Chaffing is a form of friction primarily caused by sweating and rubbing in sensitive areas. They style of workout shorts you choose may affect your level of comfort in addition to other factors. You can also take several steps before and after your workout to help avoid uncomfortable chafing.
Drinking fluids before and during your workout will help your body sweat more freely. Lacking proper hydration can cause sweat to quickly form salt crystals that can irritate the skin and cause a chaffing rash, according to Time-to-run.com. Drink plenty of water after working out to rehydrate your body and prepare for your next workout.
Use a Lubricant
If you already have chaffing, a rash, or know that you are prone to chaffing, use a skin lubricant. Usually, regular petroleum jelly will help to lubricate the area but other products such as Runner’s Lube, Body Glide and Sportslick can help, according to Time-to-Run.com. Using a talcum powder can also help to absorb moisture and reduce chaffing, according to an article in the Chicago Tribune.
Choose Clothes Wisely
A poor choice of workout shorts is a major factor in chaffing. Anything too tight or too loose will increase your chance of chaffing. Too much fabric can bunch up uncomfortably, and shorts that are too tight may bind at the legs and waist. Spandex shorts have been shown to reduce chaffing, according to the Chicago Tribune and often work well as an anti-friction and compression layer beneath other athletic shorts. Also be aware of tags in clothes or any fabric with rough edges or seams. Send new shorts through at least one wash before wearing them to remove any stiffness from the fabric and to rinse away any residual dust or chemicals from transport and manufacturing.
Manage your Workouts
One reason athletes can chafe is a sudden increase in their workload. Your skin is used to a certain amount of wear and adding extra distance or time to a workout can aggravate certain areas. Gradually increase the length and intensity of your exercises.
After working out, practice good hygiene to help prevent chaffing. Wash away all dirt by using soap and water and dry the area off completely. Sticky, dirty areas of the skin will be more prone to increased friction the next time you run and could lead to chaffing easier.