As much as we love swapping tips and tricks to solve our biggest beauty dilemmas, there are some questions we may not feel comfortable asking our friends about, let alone Google without going incognito. Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. In this series, we’re tackling those embarrassing beauty queries by turning to experts in the field to get you the answers you need — minus any awkward feelings.
Summer may be quickly turning to fall, but if you’re prone to chafing, you know that heat isn’t the only enemy in the battle against what’s been oh-so-pleasantly dubbed chub rub. While people of all shapes and sizes can experience the uncomfortable rubbing associated with skin-to-skin contact in combination with certain fabrics and temperatures, some would have you believe that it’s a bodycare quandary reserved for those on the upper end of the scale. We’re here to put an end to that theory by getting to the bottom of what exactly causes chafing and what can be done to stop it in its tracks. Ahead, you’ll learn about not only what could be leading to inner thigh discomfort but also the best products to help alleviate those reactions.
What Causes THIGH Chafing?
Chafing — who needs it? No one. But who experiences it? A lot more people than you might think. That’s because, depending on the way your hips are aligned — closer together or farther apart — your thighs may be more likely to rub together, especially when mixed with certain activities. “Chafing is most commonly caused by irritation to the skin from moisture and friction — either from the skin or clothing,” David Shafer, a NYC-based cosmetic surgeon at Shafer Plastic Surgery, says. “Repetitive sports or exercise can aggravate the area as can obesity as there is more skin and tissue rubbing against each other.” So, whether you’re a size two or a size 12, chafing can be a very real concern. But, we know what you’re wondering: Size aside, what can a girl do to put the not-so-fun skin sitch to rest?
Seriously Good Solutions for Chafing Skin
As with any skincare concern, the trick to treating the problem is to focus on what the underlying cause is. As such, the best way to alleviate the pain associated with all that rubbing is to find a way to let skin breathe. And no, that doesn’t mean to sit spread eagle, but rather to find the products that can create a soothing sensation. “Topical products such as Jack Black Dry Down Friction-Free Powder ($22) is an excellent option,” Shafer says, adding that topical steroids such as hydrocortisone can also be helpful but are not good in the long term since they rub off.
Beyond products, prevention can come down to hygiene and health as a whole. While exercise can be a serious ally in the fight against chafing, Shafer says that, in extreme cases, liposuction can sometimes be helpful to trim down the area and create a wider thigh gap, effectively eliminate the chance of rubbing. “Also there are some anecdotal reports [that] MiraDry treatments, which are FDA-approved to reduce underarm sweat, can also be used to reduce groin and inner thigh sweat,” he says.
Long story short, you have choices. The trick is to find which works best for you. Keep reading to see our favorites.
Brit + Co Picks
1. Monistat Chafing Relief Powder Gel ($6): This gel-to-powder formula glides onto skin to prevent and treat the discomfort of chafing thanks to its silky-smooth texture. Designed to be used on thighs, breasts, the bikini area, and underarms, thanks to a little investigative reporting, you’ll be surprised to know that you can also slather this skincare star on your feet for a blister-free approach to your favorite strappy sandals and heels.
2. Megababe Thigh Rescue ($13): Formulated with aloe vera, vitamin E, pomegranate seed extract, and grapeseed oil, you can look forward to a hassle-free approach to soothing, protecting, and hydrating your sensitive inner thigh area. Take that, chafing!
3. Bandelettes ($19): Available in nude, black, red, brown, and white shades, these lace thigh bands are equal parts sexy and effective. Made to guard the sensitive inner thigh area from potential pain due to rubbing, they feature thin rubber strips along the upper and lower edges to ensure they stay put.
4. Body Glide For Her ($8): Unlike other chafing powders and balms that sometimes dry out skin so much that another problem is caused, this must-try product features a vitamin-rich formula to both prevent chafing and deeply hydrate skin with every use. What’s more, its pocket-sized design makes combatting chafing on the go easier than ever.
Have any more awkward beauty questions? Let us know @BritandCo!
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Illustrations by San Trieu
(Photos viaJames Darell/Getty; Delmaine Donson/Getty)