Chafing has become a big problem recently, not just for women, but also for men. But before we talk about why you need an anti chafing cream, we need to have a full understanding of what chafing is. We know that chafing is an annoying condition when your skin rubs against your skin or clothing. But what exactly is chafing? What are its causes? How can we prevent it? Let’s find out.
What is Chafing?
Chafing is a skin irritation which occurs when your skin rubs against your clothing or your skin. It also occurs when your skin is exposed to moisture or an irritating fabric. Prolonged irritation can cause the skin to become raw and red. This can lead to burning and stinging. In severe cases, it can cause swelling, bleeding, or rusting.
Chafing occurs on any skin surface of your body. It mostly occurs in the inner thighs, armpits, groin, feet, nipples, and buttocks.
Causes of Chafing
There are different factors that cause chafing. Repeated rubbing (when combined with moisture) can make your skin vulnerable to chafing. Below are common scenarios which cause chafing:
- Breastfeeding. Women who are breastfeeding often experience chafed nipples when wearing bras and pads.
- Being overweight. It’s easier for the inner thighs to rub against each other if there’s excess body fat.
- Wearing dresses or skirts. Women who always wear dresses or skirts experience thigh chafing, especially in hot and humid weather.
- Wearing diapers. Moisture from urine and feces can lead to diaper rashes and chafing.
- Sweating. Dried sweat leaves a layer of salt on your skin. This worsens the irritation from friction and results in chafing.
- Endurance sports. A lot of athletes experience chafing due to repetitive movements, loose clothing, and excess sweat moisture.
- Wearing poor-fitting clothes. If you’re wearing clothes that do not fit well, then you’re most likely to experience chafing. That’s because the clothing can repeatedly irritate and rub your skin.
How to Prevent Chafing
The best way to prevent chafing is to take preventive measures. It’s not always possible to prevent it but these tips can help reduce the frequency:
- Wear proper clothing, especially during exercise. While exercising, you should wear well-fitting and fast-drying clothing. Nylon, spandex, and polyester are the perfect choice. Sports clothes are designed to help your skin breathe. You may wear compression shorts to reduce chafing when exercising.
- Use lubrication. You can apply lotion or oil to the areas where your skin rubs together. Doing this reduces friction and allows the surfaces to slip against each other.
- Stay dry. Skin moisture worsens chafing. Before you head outside, you can use powder or an anti-perspirant deodorant. Apply them to areas where chafing occurs.
- Wash after sweating. When your sweat dries on your skin, it will leave a gritty layer of salt behind. This causes friction and chafing.
- Apply soft bandages. You can apply soft bandages to areas that are prone to chafing (nipples or feet).
- Check the weather. Do your exercises and other outdoor activities early in the morning. Doing this can help you avoid the hottest hours of the day.
- Take care of your nipples when breastfeeding. When breastfeeding, keep your nipples clean and dry. Avoid using irritating fabric.
- Use an anti chafing cream. Apply the cream on areas that are vulnerable to blistering and chafing. Rub it on those areas and wait for it to dry.
How to Treat Chafing
Chafing causes irritation, pain, and itching. Below are some tips you can follow to treat chafing:
- Cleanse the area with mild soap and water. Then, pat it dry.
- Apply aloe vera gel to the affected area. Aloe vera helps relieve pain and prevents infection.
- Apply a lubricant to the affected area. This reduces further infection.
- Wear well-fitting clothes. Spandex shorts protect the chafed area as it heals.
In severe situations, you should speak to a doctor to prescribe you with antibiotics and corticosteroid.
Why You Need an Anti Chafing Cream
Moisture-wicking athletic material has been a revolution in the field of workouts. Polyester blend nylons do not allow moisture to fester on the skin. This helps improve the ability of the skin to recover quickly from sweat irritation and avoid it entirely.
Athletes have used glide-ons and balms to prevent skin chafing. These are usually made of materials which coat the skin. They have also tried using oils (olive oil and coconut oil) to coat their skin. They have also applied other products like powders, waxes, and lubricants on top of their skin.
These solutions have proven to provide temporary relief. However, there’s an anti chafing cream that you can buy now. This cream can provide long-lasting relief. This also helps prevent chafing.
How to Use an Anti Chafing Cream
Anti chafing creams are known to prevent skin chafing. To get the best results, you need to know how to properly use it. Follow these tips to get the maximum effect:
- Apply the cream on any area that is vulnerable to chafing.
- Rub it on those areas for 1 to 2 minutes. In this period, it should feel a little sticky. This means that it’s already forming a bond on your skin.
- Wait for another 2 to 3 minutes for it to dry. Once it’s dry, you can already start exercising.
You’ll notice that it becomes silky and smooth. You need to apply this cream every time you work out.
Chafing is an annoying skin condition which occurs when your skin rubs against your skin or clothing. It may cause you pain but there are different ways to treat and prevent it. You can start with the preventive measures by wearing well-fitting clothing and keeping your skin dry. You can also go with moisturizing your skin often.
When skin chafing occurs, you can use an anti chafing cream to help you ease the pain. Make sure you follow the steps to properly apply it. If your skin shows any sign of infection, it will be best to speak with your doctor.