Summer is here. Birds are chirping. Flowers are blooming. And inner thighs are chafing.
For many, thigh chafing is a year-round problem, but it’s amplified during the hot, muggy months ahead of us. Dresses, shorts, and swimsuits leave exposed inner thighs vulnerable to rubbing together on every step, sometimes to the point of bleeding.
If you’re feeling seen, you’ve probably already tried a number of home remedies to soothe your pain, like applying oversized bandages or deodorant (intended for armpits) to your inner thighs. And you’re reading this because none of it really worked.
Well, you’ve come to the right place. I’m going to provide you with proven ways to both treat your chafed thighs and prevent them from returning. This is going to be a summer to remember – this time, for all the right reasons.
Why do my inner thighs chafe?
First, let’s unpack what’s going on here. Chafing, in this instance, is a term used to describe skin that becomes red or discolored as a result of rubbing or friction. With inner thigh chafing, it can occur not only from skin rubbing on skin but also skin rubbing against an irritating fabric.
Despite the popular perception, thigh chafing has little to do with one’s weight. Some people’s inner thighs just naturally rub together, regardless of their size.
Chafing is also not relegated to the inner thighs. It can happen anywhere on the body where there’s repeated friction. So, armpits, the groin, and under women’s breasts.
Finally, uncomfortable and frustrating as persistent chafing may be, it’s normal. There’s not necessarily anything wrong with you or your skin. It’s also common. Lots of people are chafing somewhere on their body at this very moment.
Treating chafed thighs
At the first sign of trouble, gently clean the chafed area – especially if there’s blistering – with cool or lukewarm water. Then pat it dry and apply a moisturizing ointment like Aquaphor or Vaseline. They’re more effective than a cream or lotion in this instance because they can lubricate your skin and they’re dense enough to protect it at the same time. That protection is essential to healing in a timely manner.
Over the next few days, try to be mindful about what you expose your chafed thighs to. Hot water and harsh soaps, in particular, can damage the outer layer of the skin. Instead, use a mild cleanser and keep your showers lukewarm and, ideally, under five minutes.
Preventing chafed thighs
In just the last couple of years, the anti-chafing market has absolutely exploded. Where recently, you may have been forced to try your luck with a deodorant stick, a number of skincare brands, including the aforementioned Aquaphor, now offer balm sticks designed specifically to treat and protect chafed thighs.
And with athleisure wear everywhere, lots of clothing labels are making breathable bike shorts or shapewear that can prevent rubbing. (Pair them with baby powder or some sort of moisture-wicking powder to avoid unwanted moisture.)
In either case, you’re simply looking for a barrier that will prevent rubbing and, ultimately, chafing. You should be able to find relief with either approach, so feel free to experiment to find one that best suits you and your lifestyle.