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What to Do for Sweat & Rashes From a Sports Bra

author image Michelle Kulas
Michelle Kulas worked in the health-care field for 10 years, serving as a certified nurses' assistant, dental assistant and dental insurance billing coordinator. Her areas of expertise include health and dental topics, parenting, nutrition, homeschooling and travel.
What to Do for Sweat & Rashes From a Sports Bra
A woman drying off sweat after a run in the park. Photo Credit: hjalmeida/iStock/Getty Images

Wearing a supportive sports bra while exercising is critical to avoiding discomfort and straining the ligaments around your breasts, and delay sagging. As you work out and perspire, your sports bra can cause chafing, irritation and a rash on and around your breasts. In many cases, good hygiene and choosing the right bra can alleviate this uncomfortable condition. If your rash is severe or does not respond to home-care remedies, see your doctor.

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Good Hygiene

Keeping your skin clean and dry can allow your irritated skin to heal and might prevent a rash from ever appearing. After exercising, shower, washing the area well with a mild soap. Pat your skin dry, ensuring that you dry well under your breasts. Wash your sports bra after each use because allowing perspiration to dry on the bra, then wearing it again, could cause further irritation. In some cases, perspiration causes a rash when mixed with residue from laundry detergent. Try switching to an unscented brand of laundry detergent.

Choosing Your Bra

Pick a bra that fits snugly, without rubbing or riding up, but that is not too tight. If your bra moves while you exercise, it could chafe the skin on the areas that it touches. You should only be able to fit one finger between your skin and the band. Once you have worn and washed your bra several dozen times, the elastic might start to stretch, causing the bra to be too large. At this point, you might need to replace the bra if you cannot adjust it to make it tighter.

Treating the Rash

Once your rash is washed and dried, treat the rash to minimize discomfort and to allow it to heal. If it is a dry rash, such as one caused by eczema, applying a thick moisturizer and hydrocortisone cream can help. If the area is chafed, go braless if possible and wear a loose, cotton shirt to allow your skin to breathe. Cool compresses can help relieve itching and burning. A severe rash warrants a trip to the doctor because you might need a topical antibiotic.


You might be more prone to a rash from your bra if you are overweight. Intertrigo, a rash that occurs in the folds of skin, such as under your breasts, is more common in the overweight or diabetic, but can happen to anyone. If you are prone to a rash under your breasts, drying the area with a hair dryer after showering might help prevent irritation.

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