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3 Strategies to Reduce Chafing

3 Strategies to Reduce Chafing

by Sarah Thomas

Friction from skin on skin or skin on fabric can result in dreaded chafing, especially for those who participate in endurance sports. If you’ve ever rubbed your inner thighs raw on a long run, you know the feeling. It’s referred to as “chub rub,” except you don’t have to be chubby to get it. For women who prefer to go braless as well as men, chafing (and bleeding!) can also occur as a result of the friction between the nipples and shirt. Some people even wear bandages to prevent this from happening.

You get the idea. Chafing is painful. The skin swells, reddens, burns, and can even bleed from the constant skin-on-skin rubbing or skin-on-fabric rubbing. Not to mention the pain when you get into the shower with freshly chafed body parts.

Chafe happens. But you can minimize this type of irritation with the following tips, including using an aluminum-free deodorant between your thighs or anywhere else you are likely to chafe.

Hydration Before, During, and After Your Workout

You probably know what happens if you go into a workout already dehydrated. You don’t have the energy to do your best. You probably also know what happens when you don’t keep replenishing your fluids during a workout. You hit a wall. But, did you know that being dehydrated can also make you more prone to chafing? Staying hydrated keeps your sweat from drying and turning into salt crystals. You don’t want those salt crystals to cling to your skin because they act like sandpaper. You want your body to be able to sweat enough water to wash those away.

Lube Up Before You Go

There are tons of anti-chafe products on the market designed to keep the skin lubricated enough to prevent friction. To create a protective layer, be sure to apply your favorite product to reduce friction on sensitive areas of the body, such as armpits, thighs, groin, and nipples. A multipurpose skin-safe and hypoallergenic deodorant is an excellent choice because you can use it on areas that are prone to chafing as well as odor. If you are going on a long run or hike, you might want to pack some individually-wrapped deodorant wipes and your anti-chafe tube or stick with you.

Choose the Right Clothes

Loose or cotton clothing is not the best option for avoiding chafing. You may not notice any chafing at first, but the constant rubbing sneaks up on you after a while. If your shorts are too short, your thighs will rub together, and if they’re too loose, your skin will rub against your shorts. Finding the perfect running shorts is a challenge! Choose a moisture-wicking fabric that pulls sweat away from the skin and is breathable such as Lycra or Spandex. Seamless clothes may help, as well. Try to keep your skin dry if possible because wet skin can make chafing worse.

Sarah Thomas

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