How to Keep Your Pants From Chafing

Male cyclist leaning on mountain bike
Man standing next to a mountain bike in bike shorts (Image: amana productions inc/amana images/Getty Images)

Chafing occurs when a coarse fabric rubs against your body. Although common during vigorous exercise, chafing can also occur during work or if you wear an uncomfortable pair of pants on a date. Aside from being painful, chafing is also embarrassing and can make it difficult to walk or perform your normal, everyday activities. From altering your fashion sense to making sure your legs stay dry, there are many ways to combat leg chafing.

Step 1

Choose clothing made from natural, breathable fabrics, including cotton. Avoid itchy, man-made fabrics that don’t feel comfortable against your skin, including polyester. If you’re exercising, avoid wearing loose clothing. Reduced friction helps cut down on painful chafing.

Step 2

Launder your clothing according to the label’s directions before wearing. According to the National Institutes of Health, the sweat, dirt and chemicals that build-up on clothing can make chafing worse.

Step 3

Cover your legs with a light coating of talcum powder or corn starch before slipping on your pants. The powder helps keep your legs dry, which cuts down on chafing.

Step 4

Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Whether you’re exercising or running errands, staying hydrated helps you sweat. Inadequate sweat allows small salt crystals to form on your skin, which can make the chafing caused by friction even worse.

Things You'll Need

  • Talcum powder

  • Corn starch

Tip

Wear clothing you already know doesn’t lead to chafing if you’re working out or walking for an extended period of time.

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