When you know what causes chafing, you can avoid pain, scarring, need for first aid, and recovery that can last for days or weeks, and here’s some of what we know at Body Glide® from almost two decades of making tried and true topical skin protectants.
If you thought chapped, irritated, burning, chafed and raw skin are just facts of life and that you have to live with them, that’s not the case.
Understanding the causes, you can decide what it takes to stay comfortable and to prevent trouble before you need first aid.
What Do You Need To Know?
When thighs rub each other, when your shoes rub your heels, they cause friction.
Friction is resistance caused by rubbing, and sooner of later, it will injure your skin. Keep in mind that friction worsens with excessive pressure and force, heat, humidity and perspiration, or from excessive dryness and cold. Unabated, skin injuries from rubbing range from rash to irritation, burning, blisters, and raw skin — and at that point, you have an open wound vulnerable to infection.
The skin injury can also depend on whether your skin is thick or thin. Fat density can be protective in some places, and in other places, not much at all.
Perspiration helps throw-off body heat, but it also brings salts and minerals to the surface, and they add to friction. Gritty, like sandpaper, it grinds your skin.
What’s Really Happening?
What starts as unnoticeable irritation can grow into microscopic tears in your top layer of skin, and it continues — from the epidermis down into the dermis — the thick layer of “true skin” comprised of living tissue, capillaries, nerve endings, and more. It often doesn’t take long to start to feel the pain.
What Else Causes Skin Chafing?
Skin is tough enough to withstand some friction and rubbing without problems, but there’s a limit for everyone. There are a lot of everyday contributing causes:
- Clothing that is too tight or too loose
- Long distance activities like running or cycling
- Excess moisture from sweat or water sports
- Fabrics that don’t wick moisture away
- Overly developed muscles from exercise
- Repetitive movements
- Sensitive skin
- Heat and hot weather
- Tight-fitting shoes or heels
- Extra body weight
- Salt residue on skin from sweat or ocean water
How can you prevent chafing?
If your skin is already injured, give it some time to recover, until redness disappears and discomfort goes away.
You don’t have to stop doing the things you love, but you do need to protect your skin, and how depends on undergarments and your other clothing and footwear, where you are going, what you are doing, your level of activity, if you are mostly inside or outside, the weather conditions, and the vulnerability of your skin.
You should create a line of defense between your skin and whatever rubs it, and make it part of your routine when you get dressed.
Body Glide® balms are hypoallergenic, comfortable, non-messy barriers, yet gentle on sensitive skin, and they are trusted everywhere. They are made to reduce the effects of friction from footwear, clothing and skin itself. Which means, your skin feels better and you can go about your daily routines without worry or pain from chafing.
If you suffer from pain caused by chafing, we want you to know that there is a solution. You can check out our line of Body Glide brand anti-chafing balms here to start feeling relief immediately.