Thigh chafing is an affliction that has plagued humanity since the invention of walking. The burning rash, the red skin, incessant itching—it seems like Mother Nature’s cruel and usual punishment for getting your steps in. 

Whether you have thick thighs or twigs for legs, nobody is safe from skin chafing. It’s basic biology (more on that later). But we come bearing good news: Thigh chafing is optional if you’re willing to follow a few fundamental tips.

Keep reading to figure out why your thighs chafe in the first place and get seven hacks to help your thighs glide smoother than that DM you sent your crush (okay maybe that was a bad analogy).

What Causes Thigh Chafing?

Thigh chafing happens when your legs scrape against each other for a long period of time. The constant friction generates heat and irritation, which inevitably leads to redness, pain, and itching.

Think of it like two sticks rubbing together to start a fire, except those sticks are your legs and the fire is a rash that makes you beg for sweet mercy. 

Thigh chafing is also known as “chub rub,” which implies that it afflicts folks who are on the heftier side. However, chafing doesn’t just happen to people with thunder thighs. Even if you’re a Pilates pro with legs sculpted like a Greek god, you can still end up with chafed thighs if you wear tight-fitting clothes that trap moisture.

Here are some additional factors that can increase the odds of chafing, or make it worse:

  1. Moisture: Sweat and humid weather create the perfect storm for thigh chafing because they reduce your skin’s natural lubrication.
  2. Exercise: Walking, running, doing the cha-cha slide, or other activities involving leg movement can increase friction, potentially leading to inner thigh chafing
  3. Tight clothes: Wearing pants or shorts that vacuum-seal your thighs restricts the natural movement of your legs, making every step a potential invitation for chafing.

Neglecting your chafed thighs can cause nasty blisters and skin infections, so you better have a game plan ready to keep things cool down there.

How to Prevent Thigh Chafing: 7 Tips

From upgrading underwear to topical treatments, we’ve got a bunch of ways to stay active without scorching the skin between your thighs.

1. Wear Micromodal Underwear

Micromodal fabric is as luxurious as silk and more absorbent than cotton, making it the ideal fabric for anti-chafing shorts, underwear, leggings, and more. 

If you’re a frequent victim of chafed skin, here are two reasons to add micromodal into the mix:

  • Moisture wicking: The fabric draws excess moisture and sweat away from your skin, making it less prone to irritation
  • Minimal friction: Micromodal fibers are finer than a hair's breadth, which limits the amount of friction between your skin and the fabric. This smoothness reduces the friction between your thighs, allowing them to glide past each other with ease.

2. Keep Your Skin Hydrated

Just like excessively damp skin is prone to chafing, excessively dry skin is prone to chafing too. Whether it’s the dead of winter or your skin is always as dry as the Sahara, slap on some lotion or moisturizer to keep your legs lubed up.

3. Anti-Chafing Sticks

Anti-chafing sticks look like deodorant, except you apply them between your thighs. There are a ton of brands out there, but most of them contain ingredients like aloe vera and vitamin E to heal irritated skin and prevent further chafing. 

4. Barrier Creams

If you’re wearing tight clothes, barrier creams provide a (you guessed it) barrier between your thighs and the fabric. They do the same thing as anti-chafing sticks, except it comes in a thicker, cream-based formula. 

5. Deodorant

If you don’t feel like splurging on anti-chafing balms, regular old deodorant is a solid substitute, especially if you sweat a lot. Applying deodorant will soak up sweat and create a barrier between your thighs and pants. Not to mention you won’t stink, either. 

6. Body Powder

Body powder and baby powder both absorb moisture, reducing the risk of chafing. No matter what type of powder you choose, just make sure it’s talc free. 

7. Thigh Bands

Not a fan of balms, creams, and powders? You can always slip into a pair of thigh bands (AKA bandelettes). They create a physical barrier between your thighs, which can be ideal if you’re wearing tight pants, jeans, or long dresses.

How Do You Treat Thigh Chafing?

Alright, so you ignored all seven of our tips to prevent thigh chafing and you’re stuck with a brutal red rash. Now what?

1. Take a Cool Shower

First things first: If your thighs look like they were just sanded down, take a cool shower, wash the chafed area with gentle soap, and pat it dry. Don’t powerwash your legs with hot water—that’s only going to make matters worse.

2. Topical Ointments

Once everything’s clean down there, you’ll want to apply a topical ointment to prevent the chafed area from scabbing over. Here are a few options:

  • Petroleum jelly (AKA Vaseline)
  • Zinc-based creams
  • Aloe vera

Are Your Undies Sabotaging Your Thighs?

You thought you were financially savvy buying a 12-pack of cotton underwear. But after a long day of walking you end up paying a hefty price—and that price is a pair of chafed up thighs. We won’t judge you for your prior decision making, but we will judge you if you don’t upgrade to Culprit.

We’ve got a full suite of anti-chafe boxers for dudes—and for the ladies we’ve got the softest ladyboxers, biker shorts, booty shorts, and thongs that we guarantee to be the best thing to ever grace your genitals.