Causes Of Chafing And Four Ways To Deal With It

Working out is a very strenuous activity, especially for people who are undergoing workouts like resistance training. When under a resistance training session, you will need to work with your whole body, repeating movements and stress to improve the muscular strength and endurance. Resistance training, along with other exercise routines, will be tiring and sweaty.

There are always two constant things that you have to deal with during a workout session. The first one is the soreness from the muscles caused by the repetitive movements and the use of heavy exercise equipment. Your other problem is the production of sweat as your whole body tries to cool down. What’s more problematic is that if these two things appear at the same time in one specific region.

Chafing is a common problem for exercise enthusiasts, as well as for overweight individuals. It is characterized by a painful and itchy rash that gives discomfort in every movement. What causes chafing and how can we prevent it? And what are the steps that can be done if chafing already happened? This article will tackle your chafing questions.

What Is Chafing And Why Does It Happen?

Chafing is what happens when a movement causes continuous skin rubbing against skin or clothing. It can develop into a mild rash and will give uncomfortable pain and itch in the area affected. If the chafing is severe, it can also cause swelling, bleeding or crusting.

This condition usually happens because of friction caused by continuous contact of skin or cloth enhanced by moisture. Although it can appear anywhere on the body, it commonly appears on the groin, armpits, feet, buttocks, thighs, and under the breast for females.

How to Prevent Chafing?

1. Use petroleum jelly or talc powder

The best and proven way to reduce or prevent chafing is by applying talc powder or petroleum jelly which acts as lubricants to reduce friction and its effects. In addition, these are all inexpensive and easily available, so you can grab it and apply before working out. The only catch is that different petroleum jelly brands might not work properly in some skin types so you might need to try a lot of products before you can find the right one for you.

2. Wear proper exercise clothing

Proper fitting exercise attire will also reduce friction because it will reduce the contact between skin. Wear clothes that are made with synthetic fibers and do not exercise while wearing cotton.

3. Add another layer of protection

Try using soft bandages to make a “second skin” and avoid chafing through added protection. Wrap it around the area that is usually affected.  This one is recommended on feet and inner thighs.

4. Stay dry and clean

Dirt and moisture are your worst enemies when it comes to chafing. They create more friction and irritate the skin which causes itchiness and pain. If your clothes are soaking wet already, it’s better to replace them to keep your body dry.

4 Remedies To Ease The Symptoms Of Chafing

If chafing already appeared, you need to apply remedies to soothe the pain. Prevention is still better, so always make sure to follow the prevention tips above to avoid this nasty experience.

1. Aloe Vera

Applying a tablespoon of aloe vera gel in the affected area will help in soothing the pain and irritation, as well as speed up healing. Although the smell might be unpleasant, the gel from aloe vera’s leaf has an anti-inflammatory property which helps in healing. Let the gel sit for 20 to 30 minutes then wash it with water.

2. Petroleum Jelly

Petroleum jelly can be used as prevention for chafing. It can also be used as treatment because it keeps the skin well moisturized. Both prevent infection and dirt from the area affected.

3. Epsom Salt Bath

Mix 1 cup of Epsom salt with water and add the mixture to a tub of water. Soak in it for 20 to 30 minutes. What makes this a good treatment is that Epsom salt has magnesium, which reduces inflammation in the affected area.

4. Cold Compress

If you don’t have the materials in your home, a cold compress or ice cubes will offer relief. Just hold the cold compress or the ice in the affected area for 2-3 minutes and remove. Repeat it twice or three times until you’re comfortable enough.