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Chafing

Chafing is a problem for many active individuals. It begins as slight redness on the skin and can get bad quickly. Movement can become uncomfortable seemingly out of the blue. Is there a way to prevent or treat this problem and keep the body healthy? This page will cover the specifics of what causes, how to treat and minimize this irritation. There are a few easy steps to take that will stop chafing before it has a chance to take hold.

 

What does chafing mean?

Chafing is caused by the rubbing of skin against surfaces like loose or tight clothing, excess moisture or objects. The rubbing causes friction and damage by leaving little abrasions all over the affected surface. Chafed skin tends to look red or as if it has a rash. Areas experiencing chafe tend to get sore and it becomes noticeable quickly. Excess weight can be the cause of chafing without much activity during the warm weather months.
Friction induced chafing can be experienced by anyone at any age. Most diaper rashes are caused by the chafing of skin from moisture on the surface of the diaper against skin. Elderly people often have to deal with chafe problems when clothes are ill-fitting. Any time you are dealing with constant friction chafing will happen. It is only a matter of time before you begin to feel the effects.

How to treat chafing?

Treating chafe of the epidermis means first inspecting the seriousness of the chafing irritation. Wash the area with cool water and pat dry. Mild cases can be treated by exposure to air flow and a soothing powder. A thin layer of triple antibiotic ointment works well on areas that are a bit more aggravated and chafed.
It is important to give activity a rest if it will worsen the chafing. Let the area heal completely before resuming normal routines. All of the minute abrasions have to close before the irritation ends. Skin is one the most sensitive organs of the body. It is tough and protects people from germs, dirt and injury, but even slight rashes can make the surface of the body seem weak. The good news is that healing is generally pretty quick.

How to prevent chafing?

The ability to prevent chafing is much preferred to dealing with existing chafed tissue. Being in the best of health can seem irrelevant when dealing with the pain of chafing. There are a few tips you can follow to help prevent this ordeal:

  • Wear properly fitting clothes
  • Change out of wet or damp clothing
  • Powder areas of frequent moisture from sweat
  • Use a balm that is petroleum jelly based in areas where friction is normally experienced
  • Avoid objects from constantly rubbing the body
Prepare for the times you will be out in the heat and moving a lot, such as jogging or gardening. Wear cool clothes that easily wick sweat away from the surface of the body. Good preparation is the best way to protect your health.

Does chafing itch?

An itch is normally the first sign and symptom of chafing. Take the time to investigate any abnormal itch you feel and you might be able to spot the trouble before it gets bad. It is much easier to heal when chafing is caught at the stage of an itch than letting it get to the point of pain and discomfort.

An important point is not to scratch any areas of chafing. It will make the problem worse and could initiate pain when there was none before. It is an injury to surface tissue that needs a little healing time. take care to not add to the irritation.

Does chafing cause pain?

If chafing is not caught early there will definitely be some level of pain experienced. It is easy to blow off a mild itch, but when the friction and rubbing begins to take a toll the pain begins. This is how the body alerts the brain to a condition that has become intolerable. Heeding it as soon as possible will determine the level of damage and discomfort.

It is wise to carry a petroleum based product when doing activities that put the body at risk for irritations. Take all of the precautions possible to prevent the beginnings of chafing. Be cognizant of how the body is holding up to the current activity. Take note of whether clothing has become wet from sweat. Change or cease activity when necessary.

Does chafing cause bumps, sores and blisters?

The most noticeable symptom of chafing is a red patch of the epidermis. It can sometimes be a deep red in color and feel rough. This is the level of chafing that is the quickest to heal. It may eventually peel off and the redness will be completely gone.

More serious chafing conditions can involve bumps and sores. Some of these can look tiny or as large as a cyst. It really depends on the extent of the damage to the epidermis. It is rare to have blisters unless it becomes infected. Staff infections can occur in any open damaged body surface.

Can chafing be serious?

There are times that chafing can turn into a serious health issue. Developing any sort of infection, including staff will mean that a doctor may have to prescribe an antibiotic ointment. The healing time will be much longer. Here are a few tips on what to look for when it comes to more serious cases of chafing:

  • Bleeding from bumps or sores
  • Draining of clear fluid or visible blisters can signify staff infection
  • Draining pus
  • Scabs and severe itching
  • Fever in the region of the chafing
  • Intense burning pain that does not go away
Always use room temperature or cool water to clean the area. Warm and hot water can add to the irritation. Switch to showers instead of baths until the area has healed. Use any medications given by the doctor and follow up with medical professionals if healing is prolonged.

When does chafing occur?

Chafing normally occurs in areas like armpits, under-boobs, pelvic areas, buttocks, areas of layered fat and any places that are being rubbed consistently by items or clothing. Any spot that is subject to getting wet from sweat, rain or other types of liquid are at risk for chafing.

The friction needed to cause chafing comes from activity and inadvertently rubbing against objects that are wet, scratchy or hard. The surface of the body is durable and sensitive at the same time. Wear clothing that is recommended for the type of activity you are involved in. If you are unsure seek the advice of others more experienced with the activity.

How to Eliminate Irritants

To reduce the risk of chafing there are a few tips to follow in eliminating some of the more common irritants.
Extra Hydration
Adding extra water to your system will allow let salt to be expelled through sweat. Salt can act as a fine sandpaper of sorts.

Keep Areas Well SupportedWomen should wear sports bras when jogging and doing strenuous physical activity. Men should wear thigh hugging sports shorts that wick sweat.

Cover the Nipples

Since women generally wear a bra it is male nipples that are sensitive hotspots. They can easily be covered using band-aids.

Moisturize and Lubricate
Lubricate any areas that are at risk of chafing with petroleum based products and moisturize with lotion after you are finished with all activity.

Shower
Take a shower as soon as possible to remove any sweat and gently pat all areas dry.

These simple steps will help both before and after any activity. They take very little time, but will make a big difference in the possibilities of developing injuries. It can virtually eliminate any discomfort.

How long does it take for chafing to heal?

The healing time of chafing depends greatly on how severe the condition becomes. A simple patch of redness should be gone in 5 to 7 days. When it involves bumps and sores it can take up to 2 weeks to see complete relief. When areas of chafing become infected it can make healing times last 3 weeks or longer. Be consistent with cleaning and applying salve to the area to help promote faster healing.

Give all areas of chafing plenty of opportunity to rest and heal. Discontinue strenuous activities until all signs of redness are gone. Until damaged skin has healed it is that mush easier to become irritated and injured again. The irritation can end up the same, if not worse much quicker than the initial onset. It will simply delay the overall healing time. This is not the time to be tough. Let the body heal.

What types of anti-chafing products exist?

There are a lot of products available to keep chafing from being a problem for active and overweight people. These are the two categories that deal with this problem on a frequent basis. Experiment until the preferred product that works has been determined. Below are a few of the types available and the benefits and drawbacks of each:

Glide Sticks
Benefits: Inexpensive, easy to use in open areas
Drawbacks: Hard to use in many areas at risk of chafing

Powders
Benefits: Easy to use, inexpensive
Drawbacks: Can be hard to wash off, not always in a desired scent

Petroleum Based Products
Benefits: Easy to use in all areas, long-lasting
Drawbacks: Expensive, needs reapplication

Gels
Benefits: Easy to apply in all areas, offers relief before and after activity
Drawbacks: Expensive, needs reapplication

All of these products work equally well to help sooth when chafing has already occurred. It pays to keep some of these products around.

Are there home remedies for chafing?

There are a few home remedies for chafing that offer relief. Most are fairly inexpensive.

Aloe Vera
Break off a small portion of aloe vera and apply the gel directly to the irritated areas twice a day.

Indian Lilac or Neen Oil
Steam the leaves and reserve water. Apply it to the area twice daily. Use cotton balls to apply neen oil twice daily if there is no Indian Lilac leaves available.

 

Corn Starch
Sprinkle area with corn starch 2 or 3 times each day until it clears up.

 

Tea Tree Oil

Add a few drops of tea tree oil to moisturizer and apply it to the area twice daily.

 

Baking Soda and Lavender Oil
Mix 3 teaspoons of baking soda with a cup of water. Add 2 or 3 drops of lavender oil. Apply it to the area. It will bring soothing relief quickly.

 

Turmeric
Mix 3 tablespoons of turmeric powder with 2 tablespoons of water. Take the paste and apply it to the area. Place a wet cloth over and let it sit for a few minutes twice a day. This will prevent any scarring in bad cases of irritation.

 

Olive Oil
Olive oil is an incredible moisturizer. Wipe the area with a thin layer twice each day.

Avoid products that contain alcohol. There are some aloe gels on the market that contain alcohol and the application will prove extremely painful. Always read the ingredients list before purchase.

 

Although chafing is common, it is also an unwelcome problem that should be treated aggressively. Being able to enjoy life means keeping every aspect of health and wellness in perspective. Tackle the symptoms of chafing quickly and take the necessary steps to prevent it in the future.