Home Remedies for Chafed Skin

Chafing is a very uncomfortable skin irritation that develops when skin rubs against skin, clothing or another material such as a bike seat. Chafing is most common in athletes and overweight people, and it typically occurs during physical activity such as running or taking long walks. Chafed skin looks red and inflamed, and can cause stinging and burning sensations, particularly when something rubs against the skin. A few home remedies can help.

Take a Time-Out

Determine the activity causing the chafing and avoid this activity until the irritation resolves. This should only take a few days. In the meantime, make plans to correct the situation when you restart the activity.

Wear the Right Clothing

Wear loose cotton clothing to treat and prevent chafed skin. Coarse or synthetic fabric can further irritate areas of chafing, as can tight clothes. Don’t wear pantyhose until the irritation clears up. Wear only clean and dry clothing, as recommended by Health Central, because chafed skin can be aggravated by wet sweaty fabric, dried salt from perspiration, and chemicals and dirt. If you must go biking or running, or take part in other exercises that involve friction against the skin, wear appropriate clothing such as cycling shorts.

Apply a Protective Substance

Apply a protective substance to the chafed area of your skin to act as a smoothing agent. Health Central recommends petroleum jelly or baby powder. These products also prevent future chafing in easily irritated areas.

Weight Considerations

If you are overweight and continue to develop areas of chafing, you may need to lose weight to resolve the problem. Take more walks, and wear tights or spandex shorts to prevent chafing on the inner thighs, as recommended by the Weight Control Information Network. Working out in water, including swimming and water aerobics, also is good exercise for people prone to chafing.

About this Author

Shelley Moore is a journalist and award-winning short story writer. She specializes in writing about personal development, health, careers and personal finance. Moore has been published in “Family Circle” magazine and the “Milwaukee Sentinel” newspaper, along with numerous other national and regional magazines, daily and weekly newspapers and corporate publications. She has a Bachelor of Science in psychology.