Thigh Chafing Is Real, and It's Brutal—These Are the Products That Really Help

To me, summer is always a welcome change—I love when the weather starts to heat up and I get to start wearing breathable clothing (and less of it). Nothing feels better than throwing on a good summer dress on a balmy day. There's one major problem, though: thigh chafing

Thigh chafing can be uncomfortable, to say the least. Many people experience thigh chafing in the summer (myself included). It's super common and can be caused by any number of things—walking, working out, or even just sitting with your legs crossed. "Thigh chafing happens as a result of friction when your inner thighs rub against each other and damages the skin," says Margarita Lolis, board-certified dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group in Hackensack, New Jersey. "You can have red, irritated skin that may blister and burn. It's usually worse in the hot and sticky summertime when we are sweating."

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Luckily, there are products out there that are formulated to help prevent thigh chafing right off the bat. These innovative products help reduce friction, meaning you can walk in shorts and skirts without worrying about painful redness or blisters later. "You want to look for creams and balms that contain petroleum jelly or zinc oxide to create a barrier on the top of the skin," says Lolis. Mona Gohara, associate clinical professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine and President of the Women's Dermatologic Society, recommends looking for something that's lubricating, fragrance-free, and hypoallergenic. 

First things first, start with a moisturizing cleanser:

Before you do anything else, make sure you start with a clean slate. "The first thing to do is to use a hydrating cleanser," says Gohara. "Soap cleansers strip the skin of natural oils and further break down the [skin's] barrier, adding fuel to the fire. I like Dove Body Wash, which adds moisture as it cleanses."

The Best Anti-Chafe Sticks

"I recommend Megababe Thigh Rescue," says Lolis. "It's a soothing balm that sits on top of the skin, allowing your thighs to glide smoothly against each other. It contains ingredients like aloe to help cool the skin and grapeseed oil to support the skin's structure and help build collagen. It's in a deodorant stick applicator, which makes it super easy to apply."

The bathroom cabinet staple, Vaseline, is a great option to lubricate skin and reduce friction. Try it in stick form for easy, mess-free application. 

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@itsheymorgan

Gohara coins this anti-chafe balm a derm favorite. "It is hypoallergenic, lubricating, quickly absorbant, and easy to apply in stick form." It's also an athlete go-to before rigorous activity. 

Zinc oxide helps reduce friction on thighs, but the real hero ingredient here is aloe vera. Aloe works to soothe skin, so if you're already dealing with thigh chafing, it not only helps prevent, but it helps calm previous inflammation. 

This stick stops chafing all day. Vitamin E and aloe vera work to both moisturize and soothe skin. 

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@lefevrediary

For instant chafing relief, this coconut oil–infused balm glides on easily. It's fragrance-free and non-greasy, so it's a great option for everyone and every occasion. 

This anti-chafe stick creates a barrier against friction while moisturizing anywhere you put it, thanks to aloe and shea butter. It creates a cooling sensation, so it also provides instant relief for already tender areas. 

Not only does this moisturizing stick help prevent chafing, but it can also be used anywhere as a mess-free body hydrator. A little goes a long way, and it melts into skin effortlessly. Throw this in your beach bag, since it's a true multipurpose product. 

If you're a runner or hiker, this heavy-duty stick is perfect for you. It lasts through just about everything you throw at it—extreme weather, long distances, and more.

This balm goes on slightly tacky, but it gets warmed by your body heat to create glide. This ensures that it never feels greasy or oily on skin. 

Easy to apply and highly moisturizing, this anti-chafing stick was designed by a trainer and a physical therapist to be able to provide glide all day long. Reviewers praise it for truly lasting hours without needing to reapply. 

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