Don't let chafing be the reason you don't finish your first marathon, longest trail ride to date, or hike through the Appalachian Trail. You've trained too hard to let a little raw skin get in your way!
Chafing is an unfortunate reality most endurance athletes can relate to. But constantly pulling down your shorts or running with a goofy wide-stance gate is not the answer.
Trust us on that. There is a finally a reliable, affordable way to say goodbye to chafing forever. Take a look at the list of products below and how they are changing the anti-chafing cream game.
An Athletes Worst Enemy - Chafing
For those of you that are unfortunate enough to have experienced chafing, you know how annoying and painful it can be. Not only does it make the activity harder and more painful, but it can also leave marks, blisters, and even permanent scars.
And don't even get me started on the hot shower after a fresh chafing incident, eek!
But what exactly causes chafing to happen, and why does it happen more often in certain areas?
Well, skin chafing is caused by friction when skin rubs against clothing or skin rubs against skin.
The most common locations for chafing are areas where skin and clothing are rubbing against each other like the thighs, nipples or feet. It can also happen in areas where the skin is rubbing against the skin such as the groin or underarms if you are wearing a sleeveless shirt.
It happens more frequently to those that carry excess weight, but it can also happen to endurance athletes during long training sessions or competition.
Chafing first appears as redness and is tender to the touch or to hot water. If it is more severe, it can become slightly swollen, or it may bleed. It can blister while it is healing too.
The traditional anti-chafing cream or salve works by moisturizing the area. But only the top products can maintain this level of protection when exposed to sweat. Anti-chafing salve can be applied before or during physical activity to prevent friction that causes raw skin and blisters.
You can apply anti-chafing cream to areas of your body that are usually victims of chafing. Thighs, underarms, feet, nipples, or bra-line are good places to start. Apply generously and get going!
For relief after activity, you can use an anti-chafing salve for dry or cracked skin.
Remember that for those anti-chafing creams and salves made from natural materials you may notice the oil separate on top of the container (much like your organic peanut butter). This is normal, and you can use a spoon or your hand to mix the oil back in.
You can bring your favorite anti-chafing cream in your backpack, fanny pack, or sleeping bag sleeve. It's easy to transport and can handle warm temperatures. If using in cold temperatures, you may have to warm it up in your hands before applying to get the best results.
If you have sensitive skin or skin allergies, always check the ingredients on anti-chafing lotions, creams, and salves. Not every product works for every skin type, so always check the label before purchasing.
Gone are the days of using your deodorant between your legs to avoid chafing. It may make you smell better, but it's not intended to be used as an anti-chafing solution.
Instead, try an anti-chafe stick. Much like a stick of deodorant, it is easy to apply and mess-free. Look for a product with natural ingredients to prevent skin irritation.
You can use the anti-chafe stick before, during or after exercise for chafing or blisters. It can also treat dry skin.
Anti-chafing sticks can also be useful if you will need to reapply the product during an extended training session such as a long run, hike, or bike ride. Bring it with you and re-apply if you are starting to feel that unpleasant friction.
A Word on Proper Attire
The first line of defense against chafing is wearing the right clothing. Breathable, technical shirts, shorts, and leggings are much better suited for endurance activity and exercise than a traditional cotton t-shirt.
Look for sweat-wicking materials that will keep you dry and prevent skin chafing. Loose-fitting clothing can also cause more friction than spandex or similarly tight materials.
Consider wearing a layer of tighter fitting clothing underneath your looser clothes to prevent chafing, especially between the legs. For men or women, running tights will usually prevent chafing between the legs but you should still use an anti-chafing product for your groin area.
If you are exercising in hot weather, consider not wearing a shirt or just wearing a sports bra. The less clothing you have on, the less likely there will be chafing.
And Another Word on Treating Chafing
If you use proper anti-chafing products you should be able to prevent chafing altogether. However, if you ever forget your anti-chafing cream and find yourself nursing the wounds of bad chafing it is essential to keep the area clean and dry.
Wash the area with soap and water (warning, this might sting!). Then, apply an anti-chafing product and try to avoid activity or exercise that might make it worse.
If your chafing does not improve or you think it may be infected, contact a doctor.
Goodbye Chafing, We Will Not Miss You
No more blisters and no more chafing. Just smooth skin and epic training sessions. It can be hard as a new endurance athlete or a long time pro to deal with nuisances like skin chafing.
Find the right anti-chafing product for you and pick some up before your next workout. With affordable prices and adoring customers, why wouldn't you try it?
If you're interested in learning more about the awesome anti-chafing, recovery, and skincare products we have to offer, browse our online store or contact us for more information!