Chafing is a common issue many athletes endure during training or competition. The friction caused by clothing-on-skin or skin-on-skin contact can lead to painful blisters, rash, or raw skin. If left untreated or ignored, it can make movement extremely difficult. There are many factors that increase the chance of chafing such as ill-fitting clothing, sweat, sensitive skin, heavy fabrics, etc. To avoid the annoyance of chafing, consider these natural remedies for chafing relief and prevention.
Wearing certain clothing can often contribute to chafing when working out. For example, cotton clothing is great for lounging. However, when you work up a sweat, cotton clothing takes much longer to dry and can lead to painful irritation when it rubs your skin. Consider breathable, moisture-wicking fabric that repels sweat and reduces friction between the clothing and skin. Additionally, it’s important to consider if the clothes are digging into your skin, have uncomfortable seams or tags, etc. This is especially important for underclothing such as bras and underwear.
Lubricants can be used as a pre or post-treatment for chafing relief. You can use a lubricant before the activity to address known problem areas, or during or after a workout to give relief to flare-ups and hotspots that may develop. There are numerous skin-treatment lubricant products on the market designed to target high-friction areas that are prone to chafing. Find one that works for you, and apply it to the necessary areas as needed.
When choosing your workout outfit, look for something that isn’t too tight and isn’t too loose. Clothing that is too tight can dig into your skin and create irritation and friction from rubbing. Similarly, baggy shirts and shorts that are too loose can flop against your skin and rub it raw. Although it sounds obvious, something in between loose and tight is ideal.
Different activities require different kinds of attire. For example, if you are playing tennis you may want to opt for a shirt that gives more coverage under your armpits. Since you will be swinging your arms a lot, there is a greater potential for friction in that area. Likewise, if you’re running, you don’t want to wear spandex or compression shorts that are too tight or will ride up and rub against your thighs. Dressing for the specific activity you will be doing is key.
Similar to lubricants, anti-chafing powders are a great natural remedy for chafing relief and prevention. With plenty of options on the market, you can find something specific for the area you are trying to treat. There are specialty powders for armpits, inner thighs, under the breasts, etc. These powders are often moisture-absorbing, which helps to mitigate any discomfort from sweaty clothes rubbing against your body.
Many athletes, whether runners, bikers, etc. utilize waist belts, vests, etc. to carry different products throughout their workout or race. This can lead to uncomfortable chafing due to the bouncing and shifting of this gear against your body. To avoid this, you need to secure your gear. Before an activity, make sure the straps are tight to limit any movement while you are competing.
Don’t let painful chafing stop you from being active or doing what you love. Utilize these natural remedies for chafing relief and prevention to avoid any potential chafing discomfort.