How to Prevent and Treat That Annoying Rash Caused by Inner-Thigh Chafing

Because thigh chafing shouldn't get in the way of summer fun.

thigh chafing
Betsy Farrell

Chafing between your thighs is the worst. We know. But there are ways to avoid it — no thigh-gap necessary. Or, if you're already past that slightly uncomfortable point, you can start treating that rash ASAP so it goes away. Here are the common thigh-chafing problems so many of us face during the sweaty summer months along with simple solutions and product recommendations.

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The Chafer: Lots of Friction

Too much rubbing for whatever reason — walking, working out, or wearing your favorite tight skinny jeans — could make your inner-thigh skin weak and wear away.

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Gold Bond Friction Defense
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How to prevent it: is a great solution, says Dr. Allison Hanlon, a dermatologist in Nashville, Tennessee. It's an invisible protective balm that works really well — lots of runners and bikers use it. Our editors also love . If you need a quick and easy solution, also try the Vaseline already in your bathroom cabinet. Either way, a little dab in the morning can work wonders.

The Chafer: Irritating Workout Gear

If you're not wearing the right type of exercise clothing, your thighs will really pay (and we don't mean with new muscles) for all those rep moves. And who wants to spend an hour kick-bo if you're going to leave with red, raw skin?

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Yogipace Moisture-Wicking Yoga Pants
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How to prevent it: Ditch any loose fitting cotton pants — they'll just "trap moisture and irritate the skin further," says Hanlon. Instead, she recommends choosing moisture-wicking materials that cling to your body. You could also consider alternating the days you do upper and lower body training to give your thighs a break.

The Chafer: Excessive Sweating

Moisture can break down the top layer of skin leaving it chafed, irritated, and painful.

How to prevent it: does a good job at protecting your skin from perspiration. Dust on a fine layer before starting your day. For a little more coverage, roll on some in your most sensitive areas.

If you're already hurting, try these tricks:

1. Choose a mild cleanser and don't scrub. Using harsh soaps can aggravate your chafed skin and make the situation a lot worse. Wash gently with warm water and a pH neutral, .

2. Switch up your wardrobe. Wear soft, breathable cotton clothing during the day, and cotton pajamas instead of a nightgown at night, says Dr. Kavita Mariwalla, a dermatologic surgeon at Stony Brook Hospital in New York.

3. Moisturize. Use plain Vaseline to soothe, protect, and heal the raw skin. Avoid creams with fragrance or fancy ingredients; they will likely irritate you more.

4. Go see your doctor. If the chafing isn't getting better, you may have an infection. When the skin is broken, yeast and bacteria can settle in and you may have to use a medicated cream.

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5. Invest in anti-chafing bands. Thigh chafing is inevitable when wearing a dress on a hot — and sweaty — summer day. Get ahead of the rub by wearing these $12 anti-chafe bands. The best part? They don't rub off like anti-rub creams and balms.

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