We can all agree that the feeling that you get when you complete a workout is pretty great, it is really like no other feeling… Although this feeling could be slightly tainted for you, because as well as feeling this big endorphin rush you might be feeling some discomfort.
This discomfort might be due to chafing, which is also known as ‘runner’s rash’. First of all we are going to bust a pretty big myth surrounding chafing, because this is really common for people of all shapes and of all sizes, even individuals who have great fitness and who work out on a regular basis.
Read on for a definition of what exactly chafing is, and our 5 tips on how to prevent it happening when you workout.
What Causes Chafing?
Contrary to popular belief, chafing is one of the most common and one of the most unfortunate side effects of exercise. It is caused by skin-on-skin rubbing, or alternatively chafing can be caused by your skin rubbing against fabric.
Chafing can also occur due to excess sweating during exercise, and as we said before, this can happen to anyone during exercise. Chafing can feel quite uncomfortable because it is all to do with the combination of wet, sweaty skin along with rubbing – this can cause a burning sensation which leads to your skin chafing.
The burning sensation occurs due to the prolonged rubbing of friction, moisture and irritating fabric on your skin. In appearance, you will notice that chafing looks like a red rash, but it can also lead to bleeding skin.
Both men and women can suffer from chafing through exercise, and this chafing is not just limited to the thigh area. This is where chafing most commonly occurs, but there are other parts of the body where chafing can occur.
Chafing can also occur in the underarms area too, so it is important that you invest in a high-quality deodorant that will serve you well not just in the underarm area, but in any area that you find to get particularly sweaty.
Additionally, you need to make sure that you work out in the appropriate garments that are quick drying and that will not cling on to sweat and moisture. Both men and women can purchase workout gear to suit them and this can help prevent chafing.
As your largest organ, your skin has an extremely vital role in taking care of your overall health. Your skin is not only strong, but it is flexible too – so much so that it protects your internal body from outside elements and influences.
Some examples of these are germs, or heat, and even physical harm. However, skin cells will reach a point where they are coming close to their limit. If they are overworked, then the skin cells will end up breaking down.
You need to ensure that your skin is clean and also dry, and it also needs to have just the right amount of body oil or body lotion so to prevent any kind of friction and chafing.
The repeated rubbing, especially when combined with moisture, will in turn make skin much more vulnerable and more likely to break down. This can be caused by endurance sports such as biking and running.
This also includes any other kinds of activities which combine together sweat and also repeated movements of the body. Chafing tends to occur where clothing or skin rubs on skin. However, it is not just through endurance sports that chafing can occur.
Chafing can just occur in daily life. For instance, women might find that when they are wearing a skirt in weather that is particularly hot or humid then they can develop chafing. This is because pants are not a barrier in this case, your legs are exposed and there is nothing to protect your legs from rubbing.
Alternatively, if your clothes do not fit you properly then this can be something that incurs chafing. For instance, you can experience chafing if your sleeves, or if your bra strap, or even if your waistband continuously rubs against your skin in a way that is annoying, then you can experience skin chafing.
Can You Stop Your Thighs From Sweating?
Well… you can’t exactly stop your body from producing sweat. However, there are preventative measures that you can take just to make working out a much more comfortable experience for you overall.
You need to dress to your best – and what we mean by this is that you need to wear clothes that will not rub you. Loose clothes can rub if you just wear them without layering. Some people prefer to work out in clothes that are not too tight fitting, but to avoid rubbing you could wear tighter garments underneath your loose fitting clothing.
For instance, men can purchase lycra shorts as can women, who can also purchase sports bras to add extra support when working out. Alternatively, you can purchase Sport Shield which works hard to prevent chafing.
The Sport Shield has a roll on application, which provides all day protection against rubbing, chafing, irritation and also friction through creating a soothing and protective barrier. Sport Shield also prevents pain and discomfort that is caused by chafing or blisters, and you will be pleased to know that a little of this stuff goes a long way.
You can use Sport Shield on your underarm area, between the upper thigh area along with your groin area and over nipples, under the bra, and also on the tops of your toes and the backs of your heels.
You need to also ensure that when you shower after your workout that you dry yourself properly after your workout. We know what you are thinking, you know how to dry yourself with a towel… But to avoid blistering to the skin you need to make sure that you pat your skin dry. Do not rub your skin as this can cause irritation and exacerbate pain.
Alternatively, if you notice that you already have a rash developing, then you can soothe this by applying an antibacterial ointment or you can rub Vaseline on areas that are chafed. This will give the chafed area some much-needed lubrication and this will in turn prevent further rubbing.
So, on the whole you can’t necessarily stop your thighs from sweating – but you can take quite a few preventative measures to make you feel more comfortable when you workout. This is a trial and error process, but you need to work out what measures suit you the best.
Can You Stop Chafing When Walking?
This is a question that a lot of individuals view as being along the slightly more ‘taboo’ topics of conversation. This can often be something that people are too nervous or too afraid to talk about, be it in front of friends or family members.
But, it is important to know that lots of people will experience thigh rubbing whether they are on a light walk, or whether they are on a long walk, or whether they are on a hike – all of these walks can cause extremely painful inner thigh rashes.
So, you should treat walking as a form of exercise for sure. And, it is important that when you exercise that you wear the appropriate gear. Make sure that when you are taking longer walks that you wear sweat resistant clothing along with a good deodorant.
Additionally, you can also try wearing thigh bands or you can try wearing anti-chafing shorts which are great options to help you prevent chafing.
Can You Stop Chafing When Running?
Can you stop chafing when runningChafing has no limitations in terms of when it can happen. There are a lot of different types of exercises where chafing will occur, but it most commonly occurs when running is involved. This is part of the reasoning behind it having the nickname ‘runner’s rash’.
Again, this is where we can outline our best preventative measures, or more precisely, our 5 tips on how to prevent chafing.
Avoid Running In Hot And Humid Conditions
Not only is this generally an uncomfortable atmosphere to workout in, but these conditions will especially exacerbate skin chafing. Make sure that you plan to workout when the day gets cooler as this will reduce the volume of sweat produced by your body.
Pick A Great Deodorant For Your Workout
The deodorant market is an extremely saturated one, with all of them making bold promises. We recommend selecting a sports deodorant over any other kind of deodorant as these will offer a much stronger protective barrier against sweat and odour.
Make Good Choices
This refers to the workout gear that you choose to wear. As we suggested before lycra and other tight fabrics are most recommended. This is because they dry quickly and do not carry the moisture from sweat in them, or become heavy as a result of sweating. This can happen with loose fitting clothes.
However, if you prefer to wear more loosely fitting clothes when you workout then make sure to layer with some lycra or chafing bands underneath.
Tape Is Your New Best Friend
As we said before, chafing can occur in a variety of different places on the body. One of these places is the nipples. This is especially common for long distance runners. Men long distance runners will often tape their nipples in order to prevent chafing. However, women will need to ensure that they invest in a high quality sports bra.
Pat Do Not Rub
As we said before, we know that you know how to use a towel. But when it comes to washing and then drying yourself you need to make sure that you pat your skin as opposed to rubbing. This will ensure less irritation and friction when you dry yourself.
Can You Treat Chafing?
It is important to note that skin chafing must be treated with care, and is not something that you should ignore. If you are suffering with chafed skin then you should gently clean this area with water, and then pat the area dry.
Once you have cleaned the area then you can apply a lubricating substance such as petroleum jelly. Alternatively, if you find that the area is extremely painful, or extremely swollen, or if the area is bleeding, or perhaps if the area is crusted, then you might need to visit your doctor who would most likely recommend a medical ointment.
It is key that you allow your skin to have sufficient time to heal properly before you even consider participating in any kind of physical activity. You do not want to impose continued friction upon your affected area, because this could end up making the chafed area a lot worse, so much so that it could even lead to the area being infected.
If you find that your skin chafing does not improve in any way, then you should book an appointment with your doctor especially if the chafed area has become infected. This will require some medical attention and possibly a medical ointment.
However, it is important to say this one thing: chafing should not stop you from doing something that you want to do. To advise you to avoid doing whatever caused the chafing is extremely unfair, especially because we have previously listed preventative measures that can prevent chafing.
What you should be doing is what you want, but in a way that is the most comfortable to you. You must ensure that when chafing does occur that you treat it properly and that you use a soothing lotion, or just any kind of fragrance-free product that will repel moisture build up.
You also need to ensure that when you have chafed skin that you expose your skin to fresh air, the worst thing that you can do to chafed skin is encase it in tightly fitting clothing. This will end up making the chafing much worse.
Overall, chafing is something that can be prevented – if you follow our 5 tips. But, if you are trying to treat chafing that you have already then do not worry. Chafing can actually heal in a few days if the problem is removed.
If you can’t have a complete break from the very activity that caused the chafing in the first place, you should definitely use protective measures when you are doing this activity. After all, the best treatment that you can give to chafing is prevention.
If you follow preventative methods then you can prevent chafing even being a problem to you when you are exercising.