Beat The Chaffing!
Crotch Chafe, Thigh Chaffing, Thigh Rub, Jock Itch.....whatever you call it, it's a delicate subject.........if only for the region involved! How to prevent chafing thighs and soreness is a perennial issue for men and women alike. Nothing worse than being on a long walk, a run, cycle, climb or in the saddle and the inner thigh starts burning half way round....you know what's coming!
But it's a very real issue that a massive amount of guys and girls suffer from and not just from running or playing sports, it can happen in daily life too and it's damned uncomfortable.
So What Causes It? Chaffing generally takes the form of raised skin or rash caused by friction either from skin on skin or skin on fabric rubbing. Severe cases can result in blistering and even perpetual bleeding but in the main, it takes the form of a very irritating rash that gets incredibly sore.
The problem is that the more it rubs, the more inflamed it gets and the more inflamed it gets, the more it rubs. It's a vicious circle and hard to get on with life whilst you recover.
So how can you avoid putting your "tackle" through such trauma in the first place? Here are a few simple things you can do to eliminate the dreaded "crotch chafe" forever.
1. Get the Right Gear
First up, get rid of the cotton! Fine for going to the shops but reverting to your everyday cotton briefs or boxers for your athletics or game day activity is going to give you a lot of problems. Cotton is an absorbent fabric, and as it sucks up fluid, it actually becomes more abrasive. It also dries very slowly. Cotton briefs can cause chaffing in the groin area and men's loose cotton boxers can be even worse because they can ride up in between your legs causing a ridge that is seriously uncomfortable. Sound familiar?
For runners, start with a good pair of lightweight shorts. Decent shorts have a trunk liner built in that's made of a wicking material that will "manage" sweat and keep you dry. The liner is essentially like a pair of built-in briefs so there's no need to wear underwear as well so you can get a good deal of ventilation going on. However, this won't always prevent crotch rub if you are susceptible to it so you could try a good pair of "Two in One" shorts with a longer leg liner and loose outer short skeleton. Definitely worth consideration for sure.
Whatever your external wear needs, whether for walking, running, cycling, hiking, football or whatever, for guys you may need some longer leg Technical Sports Underwear or Compression Shorts and for girls some Women's Sports Underwear with a fitted Boy Short design is equally requested. Such underwear (built-in or separate) is not only wicking and quick-drying, but it will also offer good "support" which, for men at least, will keep your bits and pieces out of the way as well. The extended leg fabric of this type of sports underwear, provide your upper thighs with a smooth fabric on fabric surface thereby eliminating the dreaded rubbing effect.
For Men there is a great option from SAXX Performance Underwear made for an active lifestyle and sport with their unique BallPark Pouch system which ahem.......keeps your tackle secure at all times.......just brilliant.
The longer leg 6" and 8" version of these are better in many cases, especially for the taller or bigger athlete whether you are playing football, squash, tennis or simply for hiking and everyday use as they goes below the "bulge" of the thigh muscle and eliminates that ride up effect as they stay put.....all-day and all-game long! If you want some underwear with a touch of padding for when you're on the bike, try the ODLO® Breathe Padded Cycle Underwear for Men and Women, kind of meets both needs.
For Women it can be a little less complex but equally still a problem. Compression Shorts are an ideal solution but ODLO® do a very nice "Boy Short" style Performance™ X-Light Boy Shorts for athletes who prefer a shorter leg length that is equally at home around the home as it is pounding the streets. A lot of Women too prefer Tights or ¾ Leg Capri length options that are equally effective
Compression shorts sometimes referred to as cycle shorts, come in various styles and can be for warm or cold weather but they compress the core zone which provides improved athletic performance by assisting the heart's overall capacity to process oxygen around the body squeezing blood through the veins quicker and thereby improving athletic performance.
For Men, Compression Shorts also provide the same result as fitted Sports Boxers in that they too will prevent the chaffing effect happening in the first place. It's just a question of taste and comfort at an individual level.
Two in One Shorts are an ideal option for someone who wants one pair of shorts that eliminates the chaffing issue in one garment.
Baselayer™ specialises in this field and has a wide selection of Compression Shorts for Men and Women as well as Men's and Women's Technical Sports Underwear on offer and will also provide advice if you are unsure. UK based and extremely helpful, they can be contacted on 01689 603675 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Lube Up!
When it comes to crotch chafe and thigh rub, friction is the enemy and the best way to fight it is lubrication. A good old jar of Vaseline does wonders for those delicate areas so don't scoff at the idea.
But for the likes of tri-athletes, long distance cyclists and all day long hikers Vaseline is simply too light and is likely to get washed away by water. You can't exactly re-load half way round your bike ride!
With a good quality Tri suit with Chamois padded seat for the bike and run sections, most issues will be dealt with but for the extremers amongst you and the long distance walkers as well, you may need some extra help. For this there are a number of high density sports lubricants around that work a treat for the thighs and other delicate areas of ones anatomy!
3. H2O Every Time
In simple terms....keep flushing through.........When you sweat, your body pushes out salts. Check out the back of your tee after it's dried before washing it.......you do wash it don't you? That white mark is salt.
Salt crystals have a sharp, cubic structure. If you become dehydrated, your body can't push out enough clean fluid to keep washing that salt away. It dries and then acts like a layer of sandpaper between your skin and clothes.
If you're getting into distance running, invest in a hydration belt or Camelback and keep drinking. It's an odd one but drinking reduces chaffing........
4. Get a Haircut!
No, we really don't care what you look like around the streets so this is probably not quite what you're thinking.....we're talking "downstairs"!
The fact is pubic hair is rather coarse and if it gets bunched up between your skin and clothes, it can cause problems.
Cyclists have for a long time now, shaved their legs for comfort. Swimmers shave their bodies but the ever present "forestry commission" has long been a taboo subject.
Now we're not suggesting that this is compulsory. This is after all, just some suggestions for your comfort, but an occasional trim back will help!
If you do decide to go for the Full Monty, be prepared that you're going to have to do some maintenance to keep the garden in order............ Nuff said!