From petroleum jelly to Body Glide, experts share their recommendations for the best products to prevent dreaded “thigh rub” chafing.
Unless you’re one of the five people on Earth who have a thigh gap, you’re probably familiar with what the rest of us mortals call “thigh rub”—that annoying chafing that you get when your thighs cozy up together as you walk or run.
Basically, here’s what happens: When your thighs rub together, it creates friction that damages the outer layer of skin, causing pain and inflammation, says Melissa Piliang, MD, a dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic. And when you sweat, moisture sits on the skin and breaks down the outer layer of skin even more. Ouch.
With summer right around the corner, we asked experts for the best options to help stop the chafe.
Since lip balms are slick, they can help keep your thighs from rubbing against each other and creating friction, says Carolyn Bangert, MD, a dermatologist at McGovern Medical School at University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.
We like: Vaseline 100% Pure Petroleum Jelly Skin Protectant ($7 for 2; amazon.com)
This is another option that can act as a lubricant and prevent friction, says Dr. Bangert. Bonus: Petroleum jelly can also be used to soothe already-chafed skin. (The only downside? It can be a little greasy.)
An anti-chafing balm that helps prevent the skin irritation caused by friction, Body Glide is an alternative for people who don’t want to deal with messier products. Plus, it also protects against blisters, which makes it especially useful for weekend warriors and athletes alike.
They’re a good option when you’re wearing a dress: The fabric acts as a barrier against the skin, which helps prevent friction and wick away sweat, says Dr. Piliang.
Since baby powders are good at absorbing moisture, they’re also helpful for preventing chafing. (Though you might want to go with a cornstarch-based product instead of one that contains talc.) And like petroleum jelly, baby powder can also be used on chafed skin to soothe the irritation.
On first glance, these look too pretty to be useful. But in fact, Bandelettes are specifically designed to ward off chafing. Plus, they’re also recommended by fashion editors and bloggers alike. They’re non-slip, made of silicone, and are cute enough to wear with (or, ahem, without) your favorite skirt.