Chafing of any kind can cause extreme discomfort. However, given that we use our arms for pretty much any task, underarm chafing is considered to be extremely painful given where it occurs. At No More Chafe, we aim to provide top solutions to chafing for all occasions. Find out more about armpit chafing when running and how to prevent it.
What is armpit chafing?
Armpit chafing occurs when the outer layer of the skin is rubbed off due to constant motion and leads to underlying skin becoming dry and sore. Underarm chafing is very common amongst runners given the friction that occurs as your arms move up and down to propel you forwards. As well as thriving upon friction, chafing is usually present where the skin is dry and therefore prone to harsh rubbing. Given Australia’s all-year-round heat causing the skin to dry out, anyone can experience underarm dryness when running and is prone to chafing. For this reason, you should take extra precautions when running and follow these simple steps to avoid underarm chafing.
How to avoid underarm chafing
Wear correct clothing
We understand that many people want to look as good as possible when running, panting, and sweating profusely. However, when it comes to clothing, make sure that you run in something that fits you correctly. This is because running in something that is too loose does not provide adequate layering between skin-on-skin and therefore does not prevent rubbing when in motion. Similarly, clothing that is too tight causes skin constriction and may also cause chafing. We suggest that you opt for seamless garments on your next run which, when worn to the correct size, comfortably sit on the skin and are breathable. Some fabrics expand when wet, which causes looseness under the arms, however, this is less likely to happen with seamless wear which keeps your underarms as fresh as possible when running. Look good. Feel good.
Don’t dry out, drink water!
It's important to stay hydrated before, during, and after exercise. If you are dehydrated, your body cannot flush away salt crystals which are a byproduct of dried sweat. It is these salt crystals that provide a rough surface underneath the arms which, when rapid motion occurs, can cause friction and chafed skin. As a result, we recommend that you drink one cup of water 30 minutes before running, and at least 2 cups afterwards. This will ensure that you are completely hydrated and prevent chafing.
It’s very easy to simply wear protective clothing, drink a glass of water, and hope for the best when it comes to chafing. However, we suggest that you consider at-home actions that prevent underarm chafing. This includes thoroughly washing your armpits after a run with moisturising soap and water to remove crystal salt buildup. Also, it may be worth investing in deodorant that specifically aids dry skin types. This acts as a lubricant when running so that your arms do not rub together harshly and cause irritation or redness.
Chafing does not only affect underarms; nipples or thigh chafing may also become an issue when running. If this is the case for you, then there are other preventive measures that you can take to stop chafing in these areas. Contact the team at No More Chafe for more help and advice.