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Best Anti-Chafing Creams Reviewed

last updated Mar 11, 2019

Ok, we know some of you have thigh gaps, but that trend is over. Lucky for everyone else, because it was even more frustrating to know there’s someone who never had to deal with the burning, itching sensation between your thighs called chafing.

For everyone else besides the chosen few, chafing is a real struggle, especially in the warm season. We sweat, friction appears, it starts to itch and burn and by the time we get home, our inner thighs are pumped red and swelled that not even our satin pajamas can comfort us anymore.

From choosing the right materials, to how your skin, sweat or training habits influence chafing, we tried to answer some of the most common questions related directly to the products we have chosen and why these are the absolute best on the market.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 12 hrs of research

icon
Body Glide Original
96.2/100 our score
Ease of Use
97
Effectiveness
96
Potency
96
Materials
96
Value
96
Body Glide Original
Why is it better?

Amazing for sensitive skin

Completely natural

Environment-friendly

Child-friendly

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Body Glide Original
Test Winner: Body Glide Original
Researched Sources
30
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
6250
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
12
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
15
Products Evaluated
Sorting Options
Ease of Use Effectiveness Potency Materials Value By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.2
Ease of Use
97%
Effectiveness
96%
Potency
96%
Materials
96%
Value
96%
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.05.19)
$9.97
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.8
Ease of Use
96%
Effectiveness
96%
Potency
96%
Materials
96%
Value
95%
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.05.19)
$17.12
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.6
Ease of Use
96%
Effectiveness
96%
Potency
96%
Materials
96%
Value
94%
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.05.19)
$25.99
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95
Ease of Use
96%
Effectiveness
95%
Potency
95%
Materials
95%
Value
94%
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.05.19)
$5.23
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.8
Ease of Use
96%
Effectiveness
95%
Potency
95%
Materials
94%
Value
94%
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.05.19)
$23.92
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.4
Ease of Use
95%
Effectiveness
95%
Potency
94%
Materials
94%
Value
94%
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.05.19)
$16.95
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.2
Ease of Use
95%
Effectiveness
94%
Potency
94%
Materials
94%
Value
94%
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.05.19)
$18.99
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94
Ease of Use
95%
Effectiveness
94%
Potency
94%
Materials
94%
Value
93%
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.05.19)
$7.98
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.8
Ease of Use
94%
Effectiveness
94%
Potency
94%
Materials
93%
Value
94%
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.05.19)
$29.24
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.4
Ease of Use
94%
Effectiveness
94%
Potency
93%
Materials
93%
Value
93%
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.05.19)
$28.00
In Depth Review Top 10
  • Body Glide Original
  • Chamois Butt’r Original
  • 2Toms Sports Shield Liquid Roll-On
  • Gold Bond Friction Defense
  • Monistat Chafing Relief Powder Gel
  • Gooch Guard Chamois Cream
  • Blue Steel Sports with Tea Tree Oil
  • Lucas Papaw Ointment
  • Lanacane Anti-Friction Gel
  • Uberlube Luxury Lubricant
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

Top 10 Picks

1. Body Glide Original

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.2
Body Glide Original
Ease of Use
97
Effectiveness
96
Potency
96
Materials
96
Value
96
best offer for today
$9.97
Pros:

Amazing for sensitive skin

Completely natural

Environment-friendly

Child-friendly

Cons:

Requires multiple applications

The Body Glide Original Stick is one of the highest-ranking anti-chafing products on most sports-oriented websites, but also on weight loss sharing blogs. Suitable for both men and women, the portable anti-chafing stick will be always present in your “to-go” bag, whether on a hike or when you’re hitting the gym.

Read more

Based on natural ingredients, it enables you to stay care-free when it comes to allergenic substances. Also, being a vegan product, made only out of plants keeps it child-friendly and you don’t have to worry about your kids reaching it.

Made from organic, vegan ingredients, this anti-chafing option keeps you safe from any common allergens. At the same time, having no petroleum, lanolin or mineral oils (as fragrances) makes it gentle on the skin, creating the perfect solution for your sensitive skin.
This stick was created with the best interest of the customer at heart.

Only natural, plant-derived ingredients were used in its manufacturing, and it was never tested on animals.
The Body Glide Original Anti-Chafe Balm certainly made the cut no matter what criteria we used. The only serious disadvantage is that we cannot think of one, to be honest.

2. Chamois Butt’r Original

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.8
Chamois Butt’r Original
Ease of Use
96
Effectiveness
96
Potency
96
Materials
96
Value
95
best offer for today
$17.12
Pros:

Natural ingredients

Non-greasy

Easy to apply

No artificial fragrances

Cons:

It can be a hassle to wash it off of clothes.

A winner in the category of non-greasy anti-chafing creams, Chamois Butt’r Original is also preferred by those who want to avoid repeated applications. It is ranked as one of the best when it comes to the durability of one use.

Read more

One big advantage is the use of natural ingredients in its formula, and exclusion of any artificial fragrances or colors, making it perfect for those with sensitive skin.
This product prides itself in using natural ingredients, without any artificial fragrances or colors. Also, being manufactured without any parabens, it contains no animal products. An advertised plus is that the product is gluten-free.

Manufactured without the use of parabens enables Chamois Butt’r Original Anti-Chafe Cream to not be greasy. This makes it easily washable with just mild soap and water.
As the second product on our list, it had to add value to its users. One of the top-rated and endorsed anti-chafing product by cyclists, it was obvious we would place it on a high-ranking spot.

3. oms Sports Shield Liquid Roll-On

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.6
oms Sports Shield Liquid Roll-On
Ease of Use
96
Effectiveness
96
Potency
96
Materials
96
Value
94
best offer for today
$25.99
Pros:

Easy roll-on applicator

Waterproof

Heatproof

Long lasting

Cons:

The roll-on edge can be unpleasant in certain areas.

2Toms Sports Shield is one of the most recommended anti-chafing products by users due to its high durability rate. Some have even claimed it lasts for up to 24 hours and is extremely resistant to high temperatures.

Read more

This vegan product is also valued for its lack of greasiness, keeping you safe from stains on your clothes and giving a comfortable feel.
The roll-on feature of this product makes it a top favorite for its practicality. No different than your deodorant, applying it is super-fast. This enables quick touch-ups when needed, in any situation.

As chafing mostly occurs due to moisture, this choice repels water and does not clog, making it the best bet against bacteria accumulation, especially in sensitive areas.
Combining the best features of this product, with its high resistance to heat was clearly going to take to our top 3 choices. Being one of the most long lasting products on the list is not only an added benefit but mandatory criteria to users. And it seems that 2Toms Sports Shield Liquid Roll-On Chafing Protection ticks the box.

4. Gold Bond Friction Defense

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95
Gold Bond Friction Defense
Ease of Use
96
Effectiveness
95
Potency
95
Materials
95
Value
94
best offer for today
$5.23
Pros:

Unscented

Moisturizing

Gentle enough for sensitive skin

Non-greasy

Cons:

Repeated use during the day is required

Using an aloe vera moisturizer to smooth the formula, the Gold Bond Friction Defense Unscented uses a waxed-based lubricant to prevent chafing. First created as an anti-blister stick, this anti-chafing product gained traction among cyclists, with its easiness of use.

Read more

It is easy to apply and the aloe vera moisturizer takes care of even the most sensitive areas, being suitable for underarms and groin use. As most anti-chafing products are commonly used as a deodorant back-up as well, they can have added artificial fragrances. The unscented version of Gold Bond Friction Defense created an option for its regular consumers who used the scented versions.

One of the best features of this product is the added aloe vera moisturizer - because it does not only keep away sweat and reduces friction, but topically hydrates the area of interest. If used after chafing has occurred already, it enables a speedy recovery. The best features of this product enabled us to select it, as well as the number of positive reviews compared to their overall number. Customers were really satisfied with it, so why shouldn’t we be as well?

5. Monistat Chafing Relief Powder Gel

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.8
Monistat Chafing Relief Powder Gel
Ease of Use
96
Effectiveness
95
Potency
95
Materials
94
Value
94
best offer for today
$23.92
Pros:

Stain-free

Easy to use

No hidden ingredients

Prevents razor-burns

Cons:

Based only on dimethicone, it enables bacteria buildup

The Monistat Chafing Relief Powder Gel has gained traction in the women’s community as one of the best products to eliminate razor burn in areas where there is skin friction. With a non-greasy, silicone-based formula, it dries pretty quick and leaves no stains on clothes

Read more

Frequent application is required when combined with high-temperatures and sweating, but it has a comfortable, cooling effect, which makes it a good choice. Being able to use a gel without worrying if it is going to stain your clothes is important. Especially when it comes to women, who have highly endorsed it. Just one worry out of the way.

Even though the Monistat Chafing Relief Powder Gel was a top choice for others, its top feature of it being easy to use was not strong enough to take it to the top 3. This product has a lot of good features but we placed it in the middle due to its formula, which could honestly be improved with added natural ingredients.

6. Gooch Guard Chamois Cream

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.4
Gooch Guard Chamois Cream
Ease of Use
95
Effectiveness
95
Potency
94
Materials
94
Value
94
best offer for today
$16.95
Pros:

Does not contain allergens

Free from petroleum, parabens, and silicone

Made completely from natural ingredients

Slightly scented

Cons:

Daily use makes the need for a refill pretty frequent

Using a unisex formula, the Gooch Guard Chamois Cream prevent chafing while being free of common allergens, like parabens or petroleum. Safe for athletes and regular people who face chafing issues, the cream is gentle on any type of skin.

Read more

The formula on which this anti-chafing product is based was designed to comfort chafed skin while preventing further skin damage from clothes or skin friction. The Gooch Guard Chamois Cream is not only easy to use, but it is one of the high-end products in its niche. Using ingredients proven to not cause allergies, it is the safest bet for people prone to skin issues.

Some of the products on this list are made from artificial ingredients. Even though we wish there were none, those who have proven their efficacy still make the cut. Having a product fully free from them, as out no.1 choice deserves a thank-you-note. You might be wondering why this wasn’t our top choice. We’ll be honest. If you're facing chafing on a daily basis, you might need a refill pretty soon. However, if you need it occasionally, it’s a good purchase. Just make sure it won’t expire before you use it.

7. Blue Steel Sports with Tea Tree Oil

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.2
Blue Steel Sports with Tea Tree Oil
Ease of Use
95
Effectiveness
94
Potency
94
Materials
94
Value
94
best offer for today
$18.99
Pros:

Prevents skin burn

Soothes affected skin

Has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal properties

Stain-free

Cons:

Requires multiple applications

Created with athletes in mind, Blue Steel Sports’ silicone base was supplemented with natural tea tree oil which is considered a natural anti-bacterial, anti-fungal ingredients. Its importance is based on the fact that silicone based products have the disadvantage of attracting dust particles containing the above-unwanted components.

Read more

It is also considered a good choice for relieving mild rashes, blisters and slightly chafed skin, being a good recovery product as well. The best feature of this product is that it’s able to prevent skin burn. One of the consequences of chafing, besides the unpleasant itchy feeling is slightly damaging the outer layers of the skin. This product does a good job of counteracting it.

The tea-tree oil component which has antibacterial properties also brings a cooling and moisturizing effect. Combined, they enable skin-burn healing faster. Its durability was, unfortunately, a drag-down for this product. Many users have praised its benefits, but having to apply it every hour or so made it fall on our list.

8. Lucas Papaw Ointment

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94
Lucas Papaw Ointment
Ease of Use
95
Effectiveness
94
Potency
94
Materials
94
Value
93
best offer for today
$7.98
Pros:

Brand establishment - 105 years of manufacturing

Moisturizing properties

Uses natural papaw fermented extract

Eliminates chafe and rashes

Cons:

Based on petroleum jelly without quantity information

An all-time favorite among Australians, Lucas Papaw Ointment was not originally designed to be an anti-chafing cream, but rather a rash/cracked lips solution. However, due to its great results over the years, this product became a valuable option as a chafing treatment option, as well as a preventive method.

Read more

Its availability on Amazon, which required the brand to adapt its label according to US regulations made it even more popular, especially due to its papaw extract, acting as a moisturizer. Let’s be honest, when bombarded with new products and new discoveries every day, finding a product which has a history of over 100 years is like a breath of fresh air. We can only imagine it did not last this long for the wrong reasons.

Initially designed as a treatment option for already-damaged skin, Lucas Papaw Ointment does a great job at keeping your skin hydrated. Why is this product on the bottom range of our list? Our findings showed that even if it is marketed as a natural product, the papaw extract represents only a small percentage compared to the entire quantity of the product.

9. Lanacane Anti-Friction Gel

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.8
Lanacane Anti-Friction Gel
Ease of Use
94
Effectiveness
94
Potency
94
Materials
93
Value
94
best offer for today
$29.24
Pros:

Easy to use

Non-greasy

Affordable

Lasting

Cons:

Not based on natural ingredients

Some swear by this product, as the best anti-chafing cream available. The silicone-based formula used in Lanacane Anti-Friction Gel enables it to dry quickly after applying it. This is mandatory when you are on the go or need a quick touch up, even though it seems to last long enough to avoid repeated applications.

Read more

Yes, the Lanacane Anti-Friction Gel has been on the market for a while, being extremely popular in some areas. It is extremely easy to use, which makes it a favorite for many.

Being a gel, users might worry it will feel greasy or stick on clothes. However, it is not the case. The gel dries up pretty quick and is easy to remove. Having no natural ingredients in its composition made it drop down low on our radar. It is efficient, but the prospect of allergies is not so appealing. However, for a lasting product, this is a go-to option.

10. Uberlube Luxury Lubricant

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.4
 Uberlube Luxury Lubricant
Ease of Use
94
Effectiveness
94
Potency
93
Materials
93
Value
93
best offer for today
$28.00
Pros:

Easy to apply

Acts as a moisturizer

Easy to remove

Stain-free

Cons:

Not transport-friendly

Packed in a spraying bottle, the Uberlube Luxury Lubricant acts as an anti-chafing cream with an extreme easiness of use. It brings a silky feel while reducing friction and chafing, and has water-repellent properties.

Read more

Its most interesting feature is that once friction is no longer active, the product starts to dissipate, leaving the skin soft and moisturized without a sticky feel. Remember those fancy perfume bottles with nice puff applicators? The Uberlube Luxury Lubricant is similar to that. It easily adheres to your skin and eliminates friction, as that it the main purpose of a lubricant.

Having a silicone-water base, it not only protects the skin but moisturizes it at the same time. Some users have even claimed they prefer it to their body-lotion when heading out to the gym. Not only this product uses a few natural ingredients, but the bottle it comes in is not portable at all. As chafing products are mostly used on the go and outside of your home’s comfort, being able to throw it among your daily stuff is mandatory. And this one simply isn’t.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Ease of Use

Ease of use can aid efficiency

Anti-chafing products come in different formats, not only creams. There are bands or powders which can be used, but we have found creams to be the most adaptable to any lifestyle.
More so, applying it should be no hassle, and keeping a stick or a cream at hand in your gym bag or purse should also be an option. All listed products are compact, enabling the user to access it as needed and do a quick touch-up when things get steamy.

Effectiveness

Effectiveness is very important for positive results

Anti-chafing products work differently for men and women. We have taken into account both sexes when compiling this selection. Also, as the main athletic niche where chafing occurs has been found to be cycling. Most of the products presented here take care of this area specifically, with high feedback from professionals already using it with success. So take your pick, as you will definitely find something that suits you.

Potency

Potency means more effectiveness

There are different formulas used in manufacturing an anti-chafing product. While some have 100% natural ingredients, others are fully based on petroleum jelly with an added moisturizing component or different added chemicals that help them last longer. The result depends on both this and your own personal influences (skin type, how much you swear, the environment you are in), and so, each product will have different strengths and weaknesses.

Materials

Look closely at materials, are they user friendly for your needs

Being considered a cosmetic product, and considering that you might be using it even in the most sensitive of areas, it was only normal for us to look at the ingredients first when compiling the list above.

The products here are mostly based on natural, organic ingredients, serving even the pickiest niche. The no.1 choice, Body Glide Original Anti-Chafe Balm obviously made the cut, its formula is based on only natural, organic, vegan ingredients, without any trace of animal product, lanolin or mineral oils.

Even if some of the products on the list have been blamed for containing “artificial” ingredients, like petroleum-based jellies, the percentage, compared with the entire blend enabled us to include them. However, our research was based on multiple criteria, the products’ efficacy being as important, even if not suited for all preferences.

Value

Value for money does mean you might pay a little more than you expect

You don’t have to be a penny pincher to find the best deal when making any purchase. This is why we also kept your wallet in mind when we compiled this list. There is something for every budget, making it a versatile list.

You need to remember that how long a product will last is a variable depending strictly on your needs and usage habits. It is understandable for 3-4 applications a day to wear-off an anti-chafing stick faster than 1-2.

When we did our research, even though we found some products that seemed amazing, we found an aspect which puzzled us: comfort. Because we are talking about a product that eliminates a distressing factor, comfort is the basic outcome.

However, we had not thought about the actual feeling you sense when applying the product. As most anti-chafing creams are based on petroleum jelly (and most did not make the cut here), they leave a greasy feeling, are challenging to remove and quite often, stain clothes. Using only the best products listed above allows you to eliminate those concerns. We have done it for you.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
Sort criterias acording to:
Experts Opinion Editors Opinion Users Opinion By Default
Click on a to rate the most important criteria:
#1
Ease of Use
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#2
Effectiveness
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#3
Potency
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#4
Materials
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#5
Value
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Keep yourself hydrated!

Especially in warm environments, when you sweat, you are prone to an electrolyte imbalance which leads to eliminating salt through your sweat at a higher rate. This leads to more friction. Hydration keeps you safe from it!

Use breathable materials!

Allowing your skin to breathe enables thermal regulation. Your body will eliminate sweat at a slower pace, reducing friction.

Other Factors to Consider

Side Effects

The products in this list have not been linked to any irritation when used. They actually have the adverse effect: calming any rash or inflammation already there. But, even if they have no allergens, it is advisable to discuss with your doctor before making a purchase if you know or suspect to have any type of allergy or skin sensitivity.

Compatibility

Because we know some of you are mindful about their shopping habits and the process behind a product’s manufacturing process, the choices above were selected with this in mind. All brands avoid animal ingredients to the best extent they can, depending on their formula, and when they cannot, they make sure to give back by supporting different non-profit organizations.

Brand

Chafing is a common problem. Some might say that it occurs only in overweight people and the solution would be to get in shape. We are aware this is not true, because we have analyzed hundreds of reviews and our verdict is: anyone could have chafing issues.
But being an increasingly popular product, overnight companies have started to appear, trying to get a slice of the pie. Unfortunately, not all of them have the buyer’s best interest at heart. This leads them to create an inefficient product, hide behind patented blends which do not require for all ingredients to be placed on the label or simply using outdated formulas which have been proven to be useless.
This is why the brands behind almost all products are highly established, well-known brands which keep their mission true to their customers’ advantage. For those that are considered newcomers, the transparency showed, and positive reviews won us over, deciding to give them a chance and hoping to keep up the high industry standards.

Durability

Even though ease of use and portability were important criteria, we know you don’t want to run to the bathroom every hour to re-apply a balm, stick, or cream. Most users have praised anti-chafing products for their long-lasting feature. This allows you to maintain your activity, whether hiking with the family, cycling for hours or training for a marathon. The option to apply and be carefree about chafing is important, for all of us.

However, in the durability criteria, we have found something concerning: some products were so good, that they would completely cover the skin and create an issue when you had to take it off. Good anti-chafing creams should not feel like plastic or be completely made of scented vaseline. And you should definitely be able to take it off in a quick shower.

Comfort

When we did our research, even though we found some products that seemed amazing, we found an aspect which puzzled us: comfort. Because we are talking about a product that eliminates a distressing factor, comfort is the basic outcome.

However, we had not thought about the actual feeling you sense when applying the product. As most anti-chafing creams are based on petroleum jelly (and most did not make the cut here), they leave a greasy feeling, are challenging to remove and quite often, stain clothes. Using only the best products listed above allows you to eliminate those concerns. We have done it for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: What is chafing?
a:

Chafing is the unpleasant, and sometimes painful result of skin rubbing against clothing or skin itself. It can occur in overweight individuals, affecting the inner thighs, underarms and groin areas most commonly, or in athletes engaging in repetitive activities. Chafing symptoms include mild rash development, red rashes, and, in severe cases, blisters, swelling, bleeding and crusting.

Chafing consequences do not end, however, once the friction is eliminated. Your body is capable of adapting more than you think. This is a common reaction, especially when we are talking about the largest organ: the skin. Think of calluses developed by guitar players. If you have never touched the hands of a guitarist, you can compare them to your grandparent’s palm.

Skin exposed to friction repeatedly has the ability not only to heal but to become though, in order to avoid further injuries. This leads to a color change in affected areas and the worst consequence is developing hyperkeratosis and intertriginous dermatitis, both being undesired outcomes.

q: How do anti-chafing creams work?
a:

Most anti-chafing creams work by creating a protective layer on the skin. This serves as a moisture barrier which is the main cause of skin friction. Usually based on ingredients that include beeswax (the natural option), lanolin or petroleum, these products enable the creation of this “barrier”.

Once applied, this barrier reduces friction and direct skin-to-skin or skin-to fabric contact. However, depending on a multitude of factors, you might not find every product to provide the same results. The ones being more durable are usually the ones based on artificial substances. The natural ones might not have higher durability and you could need to use it more than once during your outing or your day. It is simply up to you to find which product of the above fits you best.

q: Which are the most exposed areas to chafing?
a:

Because chafing can occur not only based on skin-to-skin friction but also due to clothes rubbing against your skin, there is no area safe from chafing. However, there are several body zones more prone to developing rashes. Some of them are your inner thighs, underarms, groin, waistline, and female bra lines.

Also, chafing is directly dependent on the type of activity you undergo. For example, cyclists are prone to develop inner thigh rashes which, untreated, can affect their performance.

Razor-burns are also a common complaint among anti-chafing product users, whether we talk about the inguinal area, underarms or lower back.

q: What causes chafing?
a:

There are numerous chafing causes, which can differ from one person to another. However, the most common ones are:

    Extra body weight - having a few extra pounds can cause sweat and bacteria to build up in sensitive areas, as well as influence friction between your legs.
    Large muscles - The human body, when taken care of properly, represents balance. However, being too fit can sometimes lead to friction between your arms and thorax or between your thighs.
    Sweat - Not only does water enhance friction, but sweat has an acid component which makes it worse, especially in sensitive areas.
    Humidity - The environment can also be a cause of chafing. People living in humid areas need to take even better care to prevent friction, as it is one of the main causes of friction.
    Hot weather - Directly related to how you sweat, hot weather can influence chafing. It also depends on whether you are a heavy sweater or not, but even if your pores are extremely small, hot weather will take you out of the norm.
    Water from watersports - We’re not talking just about swimming. Even though water is a powerful lubricant, once you get out of the pool, you need to ensure you dry off properly.
    Unfit clothes - Clothes that are too tight, too large, or with heavy seams can enhance rubbing.
    Synthetic materials - Even though some synthetic materials are actually developed to prevent friction, some of them cause heat build-up. They prevent your skin from breathing. This causes you to sweat extensively.
    Sensitive skin - Even though this might be the aspect you can least influence, using natural, organic ingredients and avoiding fragranced products can help your skin maintain elasticity. This, with proper hydration, diminishes the risk of chafing.
q: Which materials prevent chafing?
a:

You might be familiar with cotton as the best choice if you’re a heavy sweater, but in order to prevent chafing, there are multiple options when it comes to materials. Some of the best and worst alternatives are set below, side-by-side, for you to take a better look at that label before you purchase your next pair of leggings.

    Cotton over polyester - Wearing cotton whenever possible is advisable. It is one of the most breathable natural materials available to you. a light cotton fabric allows airflow, which enables moisture to evaporate. Polyester, on the other hand, might seem like one of the most comfortable materials, being light-weight and adaptive to any curve. However, its popularity has risen due to its durability. And even if this is true, it often implies the product is highly water resistant. In chafing terms, it translates to sweat having nowhere to go but on your skin.

    Linen over rayon - It’s no wonder sheets are made out of linen. It’s not a surprise we still call them linen. This is one of the highest absorbing natural fibers available to us. You’ll definitely complain of it wrinkling easily. And we’ll agree. But this is why there are linen blends, which take the best of both worlds: A natural, wrinkle-free (almost) material. On the dark side, we find rayon. Advertised over and over again (mostly by the persistent shop assistant found in old-town “shopping centers”) as a light, breathing material that will make you feel like a summer breeze, rayon is nothing like that. Like polyester, it is a synthetic, durable material, with an intense water phobia. Which means your sweat will most likely build up, leading to friction, irritations, and even an unpleasant odor.

    Chambray over denim - We love our skinny jeans, and we know you love your Levi’s. But be honest for a moment. Are you actually wearing them during hot summer days? If you do, you might not know the alternative yet. It’s called chambray and it’s your best bet in the warm season. Or in warm areas, if you’re a winter traveler. With a similar denim weaving, chambray is based on cotton, but it enables you to add versatility to your wardrobe, but remain true to your style, if you’re a denim lover. And to be honest, for the sake of your skin, you get to wear denim 9 months each year. For the remaining 3, you can make the switch.

    Moisture-wicking fabrics over cotton/spandex blends - Here is where everything you thought about natural fabrics goes away. Moisture-wicking fabrics are synthetic ones. And yet, they work. But this is just because these blends are woven in a manner that enables them to be permeable. They work like a strain, to put it easy. It doesn’t mean you’ll find them in the dress section. Unfortunately, moisture-wicking fabrics are commonly used in creating gym wear. But hey, we don’t mind putting in the sweat without it being visible. And why not cotton/spandex blends? You would think it could be a good idea to use them. But the cotton used in creating these blends is a heavier type, which, in weaving, leaves no room for your skin to breathe. You would be drowning in your own sweat. And you don’t want that.

q: Which internal processes influence chafing?
a:

There are 2 major factors which, by themselves or combined, can influence how your skin reacts to friction.

    Sebum - the oily secretion produced by sebaceous glands. This is secreted by the small ducts next to your hair follicles, spreading on your skin and hair. The main purpose of sebum is to waterproof hair and skin. If produced in excess, it leads to oily skin and acne. A lack of sebum takes you on the opposite edge, where your skin is dry and exfoliates.

    Sweat - Often considered the main cause leading to friction, sweat is actually important, when it's maintained at a balanced level, as it cools our body and helps regulate our temperature in warm environments.

However, when sebum and sweat combine, they form what is know the acid mantle. This protective layer is characterized by a mild level of acidity, from a pH of 4 up to 5.5, which is considered the best level. To understand it better, you should know that a pH of 7 is considered neutral. Anything between that and 14 falls into the alkaline category.
At first glance, some might think acidity is not recommended for the skin. But this property is exactly what keeps bacteria and fungi from developing on our skin. Extremes are not recommended, as a higher acidity leads to irritation and anything approaching the alkaline barrier creates a prone environment for infection. Using mild soaps or detergents is the solution to keeping it at a balanced level.

Sources

  1. Staff, Smart Skin care, Article
  2. Sharon Baronoski, Skin Conditions Frequently Found in Obese Patient Populations, Article
  3. A. Agrawal, Friction Burns: Epidemiology and Prevention, Science Journal
  4. Staff, Chafing, Article