Women's Chafing

When you move or exercise, certain parts of your body are likely to rub against each other or your clothing. Areas like your breasts & bra line, underarms, thighs, buttocks, and feet are all prone to friction, couple this friction with a hot or humid environment or moisture from sweat and these areas will wear down over time causing chafing. Chafing is not reserved only for athletes or just for women who exercise, chafing can occur from normal day to day activities as well – a heavy purse strap across the shoulder, an ill-fitting bra, or your favorite pair of high heels can all cause chafing.

Follow our in-depth guide below where we breakdown the most common areas women experience chafing to learn what causes it, and what you can do to prevent and treat chafing when it inevitably occurs.

Breast & Bra  Thigh  Groin & Buttocks  Feet


Breast & Bra Chafing

Womens Breast & Bra Chafing - Body GlideIt’s extremely common to experience sweating and even chafing under your breasts on a hot or humid day, especially during exercise. Chafing is caused by moisture and friction, the areas between your breasts and under them are two of the most common places for chafing to occur due to skin on skin, or skin on clothing friction. Combine this with a lack of air circulation, heat, and sweat and chafing becomes a very real and persistent problem for many women.

Why Does Breast Chafing Occur?

Chafing is caused by moisture and friction, that’s why runners and women who exercise are the main victims, but breast chafing can also occur from being overweight or from wearing an ill-fitting bra that is either too small or too big. The constant rubbing of skin on skin, or on the bra leaves your skin irritated and sore making it uncomfortable to wear a bra or continue exercise. Due to the amount of moisture that often builds in this area bacteria and yeast can also breed, making the pain and risk of infection worse. If chafing continues unabated, it could develop into a rash that requires special topicals to treat. For runners, chafing is almost guaranteed after a certain amount of time, marathoners and other long-distance runners report experiencing chafing on their chest in as little as 3 miles of running.

How To Prevent Breast Chafing?

The best way to prevent breast chafing is to be prepared.

    • Lubricate problem areas with Body Glide® balms.
      • One quick application of Body Glide® blams around the bra line, along with the straps on shoulders, and under and between the breasts is all it takes to keep friction at bay all day. Body Glide® balms have non-greasy formulas won’t harm your clothes or workout gear.
    • The Right Gear.
      • Sports Bras:
        • Invest in well-fitting, performance built sports bras made with moisture-wicking materials. Be sure to use anti-chafing lubricants under the bottom band of a sports bra, and along your underarms as a back-up measure.
        • Always avoid sports bras made with moisture-loving cotton, cotton sports bras soak up sweat and keep moisture on the skin, which causes chafing. The best anti-chafing sports bras have good ventilation and keep skin dry and cool.
        • Find a bra that fits well. A too-tight sports bra can dig in and chafe, so look for a bra that fits snug, but not tight. A quick and easy way to see how your bra fits is to put on your bra then reach for the sky and clap your hands over your head. If the band of the bra slides up your torso, it’s too tight. You can also test it by jumping up and down, and selecting the one that allows your breasts to move the least, but still feels comfortable.
    • Keep the skin dry, clean and fresh.
      • Shower regularly with warm, soapy water. Consider using a loofah once a week to remove any dead skin cells and exfoliate.
      • Dry thoroughly to remove any moisture.

How to Treat Breast Chafing?

Newly chafed skin is damaged and fragile so being gentle with it until the skin heals is priority number one.

    • Using a mild (non-astringent) skin cleanser wash away any sweat, debris, or dead skin from the affected area.
    • Pat the affected area dry with a clean towel. Try using a hairdryer set on a cool-low setting to thoroughly dry the skin after bathing.
    • Moisturize and tend to any broken skin with bandages and antibiotic ointment.

^ Back To Top


Thigh Chafing & Chub Rub

Womens Thigh Chafing & Chub Rub - Body Glide Thigh chafing or chub rub is the result of your thighs rubbing together either skin on skin or through your clothing. Undeniably worse in hot weather, it typically affects women with thighs that naturally touch, but women of all shapes and sizes may experience chub rub. The chafing, rashes, and bumps caused by chub rub are often painful, unpleasant, and can become infected if not tended to right away.

Why Does Thigh Chafing Occur?

Chafing, especially inner thigh chafing occurs when the skin between your thighs or groin rubs against skin or clothing. With each subsequent rub, the friction builds and builds causing small tears and damage along the skin’s surface. It becomes more prominent during warmer weather and exercise because your skin is sweating, and when you sweat – tiny amounts of salt are excreted from your skin. This salt only serves to add more friction to the skin’s surface causing even more damage, which can eventually lead to red, swollen, & sometimes even bloodied skin.

How To Prevent Thigh Chafing?

Here are some things you can do to avoid getting chub rub:

  • Air ’em out.
    • Let your thighs breathe and cool off to cut down on the amount of sweat and irritation in the area.
  • Wear moisture wicking shorts.
    • These hug the body and provide a barrier between the thighs. Choose shorts that are made from moisture-wicking materials that draw moisture away from your skin. Keeping the area dry and well ventilated.
  • Lubricate.
    • Providing a protective barrier for the skin and keeping the skin smooth & moisturized is the only true way to prevent inner thigh chafing. Body Glide®’s line of specially formulated anti-chafing products are used by top athletes to prevent thigh chafing during marathons and triathlons around the world. Long lasting and gentle for even the most sensitive skin, Body Glide® balms prevent inner thigh chafing by inhibiting friction, allowing your thighs to glide smoothly over one another or your clothing. Find the Body Glide® product that is perfect for you today!

How To Treat Thigh Chafing?

Oh no! It happened! You forgot your Body Glide® balm and now are dealing with some really sensitive and painful areas between your thighs. What do you do to lessen the pain and irritation of chub rub? Here are some options:

    • Rinse the affected area with cool water and a mild (non-astringent) soap.
    • Moisturize and use an antibacterial ointment if you notice breakage of the skin.
    • In severe cases, cover thighs with gauze and keep legs separated while applying an ice pack or cold compress to the affected area in order to reduce swelling.
    • Keep the area dry by wearing breathable cotton and/or moisture-wicking, anti-chafing shorts.
    • Consult a medical professional if chafing does not clear up in a few days.

^ Back To Top


Groin & Buttocks Chafing

Womens Buttocks Chafing - Body Glide Chafing symptoms include a patch of red, raised skin that is painful to touch. When chafing is severe, the skin can even blister, peel and sometimes bleed. When skin rubs against skin, clothing, or other material, it wears down the outer layers and may cause irritation, especially in areas with sensitive skin like the groin & buttocks.

Why Does Groin/Buttocks Chafing Occur?

Rubbed and irritated skin plus a little sweat equals the perfect recipe for chafing—and nothing below the belt is safe. Many women experience painful chafing and even blistering on the labia, perineum and even between the butt cheeks. Due to the large amount of friction happening here runners and athletes or women who are overweight are especially vulnerable.

How To Prevent Groin & Buttocks Chafing?

The best treatment for chafing is to protect the skin before the damage takes place. For Her™ balm by Body Glide® is specially formulated to fight friction all day. The balm is made from plant based ingredients and creates an invisible barrier that guards and protects even the most sensitive skin from getting chafed, chapped or cracked. Strong enough to stay on with just one application, gentle enough to use every day.

How To Treat Groin & Buttocks Chafing?
Uh oh! You are dealing with some really sensitive areas down there that feel chafed and irritated. What do you do to lessen the pain? Here are some options:

    • Rinse the affected area with cool water and a mild (non-astringent) soap.
    • Moisturize and apply an antibiotic cream or ointment if necessary.
    • A cold compress on the affected area will help reduce pain & swelling.
    • Keep the area cool & dry by wearing breathable cotton and/or moisture-wicking, anti-chafing underwear and shorts.
    • Rest! Taking some time from the activity that caused the chafing in the first place is your best bet to getting over it quickly. Already chafed skin is quicker to chafe again and more susceptible to infection.
    • Consult a medical professional if chafing does not clear up in a few days.

^ Back To Top


Foot Chafing & Blisters

Womens Foot Chafing & Blisters - Body Glide Foot chafing usually results in blisters. Blisters are areas of raised skin that bubble and form due to repeated rubbing, friction, and pressure. An area that receives a lot of pressure or irritation, like the back of your heel, will form what is known as a hotspot. As the skin in this area becomes irritated or inflamed a tear may start to form within the top layers of your skin, leaving a gap between the other layers. Your body, in an effort to prevent further damage to your skin, sends fluids to fill up the space, this fluid-filled space is a blister. Blisters tend to occur more often when the skin is sweaty and slipping around, which is why we seem to get more blisters in the summer or while running or exercising.

Why Do Foot Blisters Occur?

Blisters and foot chafing appear on feet for many reasons, the most common being improperly-fitting shoes or clothing/sock rub against the skin. Over time, this friction causes the outer layer of skin to separate from the inner layers, forming a pocket between the layers. Sensing irritation, the body responds by creating lymph fluid to lubricate the area. The pocket fills with this lymph fluid and creates the familiar bubble known as a blister. This type of blister is generally a reaction to ill-fitting shoes or socks – both can cause your feet to slip around. Blisters on the bottom of the feet are likely to be caused by the foot sliding back and forth while moving or exercising, in combination with the warm, wet conditions caused by perspiration.

How To Prevent Foot Blisters?

  • Lubricate.
    • Blisters occur due to friction and moisture. By eliminating one or both of the factors you can avoid having to deal with blisters and chafing on your feet. Protect your toes and heels all day, every day, with one quick and easy application of a Body Glide® balm. Trusted by the world’s top athletes to protect their feet from blisters, Body Glide® balms create an invisible smooth barrier that keeps your feet and toes protected from the friction and rubbing that causes blisters, chafing, raw skin, and hot spots. Stay active & pain-free with Body Glide® balms.
  • Shoe size.
    • Having the correct shoe size either for your heels, flats, or running shoes is important. Keep in mind that a size 8 in one brand might be a 7.5 in another. Always try on multiple sizes to ensure that you purchase the right size and not just the size you think you are. Try to shop for shoes in the afternoon — your feet tend to swell during the course of the day, just as they will after exercising for long periods of time or wearing a pair of particularly high heels. And remember, your feet can change size as you age. If you’re pregnant or have gained or lost significant weight, your shoe size will probably change as well.
    • The better your shoes fit, the less your foot will rub or slide around — which is what causes a blister in the first place. Never buy shoes that are uncomfortable from the get-go. We all say we can “break in” a pair of shoes, but that rarely works. Sometimes you can slightly stretch out shoes by wearing them around the house in socks, but it’s best to ensure the shoes are comfy right in the store. You shouldn’t be able to walk out of them, and they shouldn’t tightly constrict your foot, either. Much like Goldilocks’ motto, they should be “just right.”
  • Socks.
    • Moisture-wicking and seamless performance socks go a long way towards preventing chafing. Drawing moisture away from your toes will stop the skin from becoming soft and delicate while moving or exercising. Going seamless also helps to prevent friction buildup and hot spots. Ill-fitting socks have a tendency to cause your feet to slide around or bunch up in areas like the heel and ankle so make sure they are nice and tight and stay in place throughout the duration of your time in them.

How To Treat Foot Blisters?

So, you’ve got a blister. Now what?

  • Keep the blister intact.
    • Try not to pop or pick at the blister — no matter how tempting it may be. Remember, the blister is there to protect your skin. It guards your injured skin against coming into contact with bacteria and becoming infected. Cover it with a small bandage and try to avoid too much pressure or contact with the area until it is healed.
  • Rest!
    • Avoid wearing the shoes or partaking in the activity that caused the blisters in the first place. Resuming activities too quickly may make irritate the blister and surrounding skin more, or cause it to burst.

In severe cases, a blister may be quite painful and could even prohibit you from wearing any shoes at all. If you feel the need to drain the blister, consider contacting a health professional. If you are unable to and feel you really need to drain it (which should be your last resort!) here’s how to do it safely.

  • Wash your hands and the blister with warm water and soap.
  • Swab the blister and area with an antiseptic like iodine or rubbing alcohol.
  • Sterilize a clean and sharp needle by wiping it with an antiseptic.
  • Gently puncture the blister in a few spots near the blister edge. Let the fluid drain (applying very gentle pressure if necessary) and do not remove the overlying skin.
  • Immediately apply an antibiotic ointment to the area and cover with a bandage or gauze.
  • Consider avoiding the activity that caused the blister in the first place – in order to allow it to heal properly.
  • After several days, you can cut away the dead skin using sterilized scissors and tweezers.
  • Apply more ointment and a bandage or gauze.
  • Seek medical advice immediately if you notice redness, pus, warm or inflamed skin or increasing pain as these could all be signs of a serious infection.

^ Back To Top