15 Products for Thigh Chafing That Actually Work
I’ve been blessed with big thighs. I love my shape, but it comes at a cost: thigh chafing. Recently, I went on a vacation to Jamaica. As you can imagine, it was full of fun activities and a whole lot of heat. All I packed were swimsuits, Daisy
Dukes, and dresses, so my thighs were bound to rub together. By the end of the four-day trip, the insides of my thighs felt inflamed from the combination of sweat, short shorts, and heat, which resulted in constant friction followed by sore, red, uncomfortable patches on my skin.
It doesn’t just happen to those with thick thighs, though. It can happen to anyone.
Thankfully, there are ways to treat and even prevent chafing altogether. To find out how, we tapped Dr. Stacy Chimento and Dr. Ope Ofodile for their expert insight and advice. Plus, we rounded up our favorite anti-chafing balms, sprays, and oils to bring you our ultimate guide to nipping chafing in the bud once and for all.
MEET THE EXPERT
- Stacy Chimento, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist at Riverchase Dermatology. She is based in Miami.
- Ope Ofodile, MD, MPH, is a cosmetic and medical dermatologist at Dermatology and Surgery Specialists of North Atlanta. She specializes in general dermatology, dermatologic surgery, pediatric surgery, and cosmetic dermatology.
How to Prevent Chafing
Since thigh chafing—or any chafing for that matter—is caused by friction, one way to prevent it is by keeping the area lubricated. “Applying petroleum jelly, or
a similar anti-chafing lubricant, to your chafing hot spots helps eliminate skin friction,” explains Chimento. She also suggests using a cornstarch-based powder since it can absorb moisture from the skin, leaving it silky-smooth. Antiperspirant wipes won’t hurt, either, says Ofodile. Essentially, “To prevent chafing, you’ll want to try to create a barrier between the skin to skin contact, or the skin to clothing contact,” she explains.
In other words, dress wisely (read: no Daisy Dukes—at least not without the proper precautions). According to Ofodile and Chimento, that means wearing clothes that are loose, breathable, and moisture-wicking, especially if it’s hot and humid. Covering your thighs with a soft bandage or using compression shorts will also help since it will keep skin from rubbing against itself.
How to Treat Chafing
In case chafing prevention is merely wishful thinking at this point, not to worry, you’re not alone. If you find yourself looking down at inflamed and irritated thighs, Chimento instructs, “Carefully clean the irritated area with lukewarm water and body wash and dry it thoroughly. After the chafed area is clean and dry, apply an anti-chafing product such as petroleum jelly, aloe vera, cornstarch, or shea butter. All four of these remedies soothe the skin and prevent future chafing.” However, if irritation worsens, it’s best to seek medical attention and obtain medicated ointment.
Keep in mind: “It takes some time for chafing to heal, so wait for a little before returning to activities that caused chafing. If you fail to wait long enough, friction will continue and put you at risk for a possible infection,” says Chimento.
When it comes to chafing prevention and treatment, it’s essential to look for hydrating ingredients that’ll coat your skin with a protective layer against environmental aggressors. Chimento counts zinc oxide, Dimethicone, and petroleum jelly as key anti-chafing ingredients. “[They] help create a protective barrier on the skin, which helps prevent skin friction,” she explains. “Other ingredients such as aloe and vitamin E act as soothing agents to help calm irritated skin,” she adds.
Best All-Around: Megababe Thigh Rescue
This little stick will knock chafing right out with its combination of vitamin E, aloe, and grape-seed oil. It’s made to guard against continuous friction by creating a silky barrier for the skin. “This product is amazing because it is specifically created for the thighs, a chafing hot spot. The combination of these ingredients reduces inflammation and heals the skin,” explains Chimento.
Best for Athletes: SBR Skin Slick Continuous Spray Lubricant
Created with athletes in mind who partake in activities like cycling, running, or swimming, this mist is the real deal. It even works on things like pesky blisters. “[It]
helps to prevent chafing by acting as a shield to avoid all types of skin friction and irritation. This product is a must-have because it is both waterproof and sweatproof, so you don’t need to worry about re-applying it throughout the day,” says Chimento.