When loose fabric repeatedly rubs against your skin, or your thighs uncomfortably brush together when running, your skin can chafe. The stinging and burning sensation that accompanies red, raw skin can be painful, causing you to avoid walking or running. Inner-leg chafing can be prevented and treated so you can run comfortably again.
While some women cite chafed thighs as an indicator that they need to lose weight, this is just one potential cause of the uncomfortable condition. Chafing is typically caused by a mix of sweating and rubbing, affecting areas such as the groin, underarms and nipples in even the skinniest of women. Because of the repetitive movements runners perform when exercising as well as the sweat they produce, the situation is ripe for thigh chafing.
To prevent chafed inner legs, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated during your running workout. This promotes perspiration so the sweat doesn’t dry into salt crystals on your skin, further aggravating the chafing. If you find you sweat a lot around your inner thighs, apply talcum power or cornstarch to the area to stay dry. If that doesn’t work, use a lubricant such as petroleum jelly to the region to help your skin slide smoothly. There are also lubricants on the market specially formulated for runners that will not stain clothing.
Wear tightly fitting shorts or pants to prevent the loose clothing from chafing your skin. Bike shorts and snug runner’s tights are good options. Try to find moisture-wicking fabrics, which will help keep the chafing-prone area dry.
If your inner thighs are stinging and feeling raw after a run, treat the area like it’s an open wound. Clean it with an antiseptic to avoid infection, and then cover the area with gauze. While cleaning it, do not rub the area as it can cause further irritation. If the chafed area begins to bleed, swell or crust, visit a health care provider. Avoid running until the area has fully heeled.
Kelsey Casselbury has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Penn State-University Park. She has a long career in print and web media, including serving as a managing editor for a monthly nutrition magazine and food editor for a Maryland lifestyle publication. She also owns an Etsy shop selling custom invitations and prints.