Outdoor activities, like running, walking or cycling and chafing come hand in hand. It’s a sad reality. I’ve you’ve ever experienced it (and we’re assuming you have) it is uncomfortable at best. At worst, it can be completely debilitating and doesn’t allow you to concentrate on your activity.
What Causes Chafing?
Chafing is a friction-caused irritation on the skin. The constant rubbing and skin to skin contact will cause irritation, a rash, and can even lead to blistering and rawness. Typically, the repetitive movements in running and cycling are often to blame.
As well as the repetitive movements, there are other contributing factors to chafing. These can include moisture on the skin, warm and poor-fitting clothing, warm weather, sensitive skin, and sea water.
Most often, you will find chafing occur in the following areas:
- Nipples (due to the rubbing of your shirt)
- Groin (generally caused by the rubbing of your thighs but also sometimes clothing)
- Thighs (usually caused by clothing)
- Armpits (can be caused by shaving sometimes clothing)
How to Stop Chafing
The good news is, chafing can be prevented and in more ways than one. Let’s take a look at the preventative measures you can take.
- Reduce friction by applying specially designed lubricant prior to activity
- Avoid cotton because it makes you sweat more
- Remove any unnecessary tags on clothing
- Make sure that your clothes fit properly, not being too tight or loose
- Opt for seamless clothing if possible
- Wear sport-specific underwear
- Don’t allow your bag to move freely, making sure to tighten straps
- Apply bandages to prevent nipple chafing
In some instances, chafing is just unavoidable. If it is too late to follow the preventative measures then you should aim to treat it as soon as possible to relieve discomfort. The warning signs of chafing usually manifest as a hot or warm spot on your body. If you begin to feel this, stop and try to find the cause of the problem. This
The warning signs of chafing usually manifest as a hot or warm spot on your body. If you begin to feel this, stop and try to find the cause of the problem. This is where you can really help to stop it from becoming raw or blistered. You should apply a lubricant or bandage in order to reduce the friction.
Once you’re home, a shower will work wonders. Primarily, showering will help to wash off any sweat which would otherwise irritate the skin. It can then be treated like any other rash and by giving it time to heal over.