What Are the Common Causes of Chafed Skin?

What Are the Common Causes of Chafed Skin?

You’re running an important marathon. Once you pass over the finish line and the adrenaline wears off you realize that your thighs are experiencing a very familiar burning sensation. They’re chafed. 

Almost nothing is worse than chafed skin. It’s irritating, itchy, and if you leave it untreated it can even get infected. So, what causes chafed skin in the first place?

It could come from a large number of things from something simple like wearing cotton to something less obvious like being dehydrated. Whatever the reason, it’s best to avoid it. To help you with this, check out this complete guide on why you have chafed skin.  

1. Wet Skin 

You don't have to dunk yourself in a pool for your wet skin to cause chafing. A little bit of sweat from running will do it. The good news is that there is a way to stop your sweat from chafing your skin. 

Apply a thin layer of talcum powder on your skin before you head out to run or cycle. This will keep the moisture away.

Make sure to bring a change of clothes with you if you can. Staying in your sweaty clothes after you're done working out can cause chafing as well. 

2. Not Being Lubricated When You Exercise

When you're performing an exercise of any kind, your skin is going to rub together. This rubbing will cause friction that will result in chafing. You'll need to use some type of lubricant to stop this friction. 

There are many over-the-counter creams and salves that you can use. Like most things, you'll probably have to try out a few options before you find a treatment that works for you. If you don't want to use one of these over-the-counter options on your nipples then you can put tape over them to stop your shirt from rubbing against them.  

3. Wearing Cotton 

Wearing cotton clothes to bed or out to the store is fine. Wearing exercise clothes made out of it isn't though. When you sweat the cotton will get wet and it takes forever to dry. 

The wet fabric will rub against your skin and cause painful chafing. It can also get heavy which makes it all the more uncomfortable.

Reach for synthetic fibers and wool instead. It's easier to move around in these fabrics, and they keep moisture away.  

4. Your Clothes Don't Fit 

Make sure that whatever clothes you wear to go running in fits you like it should. If you buy clothes that are too tight then it will cut into your skin, which is painful with or without the chafing. It will also stop air from getting to your skin, so you won't be able to stay dry. 

Baggy clothes are perfect for lounging around your home in, but they're not so great for exercising. The extra cloth will rub against your skin. The rule of thumb is to always try on your exercise wear before you buy it. 

5. Wearing Clothes with Tags and Seams

Even if your clothes do fit, you may still experience some chafing if there are tags rubbing against your skin. Choose shirts and pants that don't have tags if you can. You should also beware of seams. 

Seams can cause friction and irritate your skin as easy as a tag can. The best thing that you can do is again, try on all your workout clothes while you're still in the store. 

If there is something about them that rubs you the wrong way in the store then put them back on the rack. Whatever is causing the problem will be twice as bad when you're out running or cycling. 

6. Your Pack Isn't Secure

Packs, belts, and vests are all good things to have with you when you're performing a sport. They give you a place to put all your things at least. The problem is that if they aren't secure, they can rub against you and cause irritation. 

So before you take off running, take a moment to make sure all the straps on your pack are nice and snug so they don't move around. 

7. You're Dehydrated 

This is one that you may not think about, but being dehydrated can increase your chances of chafing. When you become dehydrated, the amount of salt that's in your sweat goes up. 

This extra salt can cause skin irritation and friction which will lead to chafing. So, the moral of this story, always keep a bottle of water on hand. 

Treating Chafing 

When you feel like you're experiencing chafing, stop exercising and dry the area off. You should also go home and shower as soon as you can.

If you do all this and still experiencing chafing, there are a couple of things you can do to treat it. Clean the area with water and dry it. Once it's dry, apply petroleum jelly to it to prevent further friction. 

If your skin doesn't heal up or it's bleeding and painful, go see a doctor. They'll be able to give you a prescription for an ointment that will stop the area from getting infected. 

Reasons Why You May Have Chafed Skin 

There is nothing that can put a damper on your favorite athletic activities quite like chafed skin. There are many things that can cause it, from dehydration to an unsecured pack. Get to know all the reasons so you can avoid them when you go out to run. 

One of the best ways to avoid chafing is to use the right products. Visit our store to check out our anti-chafing salves. 


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