If you’ve ever experienced the unfortunate discomfort of chafing, you know that it’s no laughing matter. Chafing can occur anywhere on the body where skin rubs against skin or clothing. Unless it leaves you in a constant soreness, chafing can be overlooked.
To reduce the possibility of this condition, it is important to understand why it happens. Though it is tempting to tough it out, there are a few simple things you can do to treat and prevent chafing. Here is a guide to help you avoid chafing and deal with it when it does happen.
Causes of Chafing
When skin scrapes against another material, such as clothing, it can cause chafing. Chafing is a painful and irritating condition. It often happens as a result of friction brought on by frequent or repetitive movements in body folds like the groin, buttocks, or underarm.
Chafing commonly appears as a rash and can make the skin on the affected area red, painful, and sensitive. The following are the most typical causes of chafed skin:
- Overweight – Skin discomfort from rubbing against one’s own skin might grow with excess weight in the body.
- Excessive Sweating – Chafed skin might result from sweat. The irritation caused by friction can be made worse by dried sweat, which can deposit a coating of salt on the skin.
- Clothing – Particularly in warmer weather, people who habitually wear certain apparel may develop chafing. Uncomfortable clothing may irritate and rub the skin repeatedly. For instance, people may chafe from improperly fitting underwear and garments.
- Sports Activities – Clothing may rub against a skin area frequently during sports activities. Chafing might sometimes get worse from heat and perspiration from physical activity.
- Nursing – Those who breastfeed could develop skin chafing near their nipples. Maternity bras could cause extra friction for them.
- Wearing Diapers – Chafing can result from wearing diapers that are too tight or damp for an extended period of time.
How to Get Rid of Chafing
Skin chafing should be treated immediately. Dry the chafed area completely after gently cleaning it with water. Apply something like petroleum jelly after you’ve cleaned the area.
Your healthcare professional can suggest using a medicinal ointment if the affected region is intensely painful, swollen, or bleeding.
Before you return to being active, give your skin time to recover from chafing. Friction won’t help it get better and can even make it infected.
Make an appointment to visit your doctor if your skin chafing does not disappear after attempting these self-care techniques. If the spot gets an infection, you should need an antibiotic cream.
How To Prevent Chafing
You need to lessen the friction on your skin in order to avoid skin chafing. Here are a few ways to do this:
- Lubricate – One way to prevent chafing is to lubricate the area with friction. This can be done with some products, like petroleum jelly, lotion, or even coconut oil. Before you find the lubricant that works best for you, you might need to try a few.
- Staying Dry – This means avoiding sweat and moisture as much as possible. Apply body powder to the sweatiest places before you leave the house. Powders can assist in drawing moisture from the skin.
- Wear Loose Clothing – An important way to prevent chafing is by wearing loose clothing. This will allow your skin to breathe and not rub together so much. Finally, consider undergarments and clothing with smooth seams to prevent friction.
- Taking Care of Nipples – People who breastfeed or take part in endurance sports like jogging and cycling may benefit from using protective nipple shields.
- Regular Diaper Changes – To prevent a buildup of moisture and heat, parents or caretakers should remove diapers and change them often.
Chafing Home Remedies
Cleaning the area with a mild body wash and warm water is the first step in treating chafed skin. Before putting on one of the following home remedies, pat the skin dry and allow the chafed region to breathe for a few minutes.
- Powder – Apply powder to the sweatiest parts of the body. It assists in drawing moisture from the skin. Application of powder will maintain the skin dry and free from moisture.
- Cornstarch – The moisture from the skin can be absorbed by cornstarch, which also helps to lessen itching. It can give the skin a smooth feel that could aid in reducing further rubbing and discomfort. Cornstarch can be substituted for body powder.
- Aloe Vera – Application of Aloe Vera or Aloe Vera gel to the chafed area will help soothe the skin and reduce inflammation.
- Petroleum Jelly – Petroleum jelly is often used as a remedy for chafing. It creates a barrier between the skin and clothing. It prevents the fabric from coming into direct contact with the skin.
- Coconut Oil – Coconut oil will moisturize the skin and reduce the friction that is causing the chafing.
- Shea Butter – Shea butter is a natural, thick butter that comes from the African shea tree. It’s usually used to moisturize and protect the skin, but it can also help to reduce friction and soothe irritation. Just apply a small amount to the area that’s chafing and you should notice a difference.
Stopping the Discomfort of Chafing
In order to get rid of chafing, it is important to understand what causes it and how to prevent it. Chafing is caused by friction and moisture, so it is important to ensure that you are using a product that will reduce these causes. There are many remedies that can help to prevent and get rid of chafing.
So, find one that works for you and make sure to use it when you are exercising or engaging in activities that could cause chafing.
By following the tips in this article, you can help keep your skin healthy and free from irritation. Remember to stay hydrated, wear loose-fitting clothing, and use a barrier cream or lotion when needed. If you experience redness, pain, or swelling, be sure to see a doctor.
Thanks for reading our article! Want to learn more about healthy lifestyle and exercise? Check out our other blog posts!