Fitness Friday: The Unfortunate Reality of Thigh Chafing

Let’s be real for a moment.

Nothing can be more frustrating than trying to become more active, only for your efforts to be hampered by an annoyance like thigh chafing. Here we are trying to move our bodies and what do we get?

Red, irritated skin that hurts when we move and makes us walk funny. In summer, when we generally have more choices for exercise, the issue is further exacerbated by heat, humidity and sweat.

Yes, it’s unfortunate, but there are some things we can do to prevent and lessen the discomfort of thigh chafing so we can keep moving. I am going to tell you about a few I’ve tried and a few I’ve read about.

Preventing Thigh Chafing

1. Monistat Soothing Care Powder Gel. I’ve not tried this, but I like the word soothing a lot, and it received rave reviews on sites like Drugstore. com.

2. BODYGLIDE Anti-Chafe Balm. This, I’ve used. Overall, it seems to help if I put it on before I work out. It doesn’t prevent chafing all together, but I feel like I can do a lot more exercise before chafing begins.

3. Baby Powder. Good at absorbing moisture in warm places and an inexpensive fix. If you don’t have a specific anti-chafing product, this will do, but the effects seem to be more temporary.

Remedies for Thigh Chafing in Active Fat Women

4. Petroleum Jelly. Another good measure if you don’t want to buy a more expensive product and you’ve got it lying around the house. It prevents skin sticking together, but like baby powder, doesn’t seem to last as long as specific anti-chafing products.

In addition to the products I’ve mentioned, avoid loose clothing with exaggerated seams. The tighter the clothing, the less obvious the seams, the less likely you are to chafe.

Also, according to Runner’s World, look for moisture-wicking fabric. While cotton can be a softer option, it can hold water from sweat or rain, which can contribute to chafing.

But, what to do once you’ve already experienced chafing?

Treating Chafing

Aloe Vera. If it’s good for a sunburn, I think it’s good for a chafing burn. It feels nice and cool when you apply it, but can get sticky quickly. I usually apply it for a short period of time, wash it off after 10-15 minutes, and then apply baby powder.

Ice packs. Applying ice packs immediately after exercise helps reduce redness and irritation, according to exercise expert Rochelle Rice. 

Rest. You may need to take a day or two off until the rash disappears, and then start with the prevention methods above.

Swim. If you don’t want any downtime, hit the pool. It’s one place you won’t chafe and it feels great!

How do you prevent thigh chafing?

11 responses to “Fitness Friday: The Unfortunate Reality of Thigh Chafing”

  1. Amy says:

    I always keep Body Glide in my purse and I’ve found it to work great. A must-have for traveling – nice to be able to wear skirts when you’re walking around a lot on hot days. I know a lot of people where biker shorts underneath skirts and like that – I even read that some company has taken that idea and made shorts more targeted for this purpose (so they might sit on the belly nicer than the biker shorts).

  2. Lisa Christie says:

    Thanks, Amy! The biker short idea is one I’ve heard about before, but haven’t tried.

  3. Lizabeth says:

    One of the things that chafes me (no pun intended) is wearing dresses or skirts combined with long walks (a nice date night stroll can turn into anxiety and discomfort really fast). Last year I started wearing bike shorts under my skirts and this helped A LOT. Just thought I’d add to what is already a VERY HELPFUL post. Thank you and will be hitting my local drugstore for these products ASAP.

    • Lisa Christie says:

      That was a great pun, Lizabeth. I’m glad you liked the post. If you have a brand of bike shorts that work for you, let us know! Maybe that should be my next post!

  4. Sue Leroux says:

    Monistat is great. Goes on wet and immediately becomes like a powder. Problem is it doesn’t last forever and it’s hard to find. I now keep Bodyglide around after I saw a distance runner use it. I agree with Lizabeth. Slippery bike shorts are the way to go. If you can’t walk or run without chafing, you will stop exercising. Not an option.

  5. Andreas says:

    Chafing is awful and can make working out very unpleasant. I always shower in the morning and moisturize my entire body before going out on a run. I find if I don’t lotion, that itchy feeling will show itself and I’ll ultimately quit my workout. Thanks for these helpful tips, I may try petroleum next time as well.

  6. Michelle says:

    Jockey skimmies work great for this. I am unable to wear skirts or dresses without them due to chafing, with them I never do. The trick is ones that are long enough to not ride up.

  7. Janet says:

    Spanx or something similar. Same idea as biker shorts (Jockey also has as mentioned). The idea is to have something tight that keeps from chaffing. Even pantyhose can do the trick. Working out I wear Capri pants. Bottom line, I haven’t had an inner thigh rash for years.

  8. Yana Kimelblat says:

    Wow! So helpful! I’m glad to know I’m not alone in my quest for chafe relief. Part of the reason why I mainly workout at the pool is due to chafing. I am a plus size beauty and I have a bit of a gut situation. When I go for long walks I often times get painful chafing or delicate skin tears under my belly. Anyone else suffer from this? Any ideas on how to get relief? I’ve tried powders but they get caky and yucky.

  9. Allie Moore says:

    I’ve suffered from thigh chafing for so long, it’s so uncomfortable and can reach the point of rawness if not dealt with properly. I use Lady Anti Monkey Butt powder for mine and it’s kinda the best of all worlds in that it combines the baby powder-esque effects with the aloe vera-esque effects. It’s a talc free powder (the men’s one has talc but ours doesn’t) that also has calamine in it. It really prevents sweating in that area and soothes the areas that rub together. Seriously a lifesaver for me and my unfortunate chub rub lol

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