Swimsuit Chafing

When we think about going swimming most of us think of a leisurely day by the pool dipping our feet into the cool water, or the thrill of riding some waves with the sand between your feet, or even a nice day out on the boat – but no one thinks of chafing, until it happens to you. Swimsuit or life vest chafing is an all too common occurrence after a day in or on the water. One that can really throw a wrench into your vacation, fishing trip or training session.

How Does Swimsuit Chafing Occur?

Chafing occurs due to friction, whether it’s skin-to-skin rubbing or friction between your skin and fabric such as your swimsuit, wetsuit or life vest. This friction is only exacerbated when your skin or clothing is wet – moisture causing the top layer of your skin to be more susceptible to damage from constant friction, which makes the chafing worse. The result is often a painful burning or stinging sensation that can come on quickly and eventually escalate to becoming a bleeding open wound. These swimsuit chafe abrasions are painful, with the burning sensation becoming slowly intolerable resulting in you being sidelined, high-and-dry, from your favorite activity.

Saltwater accelerates the on-set of swimsuit chafe. The continuous friction of your skin on your swimsuit during an ocean swim, surf session or other saltwater activity is prime conditions for swimsuit chafing. Once the skin is broken, the salts in the salt water cause skin cells to break open exposing more cells underneath to damage and potential bacteria in the water

Whether you’re out or in the water for fun, competition or exercise, preventing swimsuit chafing before it starts is a priority for anyone planning on spending time in the water.

How To Prevent Swimsuit Chafe:

  • Wear sunscreen. Sun-damaged skin is more likely to become irritated and to cause an open wound to develop. Applying Sun balm from Body Glide® gives you all day chafing, blister and sunburn protection, keeping your skin sunburn and chafe-free.
  • Wear a swimsuit that fits well, one that stays in place but is not too loose or too tight. This applies to PFDs, personal floatation devices, as well.
  • Keep your bathing suit clean and dry. Remember to rinse it in fresh water after every use. Dried salt, sand, dirt, and sweat increase the possibility of friction between your bathing suit and skin.
  • Stay hydrated. Healthy skin is less susceptible to breakage due to chafing.
  • Rinse your body with fresh water to avoid saltwater and sweat from forming salty crystals on your skin.
  • Prevent chafing before it starts with Body Glide® blams! Body Glide® balms are designed to form a long-lasting, barrier that protects you from skin-on-skin and skin-on-swimsuit chafing. Just one application lasts all day, even in water! 


Apply Sun anywhere exposed skin comes into contact with your swimsuit, wetsuit, or life vest. So, next time you’re getting ready for a day of surfing, watersports, or a long pool training session, take a few minutes to shield yourself from swimsuit chafe with Sun from Body Glide!

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