Andie Thueson » Fitness » How to Prevent Chafing, For Us Non-Thigh Gap Gals

How to Prevent Chafing, For Us Non-Thigh Gap Gals

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Over the past few years, I have developed a love for running. I also have developed an acceptance of my body and realized that even though I do not have the perfected thigh gap, I can still rock a pair of running shorts with no shame.

So after much deliberation, I was super stoked to buy my first pair of speed shorts from Lululemon. If you haven’t tried them, they are my favorite running shorts, and I feel they look good on all body types, including my short and curvy frame.

So I felt pretty dang cute and legit as I headed out the door on my first of many long runs sporting my speed shorts. It felt so good to have my legs uncovered a bit while I ran the air and sun warming them as I ran. But as I ran longer and longer, it was apparent that my inner thighs were causing some serious friction, and I found myself in serious pain. But as a self-titled “tough chick,” I battled on burning pain and all – after the completion of my run, my thighs were on fire and not in the way they usually are after a good workout. They were raw, and a couple of sores had formed where my skin had been rubbed raw.

As a gal who does not sport super thin, perfect thigh gap legs, needless to say, I had some serious chafing. Let’s just say walking was no fun! For the next couple of days, I was in no shape for a run, and I hated it.

I loved my new shorts – but was NOT a fan of the chafing situation. So I did what any determined gal who wants to wear shorts and run would do; I researched the crap out of how to prevent chafing! So after some trial and error, I found a couple of things that DID help!

Photo of Andie's legs in green running shorts. She has clearly found a way to prevent chafing on her inner thighs when running.
Non-Thigh Gap Gals Unite! We can rock short shorts and NOT chafe!

I can now run and ENJOY my cute shorts free of pain and any signs of chafing. These tips also help prevent chafing from sports bras, another area affected by chafing.

What is chafing: Chafing is a common skin problem caused by any combination of friction, moisture, and irritating fabric. Prolonged rubbing on the skin makes your skin sting or burn, and you develop a mild, red rash. In severe cases, chafing will include swelling, bleeding, or crusting. Yikes right?!

Now we’ll tackle how to prevent chafing in the first place!

The Best Ways to Prevent Chafing

  • Good Old Fashioned Baby Powder, Talcum Powder, or Body Powder: Now that my kids are older – I am no longer in the diaper phase of life. {I promise that stage does end, and sooner than you think!} But somehow I managed to find a lone bottle of the stuff and was pleasantly surprised by the help it provided! Not only did my legs smell baby fresh it helped aid my situation.
  • Body glide Anti-Chafe For Her I read several online articles on how well this stuff works and is non-oily and not sticky! I gave it a go and was pleasantly surprised by how effective and easy to use it was. For $8, it is worth the investment. It seems to me to be the best option and the best anti-chafing product currently available. You roll the anti-chafe sticks on just like deodorant between your gams. {Body Glide as over 21k 4.5 star reviews on Amazn} This is my go-to and works both on my inner thighs as well as other problem areas to prevent skin chafing. Main active ingredients include: Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ozokerite, Glyceryl Behenate, Stearyl Alcohol, Allantoin, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Glyceryl Linoleate, Glyceryl Linolenate
  • Chub Rub Is another choice amongst anti-chafe products. Chub Rub also has fantastic reviews on Amazon. It is more naturally based and is made with coconut oil, shea butter, and aloe vera. This is another excellent option for protecting chafe-prone areas. Main active ingredients include: Organic virgin coconut oil, Jolene 7750, behenyl alcohol, castor oil, capric triglycerides, hempseed oil, k-62, Shea butter, Brazilian carnival wax, beeswax, cocoa butter, citric acid, jojoba oil, olive oil, aloe Vera extract, vitamin E
  • Megababe Thigh Rescue – A newer product in the world of anti-chafing sticks. This product is also made with more natural-based ingredients like grapeseed oil, Pomegranate, and Aloe Vera. This product has a much more pleasant smell than Body Glide but both functionally equally, in my opinion. Main active ingredients include: Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Stearyl Alcohol, Isopropyl Palmitate, Cetyl Esters, Ozokerite, Tribehenin, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Silica, Zinc Oxide, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Punica Grenatum (Pomegranate) Seed Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Chamomilla Recutita (Chamomile) Flower Extract, Alcohol, Allyl Caproate, Anisaldehyde, Benzyl Acetate, Citral, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Cymbopogon Martinii Oil, Hexenyl Acetate, Hexyl Acetate, Juniperus Mexicana Oil, Phenethyl Alcohol, Tagetes Minuta Flower Oil, D-Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E).
  • Gold Bond Friction Defense: Another player in the anti-chafe game. Gold Bond is known for making a great product in helping other areas, cough (groin area); it also has stellar reviews on Amazon, and it’s the most affordable option. Main active ingredients include: Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Tribehenin, Cetyl Esters, Stearyl Alcohol, Polyethylene, Zinc Oxide, Silica, Ethylhexylglycerin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Isopropyl Myristate, Bisabolol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Isopropyl Palmitate, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract.
  • Hydration – The theory being the more water you drink and the better hydrated you are, the less you sweat and the less friction will be produced. All good in theory, and yes, please drink your water while running, pack your hydration belts. But no matter how you slice it, I experience excessive sweating with water or without. And after having three kids, I already have to stop for enough for “potty breaks” this one wasn’t a REAL solution for me! But let me know if it makes a difference for you!
  • KY Jelly – Open that bedside “drawer” and use a little lube… I’m not making this shiz up. It’s recommended on quite a few “runners” guides. I tried it, and I think it just felt gross. It might have helped, but it wasn’t for me. But maybe I don’t buy the right kind. 
  • Petroleum Jelly – It worked reasonably well, but personally wasn’t my favorite. I just felt like a greased pig out for a run. It’s pretty much the opposite of an empowering feeling I was going for. Plus, it is prone to stain if not fully absorbed into your skin.
Info graphic on areas to apply anti-chafe products to prevent chafing while running or other activities.
You can use anti-chafing products to protect chafing on your feet, inner thighs, buttocks, groin, bustline, breasts, nipples, chest, shoulders, under arm, and neck!

It is not just inner thighs that chafe; you may apply these preventative measures to any body parts on the body map below! (chart via Body Glide)

If you found this post a bit too late to take preventive action, here are some tips to help you nurse and speed up the healing process of your sadly chafed area:

  1. Wash the affected area with antibacterial soap, and then carefully dry the area with a clean towel.
  2. Apply an antibacterial ointment of choice. You could use a healing essential oil salve.
  3. Wrap affected area with clean soft bandages to avoid any further discomfort of chafing.

Bottom line and an important thing to remember, whether you have perfectly shaped thigh gap legs, {and if you do – that’s awesome} or you don’t; there are some fantastic products that DO help prevent thigh chafing! So no matter your shape, you can sport the shorts without the pain. So head outside for a long walk or run or hit the gym for a treadmill run, but either way, you can enjoy these activities in your stylish shorts sans chafing!

I’d love to know if any of these have worked for you! I’m always open to suggestions on how to prevent chafing! Cause my cute runners shorts are here to stay! So much better than compression bike shorts that tend to ride up, and I am pulling them down my entire run.

Happy Running!

Andie's signature

19 Comments

  1. Gina Horne says:

    Such great tips!! Now I just have to learn the loving to run part! =)

  2. Use a solid deodorant. Works great.

    1. Terri! I’ll need to try that!

  3. Holly Massie says:

    One of the best products I’ve found is Neals Yard Remedies Organics balms! They have a few – Baby, Bee Lovely, and Wild Rose Beauty Balm. I used the Bee Lovely on a recent hike and then added the Wild Rose the next day. FABULOUS stuff, organic, and good for your skin. Next time I will apply them before the hike as well! (you can find them here https://www.facebook.com/NYROHollyMass/)

    1. Thanks for the tip! I’ll have to check it out!

  4. David wissmar says:

    Go to a bike shop that deals with triathlete s, they have all the products.
    Butbutter is my favorite.
    If you can,t find one go to a farm supply store and look for BAGBALM!
    It’s a greasy antiseptic. You put it on your cows udders I am finishing my third can.

    1. My husband swears by bag balm! He loves it for chapstick. I’ll have to steal some and try it!

  5. Jamie Martin says:

    “Non thigh gap girls” everywhere thank you!

  6. This is really useful, thanks.

  7. These are such valuable tips and definitely something this girl can use!! hahaha

  8. So many great tips! Thanks for sharing!

  9. I used to run before kids and a twice now broken ankle. I always appreciated this kind of useful information! Even without regular running I still get chafing especially in the summer. I use baby powder, but I also think the bodyglide is perfect for helping with chafing during running. That is what I used to use and it lasted all through an 8 mile and a 10 mile race.

  10. Allyson Zea says:

    This is great especailly for hot vacations!

  11. 5 stars
    After 2 broken ankles on the same leg I don’t do a whole lot of running anymore. However, when I did I LOVED the bodyglide. It was perfect for keeping away the chafing. Even now, when I’m hiking or planning on a long day of intense walking, I will use the bodyglide. It’s not greasy like petroleum jelly and doesn’t leave a dusting of powder on the floor like baby powder and it lasts for a really long time without needing a touch up. I have found that baby powder is amazing for helping to control sweat and chafing in other areas on the female body. One other thing I’ve found to help control thigh chafing is well fitting shorts/pants. If there’s no chance for the thighs to touch then there’s no chance for chafing to happen. Thanks for the list…I’d never thought about the KY jelly… not sure I’ll use it… but the reminder on the hydration has good timing!

  12. 5 stars
    This is really helpful! Thank you so much for sharing this!!

  13. 5 stars
    Oh wow! This is really helpful!! Thank you so much!

  14. Diane shultz says:

    5 stars
    Great tips, thanks so much! I just forwarded to all of my runner friends!

  15. 5 stars
    The gold Bond friction defense was a game changer when I was in Florida at Disney during the summer!

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