There’s Nothing Worse Than Chafing In The Summer And We’re Telling You How To Deal With It


While the whole world is always excited about summer, the mortal residents of Mumbai are NOT. Summer for us isn’t about packing a picnic for the beach and sunbathing. For us, summer is nothing but torment. All my days are spent sweltering in the heat and feigning sweat patches from my clothes. When I’m not doing that, I’m busy using portable fans and blotting papers to get rid of the sweat and oil on my face. However, another pertinent issue I’m always dealing with is chafing.

Yes, we’re all victims of our thighs rubbing against each other in this prickly heat and humidity. My favourite skirts, dresses and shorts always end up getting pushed towards the back of the cupboard because I’d rather be comfortable than deal with the monster of itch.

What is chafing?

If you believe that chafing only takes place between the thighs, then you’re extremely wrong. According to Dr Madhuri Agarwal, Founder and Medical Director at Yavana Aesthetics Clinic, chafing is a lot more common than we’d like to think. “Regular friction between the skin folds or surface is quite normal but frequent repeated friction along with sweat and moisture is chafing,” explains Dr Madhuri.

She further adds that chafing can also take place due to friction between skin and clothing as well, especially if the clothing is synthetic. She believes that chafing isn’t just limited to one body part like we’re led to believe. “Very often chafing is seen in areas such as underarms, groin, inner thighs and even under the breasts,” she says. The constant friction between body parts causes extreme irritation and inflammation leading to chafing.

How is chafing caused?

Chafing isn’t something that is caused by one thing and one thing only. Extreme weather conditions of heat and humidity, tight and synthetic clothing, pregnancy and obesity often cause chafing.

What are its side effects?


Now that we’re aware of the fact that chafing can take place in multiple body parts, it’s side-effects can also be seen everywhere. Initially, it may seem like a small concern which could be ignored. However, if one doesn’t pay timely heed to it, there could be long-term consequences to it. “Constant itching, pain, redness, burning and hyperpigmentation are a direct result of constant chafing,” explains Dr Madhuri. She cautions that if ignored, these can lead to blisters, abrasions and wounds.

Ways to treat chafing

At first glance, chafing may seem harmless. But constant friction of thighs and underarms amongst other body parts can lead to uneasiness and hamper your daily life. Here’s everything that can be done to deal with chafing, now more than ever when the temperatures are rising.

Maintain hygiene: It’s important to maintain hygiene of the affected area by keeping it clean and dry at all times.

Incorporate barrier repair creams: When there’s inflammation and irritation of the skin, that is an indication that the barrier of the skin is compromised. Dr Madhuri advises the use of creams and balms containing ingredients such as cica, allantoin, colloidal oatmeal and dimethicone to help relieve the discomfort and slowly repair the barrier. The CeraVe Healing Ointment is a great product to help your skin reduce friction since it creates a film of soothing ingredients and repairs your skin.

Cold compresses: Cold compresses are a great way to temporarily alleviate the redness and pain caused by chafing. Use these at least two times a day to soothe the irritated area.

Make chafing sticks your best friend: If barrier repair creams tend to be too heavy for your skin, opt for chafing sticks to help you alleviate discomfort caused by chafing. These have a non-greasy formula which glides on your skin and leaves no residue at all. First Aid Beauty’s Anti-Chafe Stick comes with shea butter and colloidal oatmeal which heal irritated skin.

Use cotton clothing and bike shorts: Synthetic and tight clothes prevent your skin from breathing which can worsen chafing. By opting for breathable fabrics like cotton, friction can be avoided. Biking shorts made from spandex can be a god-send under skirts or dresses since spandex has moisture-wicking properties preventing your thighs from chafing.

Stay away from harsh cleansers: Since your skin is already irritated and inflamed, make it a point to stay away from body cleansers that contain harsh ingredients which will further irritate the skin even more. Use dermatologist-approved and recommended products which treat your skin well.

- Beauty Writer


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