6 Ways to Treat and Prevent Chafing For Runners or Athletes
As heat waves approach, so does chafing. Although many people experience this uncomfortable situation, chafing may be the bane of your existence if you're more active.
Chafing results from a combination of friction, sweat, and humidity in the sensitive areas of the skin. Besides friction, chafing also constitutes rashes and welts. Some common areas that are prone to chafing include nipples, thighs, underarms, and groin.
But just because it happens doesn't mean you have to put up with it. So, how to get rid of chafing? How can you prevent it? Let's find out.
How To Get Rid of Chafing?
According to Dr. Howe, an MD and dermatologist, "Some people are predisposed to chafing because they just have sensitive skin. Another factor is hairiness, which can present a problem."
Chafing could be due to several reasons, including excessive activity and obesity. However, the prime concern for most people is how to help chafing decrease since it leads to blister formation on the skin, limiting mobility.
If you experience excessive chafing, here are six ways to treat and prevent the problem:
1) Aloe Vera
Aloe vera has traditionally been used as a chafing remedy since it has medicinal properties. Along with soothing burnt skin, aloe vera is also known for treating surface wounds.
Since it has antibacterial and antioxidant properties, it also keeps the chafed area safe from infection and oxidative damage.
Another benefit of using aloe vera is that it reduces inflammation and irritation of the skin.
If you grow aloe at home, break off a leaf and cut it longitudinally to get the gel out. Alternatively, you can buy aloe vera at a food store in a bottle or a tub. Aloe vera is readily available online and in drugstores.
2) Coconut Oil
Another chafing remedy is coconut oil application. Research shows that coconut oil helps in reducing inflammation, healing wounds, and killing bacteria from the site of infection.
If you have coconut oil at home, dab a small amount of it on the chafed area. It will help soothe the feeling of discomfort and will help moisturize the skin too.
However, keep in mind that you cannot use coconut oil as a preventative measure since it does not stay on the skin long. Instead, you can use it as a treatment method for irritated skin.
As discussed earlier, chafing is caused due to friction and can cause burns. The 2Toms SportShieldanti-chafing roll-on reduces friction to prevent blister formation.
Moreover, the formula creates an invisible coating over your skin, providing a protective barrier that prevents friction and rubbing for the whole day. Even better, the roll-on is waterproof and sweatproof, preventing chafing for the rest of the day.
Since the formula is dye-free and fragrance-free, it's great for regular use. More importantly, it does not contain animal products or toxins, keeping your skin safe from detrimental effects. The roll-on protects the inside of the thighs, groin, over the nipples, toe tops, underarms and under athletic support straps or bras.
4) Petroleum Jelly
A British Journal of Sports Medicine study showed that petroleum jelly could be used to reduce irritation on chafed skin.
Another benefit of using petroleum jelly is that it doesn't readily absorb into the skin. Because of this, it can be used as a preventative measure against chafing. Thus, if you're wondering how to get rid of chafing and you have Vaseline at home, you're good to go but it might not last as long as anti-chafing product would.
Cornstarch can effectively absorb moisture from your skin, preventing itching and irritation. Plus, it leaves a smooth and silky sensation on the skin, preventing irritation in the future too.
Cornstarch is also a safer alternative to talcum powders since they have been associated with cancer.
6) Preventing Chafing
The simplest way to prevent chafing is by reducing friction which is the prime culprit behind chafing. It would help if you used anti-chafing balms, gels or creams to minimize friction, especially when you're doing an extensive activity.
But how to help chafing decrease through proper clothing? One of the most important things to consider when choosing clothing is to opt for breathable materials. Whether you're shopping for bras, undies, pants, or shirts, make sure they feel light and airy against your skin.
Plus, use anti chafing products regularly to prevent moisture accumulation in susceptible areas, such as the groin and underarms. It would help if you also covered up chafed areas of the skin to prevent infections. Make sure to cover the irritated areas with bandages and adhesive moleskin.
How to Prevent Chafing Thighs?
To prevent chafing on the thighs, do the following:
Choose Light Compression Shorts: Shorts will cover areas that have been previously chafed, preventing any further damage. Wear spandex tights and running skirts with built-in shorts to prevent chafing.
Fabric: Choose sweat-wicking materials for fitness gear.
Lubricant: If you have a history of chafing, use a lubricant on the susceptible areas when you're running or training for a marathon.
How to Prevent Chafing in Groin Region?
Meanwhile, to prevent chafing in the groin region, follow these tips:
Bike Shorts with Built-in Chamois: Shorts with chamois in them are equipped to keep moisture away from your skin.
Lubricant: If you're a biker or a runner, apply lubricant in the groin region.
Snug Shorts: Wear shorts that aren't overly tight. Make sure your shorts do not bunch up in the groin area.
PLEASE NOTE: The information on this website and article is for information only and should not be used as a substitute for consulting your doctor. Consult your doctor for proper diagnosis and rehabilitation.