The Summer Chafe

by Mermaid Nixie July 08, 2017 2 Comments

It's Summer!

If you're anything like me, the warm weather brings one thing: chafing. Like seriously, screw chafing. It can go in a hole and die.

Whether you call it chafing, chub rub, or I have no skin on my inner thighs, it's not pleasant, so in honor of summer, I'm bringing you some solutions for how to stop it. And when that fails, some ways to treat it.

Stopping the chafe

1. Stay dry
Number one on every list for preventing the summer chafe is to stay dry. But I know it's not that easy. I mean, if I walk more than 10-15 minutes in the sun, there's gonna be some sweat in some places. The longer I walk, the more likely that sweat is to turn into terrible skin-tearing agony. 
So, make sure you're wearing as much cotton as possible. It will wick the water away from your skin. Conversely, your cotton panties don't dry very quickly, so sometimes, when I'm in for a hot day, I drop a pantyliner in there to catch sweat. Not the most comfortable, but it keeps me dry.
Also, consider finding a powder that keeps the moisture off your skin. But when you choose them, read the ingredients and do not use products containing talc (talc has naturally occurring asbestos and has been shown to cause ovarian cancer when applied to the genitals). Choose a baby powder (less likely to have talc) or simple cornstarch. Powder your trouble areas liberally.

2. Lubricate
Yep, so on one line I tell you to stay dry and on another I tell you to lubricate. No mixed signals here. See, with some areas, I know that putting cornstarch on my sweaty bits is going to help the most. And on others, you just gotta reduce the friction.
That's why there are about a dozen products on the market for this. From Monistat's anti-chafing gel ($6 on that link, and you can subscribe to it) to BodyGlide to plain petroleum jelly, you can find a wealth of different options.
BodyGlide is an industry standard for chafing lubricants, and the best place to buy that is at a running store. I've found if you walk in and act like you've bought that a thousand times before, they don't ask a lot of questions.

3. Protect
Finally, there are a lot of bonus garments out there that you can wear to reduce your friction. Shapewear works really well, but it's not likely to make you sweat less. I guess it's a balance for what you need. Bandalettes or seamless undershorts are super popular, especially under dresses. 

Treating the chafe

Real talk: you're probably going to chafe anyway. Even if you take your BodyGlide with you and reapply, there's going to be that one weird place under your bra that rubs. Or you're going to forget and go downtown and halfway through the day realize you have no skin any more. 

I went to WebMD and, surprisingly, chafing is not a sign of cancer. (I found the one thing!) They did make me laugh though

Give your skin some time to heal from chafing before being active again. Continued friction will only make it worse and could lead to infection.1

Um... what? Stop moving and it will get better? Okay, cool. So...I'm going to sit on my couch with my legs spread.


Interestingly, the best treatments for already having chafing are very similar to preventing it. WebMD also mentions that petroleum jelly is a great protector. I've also seen some great things online about using diaper cream (yep, you read that right) to treat minor chafing. For me, my chafing almost always turns into a terrible yeasty thing, so I smear athlete's foot cream all over it every night.

What's your chafing solution?

1. WebMD. Skin Chafing: Causes, Treatments, Prevention

Mermaid Nixie


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July 18, 2020



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