Anyone who has experienced chafing will be well aware of the pain it can cause. Most of us turn to home remedies or products to help chafed skin, which seldom prove to be very useful. However, knowing the things that can make chafing worse can sometimes be beneficial, as you can avoid the issue in the first place.
To know this, helps us to know the mechanics of chafing, and why it happens. In simple terms, when your thighs rub together, the build-up of friction can cause chafing. Too much of this action can feel pretty relentless on your skin, and can sometimes lead to irritation, rashes, blisters, or skin infections in the worst case scenario.
Here we offer some insight into the things that can make chafing worse, and how it can be reduced:
While we would never recommend letting chafe holding you back from running, it can be helpful to take some extra precautions so it doesn’t cause you too much pain while you’re trying to exercise. Chafing can also be worsened due to skin on skin contact. To reduce this as much as possible, applying some lubricant to your skin before you start running normally does help on a short term basis.
Warm weather is one of the worst enemies for people who suffer from chafing. When clothing starts to stick to the body is when chafing tends to occur. This can lead to some extremely painful irritation, which will undoubtedly ruin your exercise regimen, or make you feel worse for it afterwards. If your chafing is particularly bad during any period, you could try a form of exercise that doesn’t cause you to excessively sweat, whist encouraging friction on the body, such as swimming. You’ll still feel like you’ve had a proper work out, but your skin will thank you for it too.
3. Crossing your legs
Without even thinking about it, many of us automatically find ourselves sitting cross-legged. It seems to be a position that we as humans find comfortable. However, you definitely won’t feel comfortable once it’s made your chafing worse. Sitting in this position increases friction, so it might be time to switch it up. Also sitting for long periods of time in general, will actually generate sweat between your thighs, when you get up to walk, you will find that chafing will occur rather quickly afterwards.
4. Wearing shorts
Shorts are a common go-to in hot weather, especially if you’re going on holiday. Unfortunately, this form of clothing will inevitably worsen your chafing, as friction is constantly being created in the inner-thigh area. We know longer clothing like jeans is a no-no in hot weather, but if you’re a woman, the better thing for chafing might be skirts or dresses, as they don’t include the interior piece of seamed fabric that tends to cause the biggest issues.
5. Forgetting to dry
Having dipped in the pool, we’re all guilty of leaving the sun to dry us off. If you decide to walk around while your skin is still wet, we guarantee that you’ll experience chafing on some level. It’s better to dry off with a towel, and even sprinkle some baby powder on the area before getting dressed or moving around.
For more guidance on reducing chafing, check out No More Chafe.