Chafing is a superficial irritation that develops when your skin is subjected to friction from the adjacent skin or clothing. The condition may occur in your groin, anal region, and axilla, between the digits of feet and hand or in the wrists or neck. Sometimes, you may experience erythema, fissuring, and maceration.
Prolonged friction on the skin makes it burn or sting resulting in a mild, red rash. In most cases, chafing will include bleeding, crusting and swelling. Individuals are more likely to develop this problem on their body parts that rub against their clothing or each other. Chafing of the skin mostly occurs on your buttocks and thighs.
Causes of Chafing on the Skin
The skin plays a vital role in protecting and maintaining your overall health. Even though it is flexible and strong, it is sensitive to physical harm, germs, and heat. Just like other body organs, your skin cells can easily reach their limit, resulting in the break down if you overwork them.
Your skin needs to be dry and clean and have the right amount of body lotion or oil to help prevent chafing and friction. When your body parts rub against each other or your clothing, they sweat, get irritated and moisture resulting in chafing of the skin. Here are the primary causes of chafing of the skin.
Repeated rubbing results in friction, especially when combined with sweat or moisture. The rubbing makes your skin vulnerable to breaking down. Repeated rubbing results from various activities that lead to chafing. These activities include:
• Diapers: Prolonged exposure to body wastes, such as urine and feces, may cause chafing of the skin. Also, diapers prevent your body parts from getting enough air, resulting in this condition.
• Nursing: Mothers with young children can also develop this problem due to breastfeeding.
• Endurance Sports: Running and biking are the two primary causes of chafing of the skin along with various activities that combine a repeated motion and sweat of your body. Individuals can develop this problem anywhere that their clothing or skin rubs against each other.
• Being Overweight: Health conditions such as obesity are thought to be the primary causes of chafing of the skin around the thighs. In most cases, losing some body weight can help fix this problem. Just like other individuals, this problem is noticeable in athletes with well-developed quadriceps and those with the tightest bone structures.
Chafing of the skin may also result from salt residue that is left behind after the evaporation of the sweat. If you allow the sweat to dry before resuming your exercise, the salt may intensify the rubbing process leading to further irritation. Other factors that may lead to chafing of the skin include sensitive skin, weather, and prior skin irritations.
When to See Your Doctor
Before visiting your doctor, it is essential to know how to prevent chafing. Since prevention is better than cure, it is essential to practice it before paying a visit to your doctor. You can use the anti-chafing lubricant on any areas before working out.
Most individuals use petroleum jelly products such as talcum powder and Vaseline to help prevent this condition. You can also use other natural alternatives to prevent and heal your skin rapidly if damaged.
Lubricants help your body parts to slide against each other or your clothing to prevent friction. After trying your best to prevent this condition and you notice that it still has some ways of happening, then it is time to visit your doctor to help fix the issue.
The DIY Tips for Chafing of the Skin
Regardless of your body shape and size, there are various DIY tips to help you solve the chafing of the skin problem. These tips include lubrication using petroleum jelly or similar products to the hot spots. You should also dress right when engaging in your sport or exercising activities.
Remember to wear proper-fitting or moisture-wicking clothes like those made with synthetic fibers. For you to treat the chafing of the skin problem, it is recommended to cleanse with care, calm it with some ointments and consider medical options. Individuals can try interrupting the friction, try the use of an antiperspirant, and put on protective clothing.