Thigh chafing is the uncomfortable rubbing sensation that gets worse when you’re working out, wearing dresses or taking a beach stroll on a hot day. It’s more than just an annoying problem. It is essential to resolve and prevent chafing because, besides being painful, it can damage the skin. Chronic chafing can lead to an inflammatory skin condition called intertrigo. Chronic thigh chafing can even cause scarring. But if you are experiencing chafing, don’t worry! With a few simple steps, you can manage this issue and get on with your life in comfort.
1. Wear the Right Kind of Underwear
One way to avoid chafing is to wear well-fitting underwear with no seams in the thigh area. When selecting your panties, choose ones in breathable or moisture-wicking fabrics. Natural fibers like cotton are breathable and comfortable, while synthetic or cotton-blend fabrics are moisture wicking.
If you are prone to thigh chafing, consider ditching your high-cut panties and wearing seamless boy shorts or women’s biker shorts instead, especially under dresses. The smooth, sweat-wicking layer of fabric over your inner thighs will prevent them from sticking to and rubbing against each other. Make sure the boy-short panties you choose don’t have seams along the inner thighs.
2. Wear Compression Clothing
Many cases of chafing are caused by loose skin. Compression clothing, more commonly referred to as everyday shapewear, smoothes and compresses the skin, preventing friction on your inner thighs. Thus, no chafing. You can even find postpartum shapewear specially designed to deal with the changes in your body caused by pregnancy.
Even if you don’t have loose skin, consider wearing seamless shapewear that covers your inner thighs. This can prevent chafing by allowing your inner thighs to slide smoothly past each other. As a bonus, the shapewear will make your butt and thighs look firmer and more toned, and wearing compression clothing during a workout has been proven to speed up post-workout recovery.
3. Keep Clean
Many cases of chafing happen in hot weather because of the effect of dried sweat on the skin and clothes. Dried sweat residue can give your formerly soft clothing the texture of sandpaper. Also, while the beach is a fun place to play and exercise, beach outings are notorious for leaving your skin a wreck. If you go for a dip in the ocean, the water makes sand stick to your skin, and as the ocean water dries, it leaves salt behind, which makes chafing worse.
Wash salt, sand and sweat off as quickly as possible. Some beaches have freshwater showering stations installed for post-ocean rinsing. If your favorite beach does not have one, you could invest in a camp shower for rinsing. Or, bring along a container of water and some soft washcloths for this purpose. You could also use baby wipes to keep your inner thigh area clean and chafe-free. Make sure to dry the skin well after rinsing.
In general, if you are prone to inner-thigh chafing, carrying some baby wipes around all of the time is an excellent idea. You could stop for a breather on your run and wipe away any sweat accumulating on your inner thighs. Whenever you use the ladies’ room, you can quickly clean the area with your handy wipes and prevent sweat from causing painful chafing.
4. Keep Dry
Hot, humid weather makes you sweat, and sweaty skin tends to chafe. One option for avoiding chafing is to move your workout indoors during hot weather. Run on a treadmill in an air-conditioned gym or at your home instead of outside. If you’d rather exercise outdoors, consider options that don’t cause as much thigh friction, like kayaking, swimming, or water aerobics. You can also wear a pair of women’s biker shorts that extend past the length where the chafing happens so you don’t have to wear leggings in the heat, but you’re still protecting your thighs from rubbing together.
One popular approach to eliminating moisture from your chafing-prone areas is to apply a drying powder to the skin. Keep the area dry by applying the powder and letting it absorb the moisture. You can find drying powders formulated to match your skin tone.
5. Apply Anti-chafing Products
If all else fails and you are still experiencing chafing, invest in an anti-chafing product. These products usually come in a stick form, similar to standard deodorant. Gently rub the product on the skin of your inner thighs, and it will make them slippery. Your inner-thigh skin will slide smoothly instead of sticking and chafing. In a pinch, take a tip from comedian Amy Schumer and apply stick deodorant to your inner thighs. However, dermatologists warn that if you use deodorant in that area, it should only be very occasionally; use it too often and it can over-dry the skin and create even more irritation.
Thigh chafing is a common issue that affects people of all shapes and sizes. It can cause major discomfort and, in severe cases, health complications. However, with a few preventative measures, you can avoid this problem and enjoy a chafe-free life. The key is wearing the right kind of undergarments to keep your skin clean, dry and slippery. By doing so, you’ll be able to say goodbye to thigh chafing for good!