The rising temperatures and increasing humidity associated with summer can lead to some very uncomfortable situations. It's pretty much inevitable. One of the most frustrating things to happen during the warmer months is friction that leaves your skin irritated AF. Thankfully, it seems there are quite a few brilliant ways to prevent thigh and armpit chafing. And the best part: they're easy and inexpensive.
Having lived in Florida for the majority of my life, I'm certainly no stranger to getting sweaty and inflamed in areas that are, let's say, less than desirable. But it's not just women who bear the brunt of this unfortunate summer skin situation either. People of all sexes, shapes, sizes, and skin types are at risk for chafing. Fortunately, bright red, burning armpits and thighs can soon be a thing of the past. Or, at the very least, something that doesn't happen too often.
Chafing happens to everyone at some point and it certainly isn't anything to be embarrassed about. Sometimes, though, when it comes to discussing your body sensitivities, the topic can feel a bit taboo. So, in an effort to take the embarrassment out of the situation, check out these brilliant ways to prevent thigh and armpit chafing.
1. Wear Breathable Fabric
The best way to know how to stop something is to know what causes it in the first place. As nurse Amy Bunton tells Romper, chafing is caused by two or more areas of the body rubbing against each other, trapping sweat and leaving the surface layer of your skin raw. One way to avoid such issues is to wear breathable fabric that wicks away sweat and keeps skin cool and irritation-free. Thankfully there's no shortage of options when it comes to airy, light-weight clothing materials.
2. Sprinkle Some Powder
There's a reason certain at-home remedies have stuck around for so long — they just work. Tiffany Sposato, a licensed esthetician and cosmetologist, tells Romper that talcum powder and cornstarch absorb moisture and provide a barrier between your thighs and armpits. Sposato warns, however, not to go overboard with powder since it has a tendency to clump and that could just lead to further irritation. If this isn't your cup of tea, there are other options.
3. Get Greasy
If powder isn't really working for you, don't worry. As professor of dermatology Dr. Janellen Smith told HuffPost, petroleum jelly can prevent armpits and thighs from chafing. If the jelly is a bit to thick for your liking, Smith also suggested using diaper rash cream, since a diaper rash exhibits essentially the same symptoms as chafing. You may have to play around a bit until you find the right kind of balm or ointment, but it'll pay off in the end.
4. Drink Up
This trick definitely requires a bit of advanced planning, but drinking plenty of water helps As dermatologist Dr. Dendy Engelman told Prevention, "staying hydrated minimizes the salt concentration in the skin," and that can reduce your chances of irritation. What role does salt play in chafing? If you're dehydrated, your system can't flush out the salt in your sweat which means it's left behind on your skin to cause irritation, Engelman explained.
5. Size Accordingly
Breathable clothing is a great place to start, but what about sizing? For those with a particularly active lifestyle, dermatologist Dr. Allison Hanlon told Good Housekeeping to avoid loose fitting clothes which lead to moisture build-up and irritation. A flowing dress isn't off limits, but you'll definitely want to go for form-fitting options when you're headed to the gym.
6. Consider Hair
Whether you prefer to leave your body in its natural state or you like to keep things smooth, hair plays a role in chafing. Sposato tells Romper that people should waxing instead of shave. If you prefer to grow your hair out, she says to make sure you keep armpits and thighs as clean and dry as possible if you prefer having body hair.
7. Check It Out
If none of these tips work for you and your chafing has moved far beyond being a minor inconvenience, you might need outside help. As Hanlon told Good Housekeeping, if your chafing doesn't improve, you need to see a medical professional because raw skin is open skin. Open skin means skin that is vulnerable to infection. Play it safe and talk to your doctor if you're concerned.