Runners Chafing

A runner’s chafing, just like an injury, may be the ultimate roadblock for runners. As summer is setting in, chafing can become a problem for some runners, as sweating increases the rub of clothing against skin. Chafing is a skin irritation caused by any activity that makes skin to repeatedly rub against another area of skin or article of clothing.

The most common symptom of chafing is a painful stinging or burning sensation in the affected area or areas. Moisture, either from sweat or rain, can aggravate chafing. It usually occurs around the groin, inner thighs, underarms, nipples, and around the bra line (for women) but it can also occur anywhere. Anybody can experience chafing. However, chafing is a particular problem in overweight people and in athletes.

As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. There are some things you can do to prevent chafing from occurring, especially before a long run. Wear clothing that serves as a barrier between layers of skin, like athletic tights or cycling shorts. Though loose clothing may feel more relaxing on hot days, shorts and shirts that fit incorrectly can cause painful friction. Avoid clothing made of coarse materials. Clothing made of cotton absorbs sweat, once it gets wet it stays wet. Runners should choose clothing that fits snugly and is made of synthetic material like Lycra or Spandex that wick moisture away.

Drinking plenty of water before, during, and after a jog or run will. It is recommended that runners stay hydrated to keep sweat flowing freely, rather than drying into gritty salt crystals that can make chafing worse. To help soak up excess sweat, Colombia University’s Health Services recommend sprinkling talcum powder, cornstarch, or potato starch on chafe-prone body parts.

Apply some A+D ointment on chafed skin. The chafed areas should clear up in about a day. Be sure to cover up affected areas with BodyGlide, or Vaseline before heading out for a run. Many seasoned runners also swear by the efficacy of udder balm in preventive lubrication and treatment of runners’ chafing.

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