It‘s finally summer, and, odds are, you‘re spending a least some time enjoying the warm weather. As nice as this time of year is, however, it can wreak havoc on your skin. Sweat, friction, and inappropriate attire can all lead to chafing, or the painful, irritated skin that happens after exposed skin rubs together. But is there really any way to stop it? Are you just supposed to stick to pants all summer long? Hardly! There are plenty of easy ways to prevent skin chafing before it even starts. Read on for tips on preventing and treating chafed skin, and let us know some of your own in the comments.
1. Keep it Dry.
When it comes to chafing, moisture is your skin’s worst enemy. To prevent that, apply something that absorbs moisture, like cornstarch, to the areas that are prone to chafing. This isn’t an all-day cure, however. If you’re going to be out and about, bring some cornstarch along with you so you can periodically reapply the stuff.
2. Keep it Lubed.
There are several products specifically designed to prevent chafing – Body Glide is a perennial favorite. Vitamin E cream works well, too. Petroleum jelly is an okay option in a bind, but it can stain your clothing and be a bit of a mess to deal with.
3. Bike Shorts are Your Friend.
No one will see ‘em anyway! Wear bike shorts under shirts and dresses to avoid that dreaded chub rub.
4. Drink Up.
As if you needed another reason to drink water! Staying hydrated will help stop excessive sweating and, in turn, prevent chafing.
5. Wear the Right Workout Clothes.
Wear the appropriate clothes for whatever activity you’re doing. Skip the moisture-absorbing cotton — it’ll get wet and stay wet, and wet clothes are a major culprit when it comes to chafing. Don’t wear anything loose. Your best bet? Tight-fitting workout gear that’s made out of synthetic materials.
6. Wear the Right Everyday Clothes.
If you don’t have any strenuous exercise planned, breathable cotton is an excellent option. Whatever the material, make sure your clothes aren’t too tight — that can cause chafing as well. And, of course, don’t wear dirty clothes!
7. Treat it Well.
Sometimes chafing just can’t be prevented, but there are several ways to help heal irritated skin after the fact. And you should do something to treat it — chafed skin, if not properly treated, can lead to infection. If your skin is particularly painful, or even swollen or bleeding, see your doctor. Otherwise, cleaning and treating the area with aloe vera, vitamin E cream, tea tree oil or petroleum jelly well help your skin heal.