Prevent Skin Chafing


There are a number of ways to prevent chafing. The experts at WebMD advise doing whatever you can to decrease the amount of friction to your skin. Click here for WebMD’s article on “Chafing.”

-Clothing: Sometimes chafing occurs from improper clothing. “Do not exercise in cotton,” say the experts at WebMD. The best clothes for exercising are made with synthetic fibers and have moisture-wicking abilities. The Walking Site recommends Coolmax®, Supplex® and Polypro, and advises against wearing new or untested clothing on a long run or walk. Make sure there are no seams in areas that will rub against your skin (i.e. thighs, underarms, chest). Compression shorts, similar to the kind cyclists wear, can also help prevent chafing on inner thighs.

-Remain Clean and Dry: Sweaty or wet skin can make chafing worse. WebMD suggests applying talcum and alum powders ahead of time to sweat-prone areas to help wick moisture away. Change out of wet or sweaty clothes as soon as possible. Wear clean, dry clothes to prevent skin chafing. Even clothes with dried sweat, chemicals, dirt or other debris can cause skin chafing or make it worse, according to an article from the National Institutes of Health’s Medline Plus.

-Pre-Treat with Lubricants: Most of us know where on our bodies we experience friction. For example, walkers or runners who have inner thighs that rub might want to know how to prevent chafing between the legs. While some experts suggest applying petroleum jelly to prevent chafing, this type of lubricant tends to be messy, greasy, and break down quickly. There are, however, many anti-chafing lubrication products on the market, including the 2Toms brand on this website. Treating areas of the skin prone to chafing – such as inner thighs, underarms and buttocks – with specific anti-chafing lubricants can greatly reduce or eliminate skin chafing altogether. These products are typically non-greasy and wash off with soap and water. To prevent nipple chafing, WebMD suggests covering nipples with tape (sport or medical tape works well) or patches to reduce the friction of clothing on skin.