It may be the best season, but there is a very unglamorous side to those summer beach selfies and rosé brunches: the chance of chafe.
“Chafing is a burning sensation or painful stinging that comes suddenly without any warning,” says board-certified dermatologist Karen Hammerman, M.D., of Schweiger Dermatology Group. A common summer concern, chafing is beatable (and preventable) if you know what to do — and have the best products.
“It is caused by constant rubbing against another part of the skin and may also be caused by sweat,” adds Hammerman. “It can also be caused by irritants such as cloth and other materials that may come in contact with the skin.”
Hammerman says that chafing is more likely to happen to overweight people and athletes, but anybody can get it. And the most common is inner thigh chafing — it can also appear on areas like the groin, armpit and nipples.
“Mild chafing looks like a mild rash,” she says. “In severe cases, chafing can include swelling, bleeding or crusting.” Typically, chafing will last for a few days once treated, but she says if it continues for more than a week, it may be best to consult your doctor.
According to Hammerman, the best ingredients to help calm chafing are lubricants and powder — think petroleum jelly, talcum powder and calendula oil. “If you have an area that is prone to chafing, or you are worried that activity may lead to it, apply a thin layer of deodorant to the area before the activity,” she says. “Wear breathable fabrics that allow sweat to evaporate off your skin. Clothes that are too big can move a lot and chafe skin by continuously rubbing.”
Ready to fight chafe? Check out our top picks for the best products on the market.
We only recommend products we have independently researched, tested, and loved. If you purchase a product found through our links, Sunday Edit may earn an affiliate commission. Prices mentioned in article are accurate as of time of publication.