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What Is Chub Rub? Chafing Prevention and Treatment

Chafed skin (sometimes called "chub rub") is a common problem that many people experience during the warmer and more humid months. When it happens, the skin on the inner thighs gets irritated because of constant friction.

Teenage girl sitting on the bench

Even though women who are overweight are more prone to chafed skin, chafing on the inner thighs can happen to anyone. The condition can cause a rash on the inner thighs that may become bumpy, burn, sting, or even bleed. Read on to find out how you can prevent and treat the condition. 

What to do if your thighs rub together when you walk 

If you have experienced your thighs rubbing together when walking, you probably know this can result in skin chafing, which can cause a mild, red rash on the skin of the inner thighs.

It can also make your skin burn or sting. In more severe cases, your skin can swell, crust, or bleed. This can also occur when you wear a skirt, particularly in humid and hot weather. 

If you find that your thighs are rubbing together and irritating your skin, stop the activity as soon as possible. If the clothes you are wearing are rubbing your skin and causing irritation, change into more comfortable ones. You can treat chafed skin with the following steps.  

Keep it clean

A woman washing her legs with soap an water to treat chafed skin

Clean the affected area gently with soap and water. Washing the affected area is especially important if you have been sweating or exercising. In such cases, you need to remove the sweat by washing with mild soap and water before you treat the skin.

Soothe and dry

Pat the area with a clean towel until it is thoroughly dried. Don’t rub it with a towel, as that could worsen the chafing and lead to further irritation. Leave the area exposed and uncovered so that it gets some fresh air while you are sleeping at night. This can speed up the healing process. 

Moisturize

After cleaning the affected skin, apply a moisturizing substance such as petroleum jelly, diaper rash cream, body balm, or any ointment that is specially made to prevent skin chafing. This helps reduce friction on the skin. After applying the ointment, cover the affected area with a sterile bandage or gauze pad. If the chafed skin is swollen, very painful, crusted, or bleeding, your doctor may provide a medicated cream or ointment. They may also prescribe a steroidal ointment in severe cases. 

Chafed skin recovery

Chafed skin will heal within a few days if you solve the thing that’s causing it. If you aren’t able to completely stop the activity that caused the chafing, make sure to take preventive measures. 

While the affected skin is recovering:

  • Don’t clean chafed skin using iodine or hydrogen peroxide, as these chemicals may interfere with healing. Instead, clean using water and mild soap. 
  • Don’t use harsh soaps or shower in hot water, as both may make your skin dry and more prone to damage. 
  • Always pat your skin dry; rubbing can make chafed skin worse. 
  • Use a cold pack or ice for a short time to ease the pain. Make sure to pat your skin dry after you are done. 
  • Give the affected area some time to heal before you are active again. Continuous friction from rubbing legs can worsen the chafed skin and result in infection. 

If your symptoms don’t improve after trying self-care measures, visit your doctor. If there are signs and symptoms of infection, your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic cream or ointment. They may also prescribe a steroidal ointment in severe cases to heal and soothe the skin faster. 

Chafed skin prevention

It is very simple to prevent chafed skin, though it can take time and attention. If you regularly participate in activities that cause your inner thighs to rub together, it may be hard to prevent the occurrence of chafed skin completely. You can take steps to decrease its severity, though. To prevent chafed skin, try to reduce the friction between the skin of your inner thighs. 

The following are methods to prevent chafed skin:

Anti-chafe stick

Apply an anti-chafe stick or petroleum jelly to the inner thighs for lubrication. Lubricants may help reduce friction on your skin. Petroleum jelly is widely available and inexpensive. Several kinds of lubricants and anti-chafe sticks are available as over-the-counter products. You may need to try a couple of products before finding the anti-chafe stick that works best for you. 

Stay dry

Excess moisture can make chafed skin worse. Before heading outdoors, apply alum or talcum powder to your inner thighs. Powders help wick away moisture from your skin. Remove your swimsuit shortly after getting out of the swimming pool to keep the wet, tight fabric off your skin. This applies to wet clothes of any kind.

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Wear proper clothes

While exercising, wear appropriate clothes that fit you properly, as clothes that are too large can move and cause skin chafing. The clothes should be moisture wicking if possible. Fabrics such as cotton retain moisture and sweat and may keep the skin damp. This increases the risk of friction. Wear clothes that breathe and let the sweat evaporate off your skin, especially while exercising. 

Wear sport-specific clothes such as running tights, as they may protect your skin when you are exercising. You can also wear bike shorts under a skirt to prevent your inner thighs from rubbing together. Lastly, wear exercise clothes with smooth seams to avoid skin irritation. 

Stay hydrated

Drink plenty of water before, after, and during exercise. There are many benefits of drinking water! Staying hydrated helps keep your sweat from drying and turning into crystals of salt, which may enhance the occurrence of chafed skin. 

Chafed skin is a common problem associated with hot and humid weather. The condition may lead to the appearance of a rash on your inner thighs. You should treat your chafed skin; don’t ignore it. You can clean the affected area gently with water and pat it dry. Then apply petroleum jelly.

Chafed skin will heal within a few days with appropriate treatment and after removing the problem. Keep your inner thighs dry, wear proper clothes, use an anti-chafe stick, and stay hydrated to prevent your skin from chafing. 

https://www.healthline.com/health/chafing

https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/guide/chafing-causes-treatments

https://www.verywellfit.com/chafing-prevention-3432493

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