Chafing affects millions of people every day, so you are not alone. Some assume that only larger bodies experience chafing, but that is 100% not true.
When moisture and friction team up, skin irritation and chafed skin can occur. At its best, chafing is uncomfortable and not great to look at. But at its worst, chafing can cause bleeding, swelling, and permanent discoloration.
Don’t worry; there are plenty of ways to learn how to reduce chafing no matter where on your body the chafing issue is.
Chafing relief falls into two camps: methods to prevent chafing and treatment to ease the effects of chafing. This guide offers plenty of both types of help, so you will no doubt find the relief from chafing you desire.
Prevent: Wear the Right Clothing
Chafing almost always occurs when clothing traps moisture and rubs it against your skin. So, wearing the right clothes could be the key to figuring out how to reduce chafing.
Let’s start with clothing materials. Most types of wool, velvet, polyester, and cotton, are the biggest culprits in causing chafing.
These materials soak up moisture from water or sweat and do not dry fast enough. And any items of clothes that have embellishments like sequins and buttons can cause problems, too. Good fabrics that are less likely to cause chafing are lycra, nylon, mesh, and (in small strips) lace.
But no matter the material, any item of clothing could cause chafing if the cut is uncomfortable. Always wear clothes that fit you like Goldilocks. Not too big, not too small, but exactly right.
Many people have to deal with chafed thighs in the summer when wearing skirts and dresses in the heat. To prevent this issue, wear anti-chafe bike shorts or thigh bands.
Make sure you choose appropriate clothing for your daily activities, e.g., exercise. And, if you are uncertain whether a garment will cause chafing or not, bring backup clothing. Remove wet clothes straight away, and do not sit around in wet swimsuits.
Prevent: Wear the Best Deodorant or Antiperspirant
Many people experience chafing in their underarm region because, as you know, this area is prone to sweating. This is why you must wear the best deodorant (or antiperspirant) you can to avoid irritation.
Contrary to popular belief, most deodorants do not stop you from sweating. They only help mask the smell of your sweat. So, they may not be effective in giving you relief from chafing.
Instead, opt for an antiperspirant. They will stop you from sweating altogether. Try an antiperspirant made for sensitive skin, too, so it will be kind to your irritated skin.
Prevent: Use Anti-Chafe Dusting Powder or Gel
There are several products available that have the specific purpose of stopping chafing. And the best anti chafe products help every affected body part from your thighs, breasts, and bum.
Anti-chafe powders work like talcum powder. When rubbed on the skin, they soak up excess moisture to keep the skin dry. You can use the real deal, or you can opt for budget options like baby dusting powder or cornstarch.
Note: Don’t use real talcum powder as the ingredients can remove moisture, but they can also irritate the skin.
Or, you go in the other direction and use a gel or thick cream instead. Petroleum jelly is a favorite amongst hikers for lessening friction that can cause blisters, and it can do the same for chafing. It is best used on small, sensitive areas like nipples.
Rubbing petroleum jelly all over the inside of your thighs might not be a practical solution.
Cocoa butter could also work for you. Whichever product you choose, buy a travel-sized version to put in your bag so you can reapply throughout the day.
Prevent: Check Your Laundry Products
People who suffer from chafing may have more sensitive skin than others. You can irritate your skin less by switching to a non-bio laundry detergent.
And opt for a hypoallergenic fabric softener with natural scents. If the detergent and fabric softener is suitable for baby clothing, it will likely be gentle enough for sensitive skin.
Treatment: Wash the Affected Area
If you are prone to chafing often, sometimes the inevitable happens, and your skin starts to become irritated.
Try to identify and rectify the issue ASAP. The first thing you should do is wash the area with gentle soap and lukewarm water. This will soothe your chafed skin by removing sweat and chemicals from pool water, for example.
Always pat the skin dry and never rub, as this can make the irritation worse.
Treatment: Use a Product To Reduce Irritation
After washing the affected area, apply a product that will not only soothe irritation but prevent any more chafing.
This is why it is a good idea to invest in an antiperspirant that is also gentle; in case you need to apply it to sore, sensitive skin! Aloe vera gel, vegetable oil, and shea butter all help soothe irritated skin. Apply a liberal amount as often as you need.
If the chafing is very sore, you may want to apply a cold pack. Don’t keep it on your skin for longer than 20 minutes at a time.
Treatment: Let the Affected Area Get Fresh Air
The worst thing you can do irritated skin is to keep doing whatever it was that irritated the skin in the first place. Do not take off an item of clothing, treat your chafed skin, and put on the same item of clothing again.
Wherever possible, let the affected part of your skin breathe and do not cover it up. If any movement or activity makes the chafing worse, try to sit still for a while.
Learn How To Reduce Chafing With These Tips
Figuring out how to reduce chafing can seem like an uphill battle. But chafing does not have to be something you put up with forever. If you persist and keep trying these tips, you will no doubt find the answer to your chafing problems.
And then you will be able to live, move, and enjoy life exactly how you want to.
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