How to stop summer chafing

Marie Claire Dorking
Chafing: the hot weather irritant that could destroy your summer [Photo: Getty]
Chafing: the hot weather irritant that could destroy your summer [Photo: Getty]

Far be it for us to complain about the hot weather the UK is currently enjoying, but there’s one irritant that summer brings with it that we just can’t deal with and that’s chafing.

While we love having the opportunity to wear our favourite floaty dresses, the mere motion of moving in the heat can cause our thighs to rub together bringing on the dreaded chafe.

And if it isn’t dealt with correctly, the little path can become quite sore and irritated, effectively ruining our entire summer.

Then there’s the under boob chafe, which is equally as annoying, not to mention unpleasant, and really quite painful.

“The technical term for "chafing" is intertrigo,” explains Dr Sanjay Trikha one of the Medical Directors of Trikwan Aesthetics.

“This word originates from Latin whereby inter (between) and terere (to rub) help explain the condition.

“This inflammatory skin condition is usually caused by warm temperatures, friction between skin surfaces, moisture (can be caused by sweat), maceration (softening of skin due to prolonged moisture exposure) and lack of ventilation.”

Dr Trikha goes on to explain that chafing is usually a clinical diagnosis that primary affects areas such as the armpits, skinfold creases or anywhere where an individual experiences frequent skin rubbing and irritation.

READ MORE: Why sleeping with the fan on this summer could be bad for your health

But what can we do about it? How do we bannish the burn?

“To treat chafing, you need to be able to spot the underlying cause,” Dr Trikha explains. “If the chafing causes a skin infection, this too will need to be treated with the correct antimicrobial agent.”

For simple chafing, Dr Trikha says antiperspirants can be used to minimise sweating and help reduce moisture.

“Showering and drying using a soft towel immediately after physical activity is also recommended,” he adds.

He also suggests trying to stay cool by wearing lose fit clothing and try to avoid over-heating by standing in shaded or air conditioned areas.

A simple trick used by runners is to stick some Vaseline in the problem area between your legs, but many find it melts off too quickly and feels a bit greasy and gross.

Then there’s the tried-and-tested talcum powder, which could work to dry up some of the sweat but won’t keep the chafe at bay for long.

Here's how to sort chafing [Photo: Getty]
Here's how to sort chafing [Photo: Getty]

Some people have had success with special undergarments designed to prevent heat rub.

Last year, sales of anti-chafing bands went through the roof, with e-commerce marketplace Wowcher reporting a drastic increase in purchases over the heatwave period.

And this year, social media has come up with an alternative solution, which involves a product you likely already have in the back of your bathroom cabinet - roll-on deodorant.

Apparently people have been rubbing the underarm pong protector onto their inner thighs to protect them from chafing.

The roll on deodorant acts as a sort of lubricant, meaning your thighs will simply glide past each other, without the friction that causes the chafing.

Plus, it's actually pretty soothing down there, which is heavenly in these hot and sticky times.

READ MORE: Hay fever remedies that actually work

Since sharing, social media has been flooded with praise from other chafe-sufferers praising the simple hack for effectively saving their summer.

But while you’re no doubt eager to dig out the deodorant and go forth and enjoy a friction-free time, Dr Trikha has a word of warning for those who find their chafing is persistent.

“There are many potential skin issues which may present in a similar way to chafing,” he says.

“If prolonged symptoms persist or there are signs of infection, then one should immediately contact a healthcare professional to get it formally diagnosed.”