chafed skin

Caring for chafed skin

Fact Checked

Chafed skin is a form of skin irritation that happens when there is constant rubbing of the skin against own skin or clothing. Chafing causes red sore patches on the affected area. With constant rubbing, the skin may peel off or even bleed. Chafing between the thighs causes severe pain and makes simple tasks such as walking difficult.

Symptoms of chafed skin

  • Burning sensation
  • Stinging
  • In severe cases, there is inflammation and swelling
  • Itching
  • Severe irritation
  • Itchiness
  • The affected area becomes sore and tender to touch


Chafed skin
The affected area becomes sore and tender to touch.
  • Performing exercises and activities that requires movement in which the skin rubs against skin and clothing.
  • The accumulation of fat causes the development of folds in the body and result to constant friction with skin rubbing against skin.
  • Excessive sweating that result to inflammation and rashes in areas that experiences friction
  • Wearing tight fitting clothes and wet clothing


  • Wash the affected area using a mild cleanser and rinse with water. Pat the area dry. Washing the chafed skin is important especially after performing exercises and excessive sweating. It is important to wash the area before treatment. Avoid rubbing the chafed skin with a towel to prevent further irritation and worsen the condition.
  • Sprinkle powder over the affected area to lessen skin friction. Use talc-free baby powder, cornstarch and baking soda.
  • Apply an over-the-counter ointment such as petroleum jelly, diaper rash cream and body balm to prevent chafing. Cover the area using a bandage or a sterile gauze pad.
  • If the area is severely painful and bleeding, take the prescribed medicated ointment that can be spread on the area such as petroleum jelly.
  • Apply an ice pack after performing exercises for at least 20 minutes.
  • Open a fresh aloe vera leaf and apply the gel inside the leaf into the chafed skin. Put a few drops of tea tree oil into a cotton ball and spread it over the affected area to fight infection and promote fast healing of the condition.
  • Add 2 cups of baking soda and 10 drops of lavender essential oil in lukewarm water. Mix well until fully dissolved. Use this solution in taking a bath. Soak in the solution for at least 20 minutes and pat the body dry with a clean towel. Avoid soaking in very hot water since it dries the skin and results to further irritation of the skin.

Disclaimer / More Information

The material posted on this page on chafed skin is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize and manage wounds with proper wound care by taking a first aid and CPR class with one of our training providers.


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