To The Girl Who Chafes: I've Got You

It’s chafing season, everyone! I mean, it’s always chafing season for me because I am from South Florida, but Gainesville’s temperatures do cool down eventually (insert sigh of relief). I have had to deal with this annoying part of life that often leaves me frustrated and just plain uncomfortable.

Chafing changes your entire day. First thing each day, I have to consider what wardrobe options will eliminate the possibility of chafing. Have you ever changed your outfit because you know you have a lot of walking to do and don’t want to deal with chafing? Well, I have, and it is not a fun time.

Chafing is like that annoying fly that follows you around. It is constant and unavoidable – pestering you throughout your entire day. Especially living somewhere with such warm temperatures and high percentages of humidity, I cannot escape chafing even if I walk only for five minutes.

I tend to stick to pants and jeans because they offer the much needed barrier between my inner thighs where I chafe constantly. But it shouldn’t be that way. I shouldn’t have to avoid wearing shorts and skirts in the Florida heat just because my inner thighs create a painful friction, and neither should you. With a bit of research and help from some friends, I have compiled a few remedies to help cut out that friction.

What even is chafing?

If you’ve never really dealt with this uncomfortable dilemma, then you might not even be familiar with the concept of chafing. Simply put, chafing is the friction between parts of skin that cause irritation in the form of painful and sensitive skin. It depends on your skin’s reaction to the friction, but symptoms of chafing can be from mild to painful, where it might become difficult to walk comfortably without any layer of clothing intervening.

When people think of chafing, they only really consider the rubbing between the inner thighs, but chafing can be any part of your body that rubs against another. For example, another common area is the friction between the skin of your armpit. Chafing is especially prominent during activities such as running or other forms of working out. Unfortunately, the combination of skin friction and sweat are just not in your favor.

Why is chafing a taboo topic?

What’s up with all the hush hush around the topic of chafing? I have yet to come across some sort of story that talks about the reality of chafing. This gives off the impression that it is something that doesn’t affect many people, which is quite the opposite. I couldn’t find decent statistics on the amount of people who chafe, which is a testament to the fact that no one talks about it. I find that individuals don’t bring up their experience with chafing because it calls attention to their bodies and how their figure is distributed. This hesitance stems from an even larger issue of a lack of body positivity in our society. Society has forced an image of what an ideal body is, and let’s face it: That body is not supposed to have any bits and pieces rubbing against each other. It’s time we open up the conversation and share the tips and tricks we have discovered to ease the discomfort of chafing.

Be gone, chafing.

I have tried a few remedies over the years to combat the persistent rubbing of my inner thighs. Although each tip doesn’t work every day, I do find that they work as best as they can. Maybe some of the tricks I mention will be your holy grail and end your chafing days forever. When it comes to chafing, it’s all about prevention. You don’t want to spend a whole day uncomfortable and then have raw, painful skin to deal with later.

One tip I have picked up along the way is smearing deodorant on the skin before heading out for the day. There is no specific deodorant – the point is that you use something you already have. I have not found this to be entirely successful for me, but I have friends who swear by it. For example, a fellow Her Campus UFL member, Ydalmis Gonzalez raves about this trick – she says it prevents chafing completely. Deodorant-style products designed specifically to prevent chafing include Body Original Anti-Chafe Balm from Body Glide and Thigh Rescue from Megababe.

A powdery product is also a great option to reduce chafing because it leaves the skin dry (chafing is usually the result of sweat creating friction). For a product more on the powdery side, try out Lush’s Silky Underwear dusting powder.

If these products don’t work well for you, then there is always my favorite: layering spandex shorts. Carolina Watlington, a fellow writer for Her Campus UFL, prefers to layer her skirts and dresses with a pair of simple spandex shorts to prevent from chafing throughout the day. This option is really only fitting for those days you throw on a skirt or dress, but it is completely effective.

Finding the perfect solution for you is a game of trial and error – you just need to try out different remedies and see what works best for your chafing case. These remedies can be applied to chafing other than from the inner thighs (minus layering with shorts), and I hope you find the golden nugget of advice that will ease your discomfort from chafing.

Chafing can seem impossible to get rid of, but with a bit of effort you can find what anti-chafing remedies work best for you. Here’s to saying goodbye to chafing.