Thigh Chafing 101: How to Keep Your Thighs Happy This Summer

When I think of summer, my heart is filled with memories of sunshine, long-awaited balmy days and two feet dangling over the dock while I suck back as many red freezies as I can. It isn’t until sweat is dripping off me like a faucet that I remember: summer can be rough. 

Let’s be honest, menstruating bodies go through enough monthly turbulence as is, without the worry of how heat will affect our mood or whether the river of boob sweat is showing through our shirts. 

But one thing really tops the list of seasonal dreads: thigh chafing

It’s a reality that nobody really prepares you for, and almost feels like a rite of passage when it first occurs. One day, you’re walking down the street without a care in the world, and the next, you’re sumo squatting because the thigh pain feels so raw that you might be bleeding through your shorts. 

Chafing refers to skin irritation that can appear red or discolored, and results from rubbing or friction,” Marisa Garshick, MD, FAAD, board-certified dermatologist and assistant professor of dermatology at Weill Cornell Medicine, told Glamour.

While commonly referred to as “chub rub”—a term that horrified me as a kid—thigh chafing occurs as a result of heat and friction. This rubbing of the inner thighs is also something people of all shapes and sizes experience, and can look different for different bodies. 

When we shed our winter coats and dawn shorts, dresses and rompers, there’s very little to protect us from the friction between our inner thighs. So, what are we to do? Avoid going on walks in the summer sunshine? Wear full-length sweatpants all soccer season

NO WAY! 

Luckily for us, thigh chafing solutions have gone from crafty home remedies to full blown wellness category. Let’s look at a few options for coping with irritated skin and decide what might be best for you.

Wear the Dress, Without the Inner Thigh Rub

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Let’s start with the most effective and multitasking option on the list. 

To help prevent chafing from happening in the first place, thigh chafing shorts, like a pair of Leakproof Thigh Savers can help prevent chafing in its tracks. 

With a 5” inseam that covers most of your upper inner thighs with buttery soft (and fast-drying) fabric, these silky thigh savers are smooth for wearing under shorts, skirts, jerseys, and uniforms.

While wearing bike shorts to help prevent skin to skin contact can be a great option for some people, others prefer the “barely there” feel of thigh savers. But the cherry on top is the built in Leakproof material that absorbs around 3 regular tampons worth of period blood, so whether you’re on your period (or even just experiencing excessive sweating on a hot day), you’re taken care of. 

Anti-Chafing Sticks and Solutions

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The first time I experienced inner thigh chafing, my mom handed me her deodorant. “Thanks?” I said, taking the hint to give my pits a swipe. “No,” she laughed, “for between your legs!”

That’s right; deodorant will dry the area right up, creating a smooth surface for those sore thighs. And hey, it will smell great too! 

Other brands, like Body Glide, offer anti-chafing solutions, like anti-chafing sticks and creams that will moisturize your skin and create a protective barrier that can help prevent skin chafing and friction.

My personal favorite is the anti-chafe stick from Megababe, whose founder, Katie Sturino lovingly says, “My thighs rub together. My boobs sweat. And my B.O. is the worst,” when referring to Megababe’s origin story. 

SLAY that thigh chafing, queens and kings! 

For When Your Thighs Are Already Chafed

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So, you’re experiencing the rite of passage that is skin chafing—what now? 

To treat thigh chafing, start with a cool, or lukewarm shower. This should provide some pretty instant relief from the fiery pain of your torn up inner thighs. Since the salt from your sweat is, quite literally, salting the wound, this should help mitigate further irritation to the area. 

Our next piece of advice in finding thigh chafe TLC is: be gentle. Karissa Mitchell wrote in Teen Vogue, “What can help ease the pain? Lotions, oils, and gels are one thing—but have you considered an ointment? Absorbing less rapidly than lotions, a thick ointment provides a barrier that thin moisturizers could never.”

Looking into thigh chafing cream and soothing ointments like aloe vera gel, CeraVe’s Healing Ointment, or petroleum jelly like Vaseline can help ease the discomfort of chafing while providing hydration and helping prevent secondary skin infections.

Most importantly, reduce friction over the next few days until your skin heals, during which time loose and breathable fabrics are your friend. 

Thigh chafing has less to do with thick thighs and more to do with the fact that everyone is prone to skin on skin friction—especially when hot weather and physical activity enter the mix. 

For me, it’s just a mild side-effect of being curvy, HOT, and fabulous! Help protect your thighs the best way that you can and continue living your best NO-CHAFE Summer.


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