How To Prevent Chafing For Runners

Sondre Nordstad Moen

Most every runner has experienced the excruciating burn from chafing. You get home from a run feeling satisfied with your training, only to experience this burning sensation on your thighs and other parts. Chafing is an issue many runners deal with more than once in their lives. It occurs whenever there is constant friction on your skin; this mainly occurs on your thighs as a runner. 

You might be wondering, “Is there anything I can do to prevent it?” The good news is, there are a handful of measures that you can take to prevent chafing from occurring, and you can get back to your training pain-free.

Here are a few options that can help you to avoid chafing:

1. Change your workout attire

If chafing has been an issue for you in the past, it might be worthwhile to invest in longer shorts or tights to prevent the amount of exposed skin. Having that added layer of clothing may help to lessen the friction as compared to having your completely-exposed thighs rubbing while running. Oftentimes, it is also helpful to wear seamless clothing as well to reduce the friction that occurs between your body and parts of clothing such as seams or tags. 

2. Apply a powder

Chafing is more likely to occur when surfaces are wet. By applying a powder, you dry out the area and are less likely to cause friction between surfaces. Having dry skin also minimizes irritation which will also help reduce the risk of chafing for runners. Many baby powders will do the trick when it comes to preventing chafing. There are also powders that are specifically made for runners to help prevent irritation and chafing.

3. Apply a lubricant

Applying powder to the area that usually chafes does not always work for every runner. For those that do not prefer powder, anti-chafing lubricants might work better. Lubricants, such as vaseline or Ultimate Performance Skin Shield, can help to reduce the amount of friction runners experience while training. Since there is less friction, the chances of chafing are greatly reduced. Many running stores will carry anti-chafing lubricant or gels that will help reduce chafing.

4. Proper after-run care

Runners can take measures to prevent chafing from occurring after their runs as well. Once you complete a run, it is important to get out of your workout attire that might be wet and sweaty, as this might irritate the skin. It’s also a good idea to shower very shortly after in lukewarm water to clean the skin. After showering, completely dry off to avoid any irritation then properly moisturize with any hydrating lotions or creams to repair the area. Having healthy, hydrated skin helps to prevent chafing from occurring on your next run, so it’s always important to stay hydrated; you can keep your skin healthy from the inside out and also apply moisturizer regularly to keep your skin hydrated.

Chafing can be extremely painful and irritating for runners. It might sometimes feel like chafing is inevitable to happen every single run, but there are various measures that you can take to prevent chafing from happening.

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