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How to Stop Thigh Chafing While Running

How to Stop Thigh Chafing While Running
Take some steps to prevent chafing before your run. Photo Credit John Howard/Digital Vision/Getty Images

As if running wasn't already painful enough, now your thighs are rubbing together or against your clothing and causing irritating discomfort. If you keep up your routine, the chafing can turn into an open wound, which can put a real damper on your training. Good news, however—taking a few precautions prior to going on a run can help you avoid chafing entirely, whether on the thighs or elsewhere.

Well-Fitted Clothing

The first step in combatting thigh chafing is to eliminate the source of friction. Select snug-fitting clothing that allows good movement and works to absorb extra moisture, while still allowing your skin to breath. Clothing made of Lycra, Spandex or polyester are good options, while regular cotton clothing is not.

If you have a pair of favorite running shorts that you can't bear to part with, you can simply layer compression shorts. They stay tight to your skin and help absorb friction.

Common Household Items

Try using some things you probably already have in your cabinets at home to prevent chafing. Powdery options include baby powder, potato starch or cornstarch, which you can rub on your inner thighs before going on a run. If you have a baby, you probably already have diaper cream, which works in a pinch — and soothes skins that's already chafed.

If you're really desperate, simple deodorant can be rubbed on between the thighs to create a barrier between the skin. However, its effects will wear off after a short period of time, so use this technique only for short runs.

Stay Hydrated

There are so many reasons it's important to stay hydrated during a run, and here's one more to add to the list: It will help prevent chafing. Being properly hydrated helps your body continue to sweat. When you stop sweating because of dehydration, the salt crystals drying on your skin will cause you to chafe even more.

Aim to drink about 16 ounces of water approximately an hour before your run. If you're gone for less than an hour, this amount of fluid should be sufficient to stay hydrated. If you're going on a longer run, drink another 6 to 12 ounces every 20 minutes or so.

Body Lubricants

Thigh chafing is such a problem among runners that a number of products have been developed specifically to fix this issue. You don't have to go with the expensive stuff, though—plain petroleum jelly works just as well as a lubricant.

However, you can also invest in a lubricant that's specifically for runners. Apply it liberally between your thighs before you get dressed for your run. Running-specific lubricant's perks include staying power, but you might want to tuck a little to-go packet of the lubricant into your sports bra or fuel belt to reapply if necessary.

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