Your friends beckon for you to catch up as they run ahead, but how do you tell them that every step is causing scraping agony? If you have to deal with chafing, this displeasing scenario can become your reality.

That said, there are many steps you can take to block chafing or ease it once it rears its ugly head. But what are these techniques?

Wonder no longer! With this list of our 7 essential tips on how to prevent chafing, you’ll never have to deal with burning thighs again!

Now let’s not waste any more time talking and jump right into this thing!

1. Your Clothes Matter

preventing chafing

The first thing you want to do when preventing chafing is to take a look at the clothes you exercise in. For example, while cotton shirts are comfortable, they also absorb sweat without any way to move it away from your body, creating wetness prime for chafing.

Instead, opt for moisture-wicking polyester or modal workout clothes that will divert the sweat from rubbing back onto you. You can also try spandex or tight-fitting clothes (think gym shorts) that don’t move much when you move, reducing the friction that causes chafing.

In some cases, keeping an eye on the seams of the garment can prove useful. This is because some outward seams can chafe against the skin, meaning you want to look for clothes where the seams don’t run up against your body.

It also doesn’t hurt to bring backup clothes when out exercising. If you start to feel some irritation, switch to less sweat-soaked or tighter-fitting clothes on the spot, so the problem doesn’t worsen.

2. Body Hair is Vital

For those dealing with significant armpit or groin chafing, letting your body hair grow out can help ease things. This is because the soft hairs act as a barrier between moisture and the skin, as well as lessening skin-to-skin contact.

That said, make sure to keep your body hair neat if you do trim it. Uneven cuts can lead to rough-edged hairs or stubble. This can then contribute to worse chafing.

Speaking of barriers, you can also stick bandages or padding between the chafed area and the rest of your skin to reduce chafing.

3. Slicken Up the Area

To put a stop to chafing while exercising. Consider using deodorants (for your armpits) or lubricants in high-chafe areas to provide some relief and help the skin generate less friction when making contact.

If you’re looking for at-home stuff to use, a little bit of petroleum jelly or Vaseline tends to reduce the amount of chafing you’ll experience. Various natural oils (like tea tree oil or coconut oil) can also help in this area.

Skin care also shouldn’t stop once you’re done exercising. Making sure your skin stays smooth and moisturized throughout the day puts you at a lower risk of friction than dry or irritated skin does. You should also drink plenty of water to reduce the odds that your sweat dries out and forms irritating crystals.


4. Pay Attention to How You Exercise

Another technique that addresses chafing is noting what kind of exercise you like to do. Different exercises cause different chafing problem areas, and the clothes you’ll need to counter it can change based on the exercise.

For example, let’s say you like to go running. Your main problem areas are thigh chafing and genital chafing (and for some women, the chest) because those are the parts that will move the most during the exercise. This same gear that assists with chafing for running might prove a surefire recipe for irritation with bodybuilding because it’s not addressing the more active areas of your body during that activity.

You also want to pay attention to where you’re working out. If you’re doing gymnastics on a mat, for example, you might want heavier clothing so that the mat doesn’t rub up against your skin as much.

5. The Shoes You’re Wearing Could Be the Culprit

If your case of chafing takes the form of blistered feet and bright-red ankles, it’s time to take a look at the shoes (and socks) you’re wearing. This often comes from shoes with an improper fit, as excessive looseness or tightness can cause your foot to shift or collide with the shoe while you walk.

This can also happen with your socks, particularly ones that don’t wick sweat away. Getting some moisture-wicking athletic socks for exercising should aid with this problem.

6. Slap Some Powder On

If lubricant isn’t your speed, spreading special powder across the affected areas can also help cut down on chafing. Talcum powder is one of the most common, suppressing sweat to block chafing and removing the smell (like deodorant).

You can also use baby powder or cornstarch as a substitute (don’t mix them with other powders, though). Some companies also make powders designed for specific areas on your body, like the underside of your breasts. You can find out more online if you’re looking to get talcum powder for men or women.

7. Treat It Immediately

Finally, if you start to feel the symptoms of chafing, it’s vital to stop and take immediate steps to address the issue. Step away and clean the affected area. If needed, take a break from physical activity to let the irritation cool down.

chafing thrives

Remember that chafing thrives in moist and dry areas, so take steps to relieve your skin while taking a break with gentle lotion or creams.

You Know How to Prevent Chafing…Now What?

So now that you have our 7 steps on how to prevent chafing, you’re ready to get out there and exercise without fear or irritation getting in the way!

But what if you need more tips for exercising safely and dodging any annoying medical issues that could arise as a result? Well, make sure to check out the rest of the articles on our blog if that’s the case!

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