Whenever your skin rubs against something repeatedly -- be it clothing fabric or other skin -- there is a risk of chafing. Chafing, an irritation or rash, can cause a great deal of discomfort if you don't address it right away. You could be especially prone to chafing between your legs if you are a runner or are overweight. Don't let skin rashes or chafing hold you back, take steps to prevent inner thigh friction.
Select appropriate attire for your activity. If you are planning to run or engage in other physical activities, wear clothing that is designed to wick moisture away from your body. Even your undergarments can be designed to wick moisture away from you, and choosing undergarments that do so will help keep your inner thighs dry and reduce the likelihood of chafing.
Consider wearing stretchy bicycle shorts or capri pants alone or under your clothing. The spandex in stretchy bicycle shorts and capri pants keep them snug against your body from the crotch to the leg opening, ensuring that your inner thighs do not rub together. For even more protection, you can also select stretchy items made with fabric to wick away moisture.
Avoid wearing trousers that have a long, heavy inseam. The extra weight can weigh down the crotch area of your trousers, causing it to sag and allow your thighs to rub together. Lighter-weight trousers are a better choice.
If you are planning to engage in a serious activity like running, avoid wearing cotton as it holds in moisture and will become heavier as it gets damp.
Apply cornstach to your inner thighs to help to keep them dry. This is more likely to work if you only have minor discomfort. Skp this step if you are a runner or are significantly overweight.
Apply a product designed to help your skin glide past itself to your inner thighs. Don't use petroleum jelly or plain lotion, these products will not last and can actually aggravate the irritation. Instead, choose specially-designed products like Body Glide (bodyglide.com), EverStride (everstride.com) or Sportwax (sportwax.com). Be sure to pack some of the product to take along with you in case you need to reapply.
Treat any chafing or rashes that do occur between your legs by cleaning the affected area with cool water and allowing it to dry thoroughly. Apply an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment and allow the area to breathe as much as possible by wearing loose, comfortable clothing. Avoid bandaging the area.
Some runners use inner-thigh lubricants before every run. You should also consider doing so if you are prone to rashes and chafing of the inner thigh.
If a rash does form between your legs, keep an eye on it to be sure it does not become infected. If the rash worsens or begins oozing, you visit your health care provider to see if you need a prescription antimicrobial.
Tips and warnings
- Some runners use inner-thigh lubricants before every run. You should also consider doing so if you are prone to rashes and chafing of the inner thigh.
- If a rash does form between your legs, keep an eye on it to be sure it does not become infected. If the rash worsens or begins oozing, you visit your health care provider to see if you need a prescription antimicrobial.
- RunTex; Beginner's Corner: How to Prevent Painful Chafing; January 2009
- Waist, Hips, and Thighs: Inner Thigh Chafing: Is It Affecting You?
- The Fat Girl's Guide to Living: Ask FGG: "How Can I Prevent Chafing Between Fat Rolls?"
- The Fat Girl's Guide to Living: The Fat Girl's Guide to Hot Weather Hiking, Pt. 2