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What Causes Chafing? Learn How To Treat Chafing

Chafing refers to a condition caused by different factors that result in skin irritation. Chafed skin often arises when skin rubs together and the friction causes:

  • Redness
  • Irritation
  • Inflammation
  • Discomfort

The irritation can be so annoying and a real downer. Common areas where chafing happens includes the inner thighs, armpits, buttocks, groin, and sometimes nipples. Fortunately, once people learn how to treat chafing they can easily get rid of the pain and discomfort that comes with it.

What are the main causes?

Generally, the skin is tough as it’s supposed to protect the inner organs from harm. However, if it’s overworked it can easily break down. Repeated friction, when combined with moisture, is the main cause of chafed skin. Some of the most common causes of chaffed skin are:

  • Being overweight. The excess weight increases the risk of skin rubbing against itself to cause irritation
  • Breastfeeding
  • Running
  • Cycling
  • Wearing tight clothes
  • Diapers in babies

Learn how to treat chafing

It’s important to pay attention to chafed skin if it happens. Ignoring the problem at hand only results in infection.

Luckily, people can learn how to treat chafing following simple treatment procedures. Several home remedies are used to help ease the pain and agony of chafed skin:

  1. If a superficial wound resulted from chafing, start by cleansing the wound. This should always be the first step taught as one tries to learn how to treat chafing. Pat the area dry and allow it to air out for a couple of minutes. This minimizes the risk of infection. 
  2. Gently apply wound ointment on the area at least once or twice daily. This creates a thin, breathable, and protective layer that supports the healing of the skin. 

Some home remedies that can be applied include aloe vera, petroleum jelly, coconut oil, cornstarch, and shea butter.

  1. If need be, protect the wound further by applying a bandage over it

Note that these home remedies are recommended for use on moderately chafed skin. If the irritated area has blisters or open sores, leave it free until it forms a protective barrier. 

Preventing skin chafing

People who learn how to treat chafing say that it’s still not enough. One would still need to learn how to prevent his/her skin from getting chafed. Here’s how people can prevent chafing:

  1. Applying balm in areas that are prone to chafing
  2. Wearing protective covers or shields
  3. Using sports-oriented clothing that’s made using breathable material
  4. Switching to larger diapers

Anti-chafing products

People who are prone to chafed skin should consider using an anti-chafing gel or cream to protect the skin. These products are mainly designed to reduce friction so apart from treatment, they may also be used for prevention.

Conclusion

Chafing commonly results from repetitive friction that breaks down the skin. Topical creams and several home remedies may be used to soothe the skin. However, if someone isn’t sure about what the best treatment option is, they can learn how to treat chafing by following up with their doctor. Always follow carefully the instructions given by the doctor.