin
Wash the chafed area gently with lukewarm water.In the shower, rinse off your leg gently by letting the water wash over the raw skin. The pressure of the water may sting a bit at first, but the lukewarm temperature will help clean and sooth the inflamed skin. To prevent extra irritation, don’t touch or scrub the sensitive area while you wash.When you're done, pat your skin dry with a soft towel.
- You can also use a mild, moisturizing, pH-balanced bar of soap along with the warm water to completely cleanse the area.
- Make sure not to use hot water, which will aggravate the chafed skin.
Moisturize the chafed skin with petroleum jelly or aloe vera.Once the skin is clean and dry, apply a gentle moisturizer. For soothing relief, use petroleum jelly or pure aloe vera gel which don’t contain any artificial fragrances that could inflame the chafed skin even more.
Give your skin time to heal before doing activities that could irritate it.Wait for the chafing to heal before participating in any activities that could make it worse, such as running. While you’re waiting for your skin to heal, try some exercise activities that don’t involve any chafing, such as swimming or rowing.
Wear soft, breathable cotton clothing while your skin heals.Stay as comfortable as possible and your skin will thank you! For daywear, choose comfortable cotton pants or shorts instead of dresses or skirts. At night, wear soft cotton pajama pants.Continue wearing cotton bottoms until the chafing has healed completely.
- For an workplace-appropriate outfit, wear a blazer, a dressy button-down shirt or top, and some tailored dress pants made of 100% cotton.
- If the chafing worsens and the area becomes painful, swollen, bleeding, or crusted, you may need prescription ointment to properly heal and protect the sensitive area. Contact your healthcare provider for assistance.
Video: How To Prevent Chafing | A Man's Guide To Avoid Irritation With Innovative Underwear | Sheath
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