Chafing is the runner’s constant companion. No matter what the season, there’s always the risk of red, irritated, raw-feeling thighs (and that’s just one common area for runners). Some people are more prone to it than others — but fortunately, there’s no shortage of solutions to this dreaded issue.
We spoke with Amy Goldenberg, Consumer Research Analyst, at SurveyStud, inc about this topic, and she gave us some insite on runners chafing.
Goldenberg recommended to start by staying hydrated while you run — not only is it important for your health, but salt crystals left behind when you stop sweating and the perspiration dries actually become an irritant.
She gave us five key recommnedations to stop the irritation of runner thighs while running:
1. Proper Clothing
Goldenburg mentioned too often, running clothes are at least part of the problem when it comes to irritated thighs. Seams on shorts can rub up against skin and exacerbate the issue. If your running shorts are the culprit, try switching to another pair, one that’s a bit longer. As an alternative, you can try wearing a pair of compression shorts, which tend to be a bit longer, under your running shorts.
Material choice is important, too: Cotton shorts are a bad idea, because once they’re wet, they stay wet. Synthetic fabrics with moisture-wicking properties, such as Lycra or Spandex, are a much, much better option.
2. Lubricants, Gels, and Balms
Chaffing on the thigh from a trail runA gel-like lubricant on your thighs can ease friction and reduce chafing while running. Petroleum jelly is an inexpensive, widely available option that works well, but you can also find more specialized products for runners, including BodyGlide, Run-Goo (and its sibling product Hike-goo), as well as Red11 (originally meant for nipple chafing, it can also be used on thighs). This can be a slightly messier solution than other alternatives
If gels and lubricants aren’t to your preference, some powder products can also stop thighs from chafing during your run. Baby powder (or talcum powder) is a simple no-frills option. More specialized products include Lush’s Silky Underwear or Anti-Monkey Butt powder, which also has a ladies’ variant.
Bandelettes are a great option to prevent thigh chafing while running. Made from a soft synthetic microfiber, they are specially designed to prevent skin irritation caused by the friction of skin on skin or even skin on fabric. Bandelettes won’t slide down your thighs thanks to nonslip silicone. They only cover the area that needs to be covered, making them a more comfortable, breathable option, especially in warm weather. Unisex bandelettes area available in either black or beige, in a variety of sizes.
5. Proper After-Care
Taking care of your legs after a run will also help minimize your discomfort. Start by showering as soon as possible, in lukewarm water. Hot water and chafed thighs is just a recipe for pain! Pat your skin dry — don’t rub — to minimize irritation. And then be sure to follow up by moisturizing your skin with a good lotion, coconut oil or shea butter. If you are dealing with raw, irritated skin, skip the moisturizing step and instead go for a diaper rash cream like Desitin or A+D Zinc Oxide cream. It sounds crazy, but the active ingredient is zinc oxide, which makes it antibacterial as well as soothing.
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