Chafing is a common skin condition that turns makes your skin go red, sore, and itchy. It can be caused due to dry or humid friction between your skin or between your skin and your clothes. Prolonged friction can sting and burn your skin and make it itch. In extreme cases, it can cause swelling, bleeding, and create scabs. The effects of chafing can stop you from doing daily tasks with ease. They need to be treated immediately before they get worse and moving becomes more uncomfortable that it already is.
What Causes Chafing?
The skin is a protective organ that protects our body from the most harmful germs. But it reaches its threshold too when overworked. The following can cause chafing:
Sports or intense physical activities– Keeping your body engaged in physical activity can make you sweat. The sweat, combined with the prolonged movement, causes chafing. This is especially common if you’re a runner or a cyclist.
Being overweight– For overweight people, the thighs and the groin area are especially prone to chafing. Apply enough talcum or prickly heat powder in summers and coconut oil or petroleum jelly in winters to prevent chafing.
Nursing – It’s extremely common for nursing or breastfeeding mothers to experience chafing in the nipples.
Dresses and skirts – Wearing dresses or skirts in summers, especially in humid summers, can increase chafing in your inner thighs caused due to your legs constantly rubbing against each other.
Ill-fitting clothes – A very common reason why most athletes have chaffed skin is incorrect sports attire. This can include the material of your t-shirt, leggings or even a sports bra.
Treating Chaffed Skin
The first step when you have chaffed skin is to limit activity or movement in that area. Take the below steps to treat the affected area:
- Clean the infected area with a mild soap, air it and keep it dry.
- In summers, apply prickly heat powder and in winters use coconut oil or petroleum jelly on the affected area.
- Wear comfortable light clothes.
Preventing chafing takes time and frequent attention. Be extra precautious while doing activities that cause the most chafing. The following can actually prevent chafing from occurring:
Well-fitting clothes – Clothes that are lose give the skin much more space to move around and in return chafe against each other.
Antiperspirant– Antiperspirant prevents sweat formation in your underarms and thus come in handy during summers.
Wear wicking fabric– Wicking fabric is a type of fabric that draws moisture away from the body. These are usually made of high-tech polyester and unlike cotton, do not stick to your body when you sweat.
Nursing Pads– When you’re in your nursing period, keep your nipples clean dry and free of moisture. Avoid wearing clothes made out of rough material and stick to soft materials like cotton and linen. Invest in reusable or disposable nursing pads that slip into your bra cup to help absorb the extra moisture.