How To Prevent Chafing During Exercise

It is the bane of the overweight: you want to exercise but your thighs rub together when you do, causing horrible chafing that appears shortly after you exercise and sometimes does not go away for days. Sometimes the chafing will not just cause you a little red skin but can actually rub off the top layers of skin causing, you extreme pain when walking.

The best way to deal with chafing is to prevent it in the first place. Chafing is caused by excessive sweat increasing the friction in places where one part of your skin can rub against another or against your clothing, especially at your legs and in the groin area. This friction can cause the top layers of skin to become very pink and sore, or, if you are rubbed raw, you are likely taking off several layers of skin.  You do not want to let it get this bad, because healing could take quite some time and you would probably be miserable the whole time.

To prevent chafing, make certain your underwear is not too loose. Loose clothing creates more friction. Wear snugly-fitting absorbent cotton underwear when you exercise. The cotton will absorb extra moisture from your skin and will be softer on your skin if it does rub.

If you wear tight exercise wear such as spandex, be certain it fits snugly so that it does not move when you exercise. It should move with your body, not against it. Certainly your underwear and your spandex should not rub in the opposite directions, as this will create the greatest amount of friction.

If you have chafing, take care of it quickly after exercise. Use something very soothing on it so that you can walk without pain. Baby powder is an excellent choice, because it will absorb moisture and will provide lubrication for surfaces that continue to rub.  Be very careful about applying any ointments or lotions to the chafed areas because you do not want these areas to remain moist. If you keep the chafed areas dry they will heal more quickly. Another type of powder to use is one that contains cornstarch; cornstarch powder is very absorbent and will act as a dry surface against the chafed areas.

Allow your body time to heal from chafing before you go at the exercise full throttle for a while. Chafing heals relatively quickly if you help your body along and don't aggravate the injury.  Make certain your exercise clothing or underwear are not the source of your problem; if they are, change them out.  Once you've healed, get back to your workout!


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