Dr. Raj explains thigh chafing, and how to avoid it this summer.

By Dr. Roshini Raj
June 12, 2019

I have a problem with thigh chafing—it’s really painful. And it always gets worse in the summer. What can I do?

There are a lot of things to love about summertime, but chafing isn’t one of them. Whenever your thighs rub against each other, or a piece of clothing, it causes friction that irritates the epidermis (the outermost layer of skin). Add some sweat on a hot day, and it creates more friction. Aloe vera gel can soothe the swelling and pain. But sometimes the skin gets so blistered and raw it needs to be treated with a prescription-strength ointment.

RELATED: Jessamyn Stanley Just Posted the Most Candid Photo Revealing Her Scars From Chafing

To protect your inner thighs—and any other body part—this season, experiment with an anti-chafing balm or gel. These products lubricate your skin to cut down on friction. Or you could use a powder to absorb moisture and help keep the area of sensitive skin dry.

I’d also recommend wearing synthetic, moisture-wicking fabrics rather than cotton. And try not to linger too long in sweaty workout clothes. Better to change out of your shorts or leggings ASAP, to give your skin a chance to breathe.

Health’s medical editor, Roshini Rajapaksa, MD, is an associate professor of medicine at the NYU School of Medicine and a cofounder of TULA Skincare.

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