How To Prevent Chafing Using a Chafing Cream

Written by on March 19, 2019 in News Flash with 0 Comments

Have you ever felt your thighs hurt as if they're brushed against a cheese grater? That’s what you call chafing. It’s a runner's rite of passage. It results from the friction when your skin rubs against your clothing or your skin itself. Anyone who suffers from this excruciating pain will need to use a chafing cream.

What is Chafing?

Chafing is a skin injury that is caused by friction. It’s when the outer layer of the skin (epidermis) is rubbed, which creates microscopic tears. This results in exposing the skin layer below (dermis). This also makes the skin red, irritated, and raw. The groin, thighs, underarms, nipples, and under breast are vulnerable. But then, this can occur to any part of your body.

Why are runners more vulnerable to chafing?

Runners and other endurance athletes are more likely to feel friction because of repetitive movements. The friction is because of the skin-to-skin contact of different body parts, together with their sweat. The likelihood of chafing will increase when there’s excess moisture from sweating. It will also increase in damp weather conditions and during water sports.

As we perspire, the salt and sea water will aggravate the situation. They act like sandpaper, as they grind and irritate the skin. Runners who experienced chafing will be in an extremely painful situation.

How to Prevent Chafing?

  1. For runners, it’s advisable to pay attention to the kind of fabric you’re wearing. Stop using cotton because cotton will absorb sweat, and it will stay wet. What you need to do is to wear sweat-wicking fabrics. It’s important to note that the clothing layers closest to the skin must be moist-wicking fabric. This will deliver sweat away from the body. This also minimizes the irritation or rubbing.
  2. Tags and seams on bras and t-shirts can cause irritation as you wear them. Consider using seamless and tagless clothing.
  3. The excess material of baggy shirts can rub you raw. Too tight bras can dig in and can cause discomfort. What you can do is to make sure that you choose socks, base layers, and underwear with an ergonomic fit. They should fit just right. Loose-fitting garments and sweat can make you feel uncomfortable. This increases the chances of rubbing.

Our feet can swell, too, especially in hot weather. It’s best to wear apparel that has a certain amount of “give”. You need to check the materials for elastane presence that will indicate this.

  1. Wear compression shorts to protect your legs. Compression shorts or running tights can protect your inner thighs from abrasions.
  2. For men, protecting your nipples are just as important as protecting your thighs. You will need to cover your nipples up. You can use plasters and nipple tapes to shield yourself from the risk of chafing.
  3. Identify the body parts that are prone to chafing. Then, apply lubricants to those parts. The cheapest option is Vaseline. However, it contains petroleum jelly, which may stain your gear. This may not be a good option if you’re on a triathlon.
  4. Stay hydrated. Fluids are very important to keep on top of. Staying hydrated has countless benefits to your body. Among those benefits is to reduce the risk of chafing. Being dehydrated means that your body won’t be able to flush the salts away from your skin easily.

What you need to do is to drink a lot of water before, during, and after you exercise. This will allow you to perspire freely. Your perspiration will not dry into salt crystals, reducing the risk of chafing.

  1. Make sure to moisturize your skin. Doing this reduces the risk of chafing.
  2. Look for alternatives to prevent chafing. A chafing cream is among the most popular alternatives that can help you. You just need to apply it on the affected body part and you’ll be good.

How to Treat Chafing?

There are two steps to treat chafing:

  1. Shower as soon as you finish your run. The water must be lukewarm. Use an anti-bacterial soap to protect yourself from harmful bacteria. These bacteria can creep into the exposed skin and cause problems.
  2. Soothe it by using a chafing cream. Creams such as this are perfect for your skin because they don’t contain petroleum, wax, and silicone. There are a lot of endurance athletes suffering from hot spots and painful blisters on their feet. They find that creams containing wax, silicone, or petroleum don’t yield the results they need.

How to Use a Chafing Cream

Chafing creams are way better than the other ointments because they don't only lubricate the skin. They also form a semi-permeable membrane on the skin. This protects the skin from blistering and chafing.

Here are the steps to apply it:

  1. Apply the cream on any area that is susceptible to blistering or chafing.
  2. Then, rub it on those areas for about thirty seconds. Wait until it feels tacky or stiff. This feeling is only temporary.
  3. Wait for it to dry for about two to three minutes.

Once it is completely dry, you’ll notice how smooth your skin is. You can easily put on your workout gear or socks after.

Thigh chafing is something that a lot of people avoid talking about, just like excessive sweating. But it’s so common that there are so many ways to prevent it. One of the helpful ways is to use chafing creams. However, not all chafing creams have the same effect. You’ll need to do a lot of research for you to choose the best one.

The Bottom Line

This is all you need to know about chafing. Follow these tips to prevent thigh chafing as soon as it happens. Whether or not it’s a constant concern, you already know what to do. Use anti chafing products and use these tips as your guide. If your skin isn’t healing and the irritation doesn’t go away, it’s better to consult your doctor. Swelling, pus, and redness are just few of the signs of skin infection.

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