We spoke with experts about how to prevent it from happening.

By Samantha Lauriello
September 20, 2018

Jessamyn Stanley doesn’t hold anything back on social media. The yoga instructor and influencer is the definition of a body-positivity advocate, and recently, she took to Instagram to shed light on a skin issue that isn’t discussed nearly enough: thigh chafing and the discomfort and scars it can cause.

"Yes, there are permanent marks on my inner thighs from thigh chafing. Welcome to being #fat. Nice to meet you,” Stanley wrote alongside a photo of herself lounging in her bra and underwear while watching Downton Abbey.

Chafing happens to just about everyone, no matter your size; it's the result of skin irritation due to some kind of friction—like when one leg rubs against the other, or during exercise when tight clothes are constantly moving over skin. 

There are a number of ways to prevent it from happening, says Debra Jaliman, MD, dermatologist and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. She suggests starting by wearing spandex shorts as a barrier between the thighs, where chafing commonly occurs.

If spandex isn’t your thing, you can try anti-friction products, like Gold Bond Chafing Defense Anti-Friction Formula or MegaBabe Thigh Rescue Anti Chafe Stick. Rub these on the insides of your thighs, and your skin will glide over itself instead of rubbing.

RELATED: The 6 Best Anti-Chafing Products to Prevent Thigh Rub

Another solution: baby powder. You don’t necessarily need anything fancy to put an end to thigh rub. Sprinkling some baby powder into your pants could also do the trick, Jaliman says.

If the damage has already been done and you have marks from chafing, Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetic and clinical research in the department of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, says the key to helping your skin heal is treating it quickly. He recommends applying an over-the-counter 1 percent hydrocortisone cream to reduce inflammation and redness.

Looking for a more natural option? Jaliman says to apply aloe vera, which can soothe irritation and heal marks on the skin. She also suggests applying a mixture of manuka tree oil and honey, a concoction that has antibacterial properties and will keep the area moist. She also advises making a paste with the spice turmeric, which is an antiseptic.

There’s nothing worse than having a killer workout interrupted by rubbing skin. These tips should put an end to the pain and show chafing who’s boss. And if you do have marks like Stanley, there's nothing to worry about—our scars make us who we are.