Chafing is the runner’s constant companion. No matter what the season, there’s always the risk of runner’s rash: red, irritated, raw-feeling thigh chafing or groin chafing.
Runner’s rash between the thighs is the most common chafing area for men and women, but groin chafing and buttock chafing can also be an issue. Some people are more prone to thigh rubbing than others — but fortunately, there’s no shortage of solutions to this dreaded issue. Start by staying hydrated while you run — not only is it important for your health, but salt crystals left behind when you stop sweating and the perspiration dries to become an irritant.
There’s no one elegant solution to thigh chafing, as it’s a highly personal choice. But we’ve put together some of the best anti-chafing products to stop the irritation of your thighs rubbing together while running.
1. Proper Running Clothing
All too often, running clothes are at least part of the problem when it comes to irritated thighs. Seams on shorts can rub up against the skin and exacerbate runner’s rash If your running shorts are the culprit, try switching to another pair, one that’s a bit longer. As an alternative, you can try wearing a pair of compression shorts, which tend to be a bit longer, under your running shorts.
Material choice is important, too: Cotton shorts are a bad idea because once they’re wet, they stay wet. Synthetic fabrics with moisture-wicking properties, such as Lycra or Spandex, are a much better option.
2. Lubricants, Gels, And Balms for Runner’s Rash
Using a gel-like lubricant on your thighs can ease friction and reduce chafing while running. Petroleum jelly is an inexpensive, widely available anti-chafing cream for thighs that works well, but you can also find more specialized products for runners, including BodyGlide, Run-Goo (and its sibling product Hike-goo), as well as Red11 (originally meant for nipple chafing, it can also be used on thighs). This can be a slightly messier solution than other alternatives.
3. Powder to Prevent Thigh Chafing
If gels and lubricants aren’t to your preference, some powder products can also stop thighs from chafing during your run. Baby powder (or talcum powder) is a simple no-frills option. More specialized products include Lush’s Silky Underwear or Anti-Monkey Butt powder, which also has a ladies’ variant.
4. Bandelettes To Stop Runner’s Rash
Our unisex Bandelettes are a great option to prevent thigh chafing while running. They can also be worn higher up on the leg to protect against groin chafing while running, which is particularly common for men. Made from a soft synthetic microfiber, they are specially designed thigh bands which prevent skin irritation caused by the friction of skin on skin or even skin on fabric. Bandelettes won’t slide down your thighs thanks to nonslip silicone. They only cover the area that needs to be covered, making them a more comfortable, breathable option, especially in warm weather.
Unisex Bandelettes are available in black, beige, and chocolate and come in a variety of sizes to perfectly fit any thighs! This is the best anti-chafing product for people who want to prevent chafing while running a marathon or simply running errands!
Unisex Thigh Bands by Bandelettes®$16.99$16.99Size:21-22" A 23-24" B 25-26" C 27-28" D 29-30" E 31-32" F*5.5" 6"**
5. Proper After-Care for Runners
Taking care of your legs after a run will also help minimize your discomfort from any running rash. Start by showering as soon as possible, in lukewarm water. Hot water and chafed thighs are just a recipe for pain! Pat your skin dry — don’t rub — to minimize irritation. Be sure to follow up by moisturizing your skin with a good lotion, coconut oil or shea butter. If you are dealing with raw, irritated skin, skip the moisturizing step and instead go for a diaper rash cream like Desitin or A+D Zinc Oxide cream. It sounds crazy, but the active ingredient is zinc oxide, which makes it antibacterial as well as soothing.
Read our comprehensive guide to learn more about the causes and treatment of chafing and runner’s rash!
Are you more specifically concerned about thigh chafing? Then check out our products designed specifically to prevent thigh chafing, even for runners!