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How to Prevent Thigh Chafing for Women and Men

December 29, 2020 6 min read

how to prevent thigh chafing

Thigh chafing is a common skin issue. Regardless of your size, you can experience thigh chafing after physical activity or during the heat of the summer. This is why it is important to know how to prevent thigh chafing. Luckily there are effective home remedies for preventing and treating chafing between the legs.

What Causes Thigh Chafing?

Thigh chafing is caused by friction when your inner thighs rub together, or when your skin rubs against your clothing. The result can be very painful. Also known as chub rub, thigh chafing can be mild, causing some irritation and discomfort. For some, inner thigh chafing can also be severe, causing welts and painful blisters that burn.

Thigh chafing can be caused by excessive sweating around the groin area due to exercise or physical activities. Walking long distances and running also increases the risk of thigh chafing. Due to the increase in humidity and heat, chafing on inner thighs is more common during summer.

Chafing can result from wearing clothes that are too thin or not thick enough to create a barrier between your thighs. When you wear leggings or shorts, they may not be thick enough to reduce the friction. In addition, wearing fabrics that do not absorb moisture in hot or humid weather can cause thigh chafing.

Chafing on thighs may also be caused by salt grits from dried sweat, sand on the skin from the beach, and dust on the skin from hiking or walking long distances. People with sensitive skin may experience thigh chafing as a reaction to a number of irritants.

How to Prevent Thigh Chafing

When figuring out how to prevent chafing look for ways to reduce sweating, rubbing, and friction. You can prevent chafing by choosing the right clothes, avoiding over-heating with hydration, and using products designed to prevent chafing.

Make the Right Wardrobe Choices

Wearing the right type of clothing is key to preventing thigh chafing.

For those who work out regularly, it is best to wear Spandex bottoms while exercising. Bottoms made from Spandex allow more room for movement, which prevents friction. Spandex is also moisture-wicking so sweat wicks away from the skin and eventually evaporates. Avoid cotton garments as they can hold on to moisture and make the skin prone to irritation.

When exercising or moving around in hot weather, wipe off sweat from your thighs. Be sure to change your clothes after engaging in any rigorous activity.

For casual wear, choose looser shorts or pants instead of restrictive bottoms like tight jeans or leggings. This reduces friction and allows for air to circulate. When possible, avoid garments that have poorly placed seams on the inner thighs. When seams rub against your skin constantly, chafing can occur. Instead, wear clothes that are seamless or have flat seams.

For women, there are anti-chafing thigh bands that prevent chafing. These bands look like garters and are worn around the thighs to cover areas prone to chafing. They have a slippery feel and are comfortable to wear.

Prevent thigh chafing by y choosing the right clothes, avoiding overheating with hydration, and using products designed to prevent chafing.

Anti-chafing shorts are also very effective in protecting the skin of your inner thighs. They work just like the thigh bands by offering a layer of protection from friction.

Apply Topical Anti-Chafing Products

Since thigh chafing is a common skin issue for men and women, a lot of products have been made to address it. Anti-chafing products range from gels to lotions to balms.

Once anti-chafing sticks or balms are applied to the chafe-prone area, they lubricate the skin and reduce friction. Most are petroleum jelly based and come in different shapes, sizes, and fragrances.

Body powder lotions are another topical anti-chafing product that works well. They provide all of the benefits of body powder, but without the mess. Body powder lotions go on the skin in lotion form and then dry up quickly, transforming into a powder. The powder then absorbs moisture, and reduces friction.

Similar to balms, anti-chafing creams come in lotion or jelly form, which lubricate the skin to prevent chafing. Some anti-chafing creams also help soothe already chafed skin. If you find yourself in a bind, you can also use petroleum jelly to lubricate your inner thighs. Although it feels greasy and should not be used regularly, it is a great quick fix.

Ways to Treat Thigh Chafing

If your thighs are already chafed and burning, there are home remedies available to ease the pain and treat chafing. For example, apply aloe vera gel to the affected area and let it dry. With its cooling and anti-inflammatory properties, the juice from the aloe vera soothes the chafed skin.

Clean & Dry the Area

An important step to treat chafing between the legs is to keep the skin clean and dry.

Rinse the skin off with cool or lukewarm water to remove sweat, sand, dust, or other skin irritants. Then clean the skin using a mild soap. Avoid harsh soaps that may sting your already sensitive skin. (Do not scrub chafed skin as this will only aggravate the affected area and make it harder to heal.) Gently pat the skin dry using an absorbent, fluffy towel.

Once the skin is clean and dry, the burning sensation and pain will slowly subside.

Change Your Wardrobe

When dealing with thigh chafing, look to your wardrobe for relief. 

When exercising or engaging in any physical activity, opt for sweat-slicking wear. Clothes made with Spandex fabrics are best for these kinds of activities as they do not retain sweat. 

Instead of wearing fitted pants or skinny jeans, opt for breezy loose-fitting cotton clothes. When at home, wear loungewear that is breathable and comfortable to protect thighs from friction and irritation. Choose nightwear made from breathable fabric, like cotton.

With its cooling and anti-inflammatory properties, the juice from the aloe vera soothes the chafed skin.

Moisturize & Soothe

Apply a natural, fragrance-free moisturizer to the affected area. This will keep the skin lubricated while you move around. Plain petroleum jelly or shea butter moisturizer can work wonders.

You can also soothe the burning skin with pure aloe vera gel or any other anti-chafing cream. The goal is to keep the affected area cool during the healing process. While your first instinct might be to lie in front of a cool fan to soothe the pain, it is best to promote healing with the aid of balms, gels, and other home remedies. Coconut oil and cucumber slices also help soothe the chafed skin and promote healing.

Speak to a Doctor

If your condition doesn’t improve after trying home remedies for inner thigh chafing, it might be time to contact your doctor. If left untreated, thigh chafing can become infected and create bigger problems. If your skin swells, secretes blood or puss, or is hot to touch, contact your doctor immediately.

Chafing in Other Areas

The crevices of the body are the most prone to chafing. For example, the armpits, thighs, crotch, and under the breasts are more likely to chafe due to constant skin-to-skin contact and skin-to-fabric friction. The shoulders and back are also prone to chafing, especially for women. Pressure from bra straps and backpack straps can cause the skin around the shoulders to get irritated and begin to chafe.

For runners and other sports enthusiasts, nipple chafing can be a constant irritant. Friction from the constant rubbing of the nipple against fabric sometimes causes chafing. For women, this can be prevented by wearing a sports bra that has a soft fabric covering the nipple area. For men, lubricating the nipples with petroleum jelly or covering nipples with band-aids can prevent chafing.

Sometimes men experience chafing balls or groin. This can be prevented by applying anti-chafing products to the groin area and keeping the pubic hair trimmed and clean.

While thigh chafing can be painful, there are ways to prevent and treat it with products, wardrobe changes, and maybe even a visit to your doctor.

If you are a man who also struggles with crotch or butt sweat, try out Ejis sweat proof boxer briefs (buy in our shop or on Amazon). They are made from natural and soft micro modal fabric with ultra thin sweat protection in the butt, back of the legs, and crotch to keep your pants dry. The fabric is also fused with real silver to fight odor-causing bacteria.  

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