What's It Like to Chafe as a Postman?

What's It Like to Chafe as a Postman?

Posted by Jack Miller on 3rd Oct 2022

Delivering the mail is a tough job, particularly in our challenging climate. Repeated movement in the heat can cause various problems for posties, of which chafing is an especially unwelcome one. Take a look at why postmen and postwomen are at risk from chafing and how best to deal with this painful condition effectively.

Thigh chafing is an occupational hazard

Chafing occurs when two areas of skin rub against each other repeatedly. It may also occur when the skin is rubbing against clothing or footwear. This repeated movement creates friction, which eventually begins to rub away the top layer of the skin. If the unprotected areas of skin continue to rub, sufferers are left with an open, weeping area where the skin has been removed entirely. Not only is this incredibly sore, but it's also easy for germs to enter the wounded area, causing infection. Chafe happens more quickly when the skin is damp, which is why sweaty skin is especially prone to chafing.

Posties are on the move throughout their shift, with repetitive movements forming a key part of their activities. Delivering mail when the temperature rises is inevitably a sweaty process, which, along with the amount of physical exertion being a postman entails, means chafing is an occupational hazard.

Where is chafing likely to occur?

The amount of walking that the average postie completes puts their inner thighs at particular risk of chafing. Posties that carry a bag may notice chafing across their shoulder or under the armpit.

Signs of chafing

Usually, the first indication that something is amiss is when an area begins to be tender whilst performing an activity - for posties, sore inner thighs are usually the first sign that they're chafing. The affected area will look red and there may be small patches of raw skin. It's important to treat chafing as soon as you notice initial reddening if possible - the longer it's left and activity continues, the more uncomfortable it will become and the longer it will take to heal.

Chafing prevention for posties

Posties are always going to be at risk of chafing, due to the nature of their job. Luckily there are a number of different preventative measures that can be employed to minimise the risk. Some of these are detailed below.

Wear anti-chafing undergarments

These handy undergarments like anti chafing shorts protect the inner thigh area, helping to keep skin dry and fresh.

Wear breathable clothing

Cotton or other breathable material helps to wick moisture away from the skin, reducing chafing risk.

Wear clothes that fit properly

Baggy clothing is more likely to bunch or fold, creating a firm ridge that can easily cause chafing. Ideally, clothing should be loose, but not fitted.

Guard against rain

Posties are out in all weather, including rain. Wet clothing is more likely going to bring on chafed skin. Wear appropriate wet weather gear, and, if you do get caught out, make sure you dry off and change into dry clothes as soon as possible.

Posties deserve to be comfortable at work - use preventative measures to eliminate the risk of painful, unwanted chafing.