“How do I prevent my thighs from chafing?” is usually the thought that goes through someone’s head as they’re starting their third mile on a hot and humid day. Usually accompanied with some expletive, chafing can sneak up you as your thighs are repeatedly rubbed together in the presence of moisture, over and over again.
Being cursed with enormous thighs, I’ve experienced firsthand…several times… the pain and irritation of chafing. I’ve used everything from Vaseline to BodyGlide to compression shorts to try and alleviate this issue and this is what I’ve found.
Best Methods to Prevent Chafing
Vaseline – The quick and easy solution is to break out the Vaseline and smother the inside of your thighs with copious amounts; coating your entire region until you think you’ve got every inch. This will work in some cases but, unfortunately, there are two problems I’ve had with this. Besides getting the gooey mess everywhere (why won’t it come off my hands?!), when running (especially on hot days) the Vaseline tends to thin out and breakdown. So you’re covered for a little while only to find that you’re getting the same irritation a mile later than usual. The second issue is that it makes your clothes cling uncomfortably to you so that you look like a freak trying to adjust your shorts along the beginning of your run. Not to mention that it’s petroleum product which will clog pores and affect skin health. I prefer to use this as the last case chafing prevention measure.
BodyGlide – BodyGlide Anti-Chafing Stick(along with some other brands) are specially formulated skin-safe lubricants that can be used to coat the thighs and any other chafing area. The nice thing about these types of products is that they come packaged in a deodorant style container so they’re incredibly easy to put on without making much of a mess. They’re also a lot lighter and you don’t feel like your skin is covered in goo. The bodyglide will hold up for the entire run and doesn’t seem to be affected by rain or sweat so long as you get a good thorough coating. Being a little on the expensive side (but what price can you put on un-chafed inner thighs), a large 2.5 oz stick should last at least 3-4 months depending on how much you use it.
Compression Shorts – Compression shortsare the tight, spandex-y looking shorts that are form fitting and will “compress” everything into place (especially necessary for guys). They are used by numerous athletes across many sports and have become popularized by Under Armour (almost synonymous with the brand actually). In fact, they use a new material in their HeatGear line that facilitates the “wicking” of water away from the skin which helps to keep the region cooler and more comfortable. These shorts not only compress the thighs which will make them marginally smaller (so less rubbing) but also absorb the friction and completely eliminate any chance of chafing. There are a few brands out there and I’ve had good success with all of the brands I’ve tried; however, because your legs are still rubbing together, the cheaper shorts (I think mine were Starter brand) wore out much faster. So I think it’s a case of you get what you pay for.
Whichever way to stop your thigh from chasing that you choose, the number one thing is remembering to use it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten to throw on my shorts before I go out and have paid the price for my ignorance. Making thigh chafing prevention a part of your pre-run routine should become second nature.
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