Chafing is the term used to describe a variety of skin conditions that result from rubbing or irritation. Chafing typically affects areas with skin-to-skin contact, such as the thighs, groin, and underarms. If you're trying to deal with chafing yourself, this article will provide some home remedies for chafing and advice to help keep the symptoms down.
Avoid products with high alcohol content
Alcohol is a drying agent and can be found in many products, including deodorants and antiperspirants. This can cause skin irritation, especially for people with sensitive skin. Alcohol also makes the skin more prone to chafing because it dries out the outermost layer of your skin. So avoid using products that contain high alcohol content if you’re struggling with chafing, as this may make the problem worse.
Skip the antiperspirant
If you're one of the many people who experience chafing, there's a good chance you've found yourself reaching for an antiperspirant as a way to help keep your underarms dry and comfortable. The problem is that antiperspirants are not recommended for people with sensitive skin due to their high concentration of aluminium salts—and these can actually worsen the condition in some cases.
Wear loose clothing
Loose clothing is one of the best remedies for preventing chafing, but it also helps prevent other skin conditions. For example, tight jeans can cause ingrown hairs and irritation from friction between fabric and your legs. Some people prefer to shave their legs, but that can be dangerous if you aren't careful. The best solution is to wear loose pants or skirts made from breathable materials like cotton or linen that won't rub against each other as much when you move around a lot.
Rinse with cool water
Cool water is the best way to soothe chafed skin. The cool water will help bring down inflammation and prevent further irritation. Do not use soap, as it can make the area more irritated and dry out the skin. Scrubbing will only irritate your skin more; when you're showering, pat yourself down with a towel instead of rubbing vigorously.
When drying off, make sure that you’re patting yourself dry rather than rubbing. If you rub too excessively, you could cause chafing to worsen. A dry towel (or paper towels) will help reduce irritation by allowing moisture from sweat or other sources to evaporate more quickly than it would if it was trapped within the folds of the fabric against your sensitive areas for hours after exercise.
If you're struggling with chafing, don’t wait to treat it. The sooner you can get relief from the pain and discomfort, the better off you’ll be. If home remedies aren’t working for you—or if they just aren’t right for your particular condition—there are many other chafing treatments available to help with your symptoms. Your doctor can prescribe an antihistamine or topical steroid cream that will provide instant relief from itching and burning as well as reduce inflammation so that wounds heal faster without scarring.