If you’ve ever experienced the painful irritation of chafe, you know how miserable it can be. The redness, rash, and burning are worse for us full-figured ladies, especially as the weather heats up outside.
Chafe isn’t inevitable. There are ways to reduce friction and keep your skin happy and comfortable. Keep reading to learn how to prevent chafe.
5 Tips to Prevent Chafing
Chafing is at its most severe when moisture and heat are present. That means summertime is the worst season for chafing, especially if you exercise outdoors or live in a humid climate. Chafe isn’t fun, but there are ways to keep it from happening to you.
Here are our top 5 tips to prevent chafing during your workouts.
1. Wear Moisture-Wicking Clothing
Chafing occurs when moisture sits against your skin, causing it to become red and irritated. The longer sweat sits against your skin, the more it generates heat and friction, which leads to chafing. Skin-on-skin and skin-on-fabric chafing worsen when you sweat, so staying dry is vitally important.
Moisture-wicking clothing can help stop chafing before it starts. Synthetic fabrics are designed to pull sweat and moisture away from your skin as you exercise, drawing it up to the surface where it evaporates more quickly.
These fabrics not only keep moisture off your skin, but they also keep you feeling cool, which means you’ll sweat less overall. Less sweat and less heat mean less chafing.
2. Avoid Seams and Tags
Seams and tags that rub against your skin are often the cause of chafing. If your shorts have a seam that rubs against your thigh, for instance, and you do repetitive movements like running or biking, that seam will continually irritate the skin, causing painful chafing.
Buying clothing with soft seams and removable or printed tags can reduce friction and prevent chafing.
3. Use Anti-Chafe Creams or Powders
There are plenty of products on the market designed to prevent and treat chafing. Most anti-chafe balms and powders create a barrier that protects your skin from friction caused by working out. Some of these products also act as an antiperspirant, keeping your skin dry during activity.
You can buy many of these products online or in-store. Some are designed to prevent chafe, while others treat skin irritation after it occurs. Check the reviews to ensure you’re getting a reliable product that works well.
4. Wear Snug-Fitting Clothing
Are you struggling with chafe? Your clothing could be to blame. Clothes that are either too loose or too tight can cause friction and skin irritation.
Your workout clothing should fit snugly against your body but still allow plenty of movement. Loose-fitting clothes can bunch and rub, causing irritation. Clothing that is too tight will trap heat and moisture, providing ideal conditions for chafing.
Your workout clothing should be a “Goldilocks situation”: not too loose, but not too tight. Find something that gently hugs your body and keeps skin from rubbing, with just enough room to let your skin breathe.
We’ve got plenty of moisture-wicking workout goodies that fit your body perfectly. Click here to find yours!
5. Stay Hydrated
You might be surprised to learn that hydration can actually prevent chafing. While it’s true that sweat can lead to skin irritation, the real problem lies in the salt crystals. If you’re dehydrated, your body doesn’t perspire as effectively. Instead, your sweat has more salt, which dries quickly, leaving a salty layer that can worsen chafing.
When you are well-hydrated before, during, and after your workout, you perspire freely, meaning the sweat is less likely to dry into crystals that can irritate your skin.
Hydration also keeps your skin hydrated while exercising, giving you a natural barrier against friction.
Finally, make sure to keep your skin clean and well-moisturized in between workouts. Cleaning with soap and water will wash away both sweat and bacteria, both of which can make chafing worse if they linger on your body.