Over 621 million people regularly run as it’s an exciting way to stay fit.
Every runner knows the pain and frustration of getting a chafing rush in the middle of a race. Perhaps you’re flaring up during a run, and it’s getting in the way of your exercise.
Sounds familiar? Luckily, you’ve come to the right place. Here are seven ways to prevent chafing rashes.
- Stay Clean
If you don’t know the chafing definition, know it’s a common skin ailment caused by friction, moisture, and fabric. For instance, when your shorts rub against your skin for an extended period, you develop a rash that may even swell and bleed. The most commonly affected areas are your feet, thighs, armpits, and groin area.
A simple way to prevent chafing is to shower after exercise and don clean underwear. Many people experience inner thigh chafing because a build-up of dirt becomes sticky and rubs against their clothes. If you don’t have access to washing facilities, use a body wipe to clean sweat and dirt from any sensitive areas.
- Apply an Anti-Chafing Salve
There are many anti-chafing products available that are designed to tackle a chafing rash. This salve, for example, uses nut butter to ease skin friction and is packed with vitamin E oil, so your skin stays soft.
To reap its benefits, slather the salve over the affected area to protect your skin. Or, if you’ve already got thigh chafing, apply it to the rash to promote healing.
- Wear Specialized Shorts
Avoid wearing cotton shorts when you’re running because it absorbs sweat and doesn’t pull away from your skin which creates friction. If you love wearing loose-fitted shorts, throw on a tighter pair underneath to prevent thigh chafing.
Cycling shorts are popular because they are inexpensive and constriction-free. You can also wear high-rise shorts that rest slightly above your hips to help wick away moisture.
Compression shorts are also great because they’re snug and extend further down the leg to protect your thighs. Or, if you want a style that’s in between compression and non-compression shorts, then get seamless shaping ones. These gently hug your thighs, so you have more freedom.
Once you’ve bought running-friendly clothes, take them for a test drive before going for a long run. You’ll know whether the waistband of the shorts cut into you within 10 minutes, so you know to apply more salve or change the size, so they don’t rub.
- Apply Anti-Chafing Powder
Moisture-wicking powders are a fast and effective way to dry your skin. Wet skin is prone to chafing, so use powder on the sweatiest parts of your body or areas that rub together like your thighs. This is a go-to solution during the warmer months when sweat gathers under your skin folds and begins to chafe.
You don’t need a specialized anti-chafing product either, as baby powder does the trick. Or apply cornstarch as it absorbs extra moisture from the skin to prevent itching. Simply sprinkle it over the affected area, and it’ll become silky smooth.
- Wear Thigh Bands
You can wear thigh bands higher on your leg, so your groin area is also protected. Most anti-chafing bands are made from synthetic microfiber, which wicks away moisture and prevents skin irritation. Plus, thigh bands don’t slip, thanks to the silicone band at the top.
- Don Anti-Chafing Underwear
Avoid wearing loose-fitting underwear with big seams as they’ll likely rub against your skin. Instead, find an anti-chafing design as these reduce moisture and friction, a perfect investment for runners.
When you’re comparing options, look for underwear that is made from nylon, polyester and contains cellulose-based fibers like viscose.
- Know the Proper After-Care
You’re back from your run, and you notice your thighs are burning. Ouch! The first thing to do is rinse them off in lukewarm water and clean the area with gentle soap. Ensure it’s mild to prevent the rash from stinging even more. And don’t scrub, instead make a soft, circular motion.
Eliminate any bacteria by applying an antibacterial ointment and then soothe your irritation with a salve. You can also use aloe vera either by squeezing the gel out of the leaf or buying ointment from the store. This has been used for centuries to soothe and treat burned skin, including chafing.
Or dab the affected area with coconut oil as it has anti-inflammatory properties which promote healing. Note that it’s not effective at preventing chafing and only works with soothing irritated skin. Try using a shea butter lotion as it’s packed with fatty acids that soften and nourish the ailment.
Once applied, your goal is to keep the affected area dry for the next several days so it can heal. To speed up the process, wear breathable underwear and loose-fitted clothing, so there’s no chance of chafing.
If it’s still sore, lather diaper rash cream over the area because it contains zinc oxide, which offers antibacterial protection. But if your skin worsens after a week and is swollen or bleeding, see a doctor as they’ll know how to treat it.
That’s How to Prevent a Chafing Rash
Hopefully, after reading this article, you now know how to prevent and heal a chafing rash.
Make sure you’re wearing moisture-wicking clothes, apply powder to stop the area from getting wet, and wear thigh bands. You must also be mindful with your after-care to soothe the skin, whether you’re applying a salve or coconut oil. Happy running!
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