Chafing between your things is, well, the worst. We know. But there are ways to avoid it (no thigh-gap needed) — or if you’re already past the slightly uncomfortable point, treat it so it goes away. It all starts with a few key issues…
The Problem: Lots of Friction
Too much rubbing for whatever reason — walking, working out, or wearing your favorite tight skinny jeans — could make your skin weak and wear away.
The Problem: Excessive Sweating
Moisture can break down the top layer of skin leaving it chafed, irritated, and painful.
How to prevent it: Talcum powder does a good job at protecting your skin from perspiration. Dust on a fine layer before starting your day. For a little more coverage, roll on some antiperspirant in your most sensitive areas.
The Problem: Irritating Workout Gear
If you’re not wearing the right type of exercise clothing, your thighs will really pay (and we don’t mean with new muscles) for all those rep moves. And who wants to spend an hour kick-boxing if you’re going to leave with red, raw skin?
How to prevent it: Ditch any loose fitting cotton pants — they’ll just “trap moisture and irritate the skin further,” says Hanlon. Instead, she recommends choosing moisture-wicking materials that cling to your body. You could also consider alternating the days you do upper and lower body training to give your thighs a break.
Too late and already hurting? Try these tricks:
1. Choose a mild cleanser and don’t scrub. Using harsh soaps can aggravate your skin and make the situation a lot worse. Wash gently with warm water and a pH neutral, moisturizing bar like Dove.
2. Wear soft, breathable cotton clothing during the day, and cotton pajamas instead of a nightgown at night, says Dr. Kavita Mariwalla, a dermatologic surgeon at Stony Brook Hospital in New York.
3. Use plain Vaseline to soothe, protect, and heal the raw skin. Avoid creams with fragrance or fancy ingredients, they will likely irritate you more.
4. Go see your doctor. If things aren’t getting better, you may have an infection. When the skin is broken, yeast and bacteria can settle in and you may have to use a medicated cream.
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