Skin chafing refers to the reddening of the skin in specific parts of the body owing to the friction between the skin. As a result, the condition is most common between the inner thighs, the armpit area as well as in the groin region. The friction results in skin that is both tender and sore, and if left untreated, results in infections. Chafing is common in athletes and sports individuals, persons with sensitive skin as well as obese people. Other factors that contribute to chafing include ill-fitting undergarments, torn clothes and even certain medication.
Some of the symptoms associated with chafing include red marks on the skin, very tender patches as well as a burning sensation. Depending on the severity of the condition, the affected part of the skin may cause a stinging sensation when it comes into contact with water, especially hot water.
While this is not a fatal condition, it does predispose one to the development of skin infections with potential complications. To ease the burning sensation and eliminate the soreness, there are a handful of home remedies that you can use to treat chafing. In addition to the use of these remedies, it becomes important to eliminating the causative agent of the friction. This means wearing undergarments and clothes that fit well alongside maintaining a healthy weight range.
1. Olive Oil:
Time Required: 5 Min
What You Need: Olive oil and Vitamin E oil (optional).
Olive oil is one of the simplest home remedies used to treat chafed skin. The oil has excellent moisturization properties that help ease the soreness. Additionally, the oil is rich in Vitamin E and antioxidants that allow the skin to heal quickly. You may include Vitamin E oil for added benefits that reduce the extent of chafing. The best time to use this remedy is immediately after a warm bath when the skin pores are open and can easily absorb the oil’s healing properties.
- Immediately after a warm bath, place a few drops of the olive oil on the palms of your hands.
- Add some Vitamin E oil and mix well.
- Apply the remedy on the affected skin.
- Use this remedy at least thrice daily during the day.
2. Fresh Aloe Vera Gel:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Fresh aloe vera leaf, a sharp knife, and some cotton wool.
Aloe vera is laden with skin healing properties that make it an ideal home remedy for the treatment of chafed skin. The aloe vera gel soothes the irritated skin as well as helps heal the skin. The gel also has healing properties that help reduce the risk of infection. You will need a sharp knife in order to cut open the leaf and extract the gel.
- Clean the aloe vera leaf well and cut it lengthwise in order to extract the fresh gel.
- Once you have collected enough of the gel, soak a ball of cotton wool in the gel.
- Use the wet cotton wool to apply the gel on the chafed skin.
- Massage gently and allow the gel to dry on its own.
- Use this remedy thrice daily for speedy healing and recovery.
3. Ice Pack:
Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: 6 Ice cubes and a clean towel. Cold water (optional).
One of the symptoms of skin chafing is the soreness that accompanies the red patches. Using an ice pack helps get rid of this soreness, thanks to the low temperatures that numb the skin. This provides pain relief and is particularly effective for those with sensitive skin. When using this simple remedy, however, do not be tempted to use the ice cubes directly on the skin as this places you at risk of skin damage from frost bites. Prepare a simple ice pack by following the directions below.
- Put the ice cubes on the towel and tie opposite ends. This allows you to create a pack whose application is easy.
- Massage the pack on the affected skin gently for about 5 minutes consecutively.
- Take a minute’s break to allow your skin to breathe.
- Repeat step 2 for another 5 minutes.
- Once the ice cubes start melting, change them and repeat step 2 once more.
- You may also opt to clean the affected skin using cold water with the same results.
- Use the remedy thrice daily.
4. Turmeric Paste:
Time Required: 40 Min
What You Need: 1 Tablespoon of turmeric powder, 2 tablespoons of warm water, a bandage, and cold water to rinse. Disposable gloves (optional).
Turmeric is a potent home remedy for the natural treatment of skin chafing. This is because it contains an active ingredient known as curcumin. According to published studies, curcumin helps treat skin diseases by getting rid of free radicals that contribute to skin damage. This active ingredient is also excellent at offering relief from the burning sensation that accompanies the skin friction. Lastly, turmeric is recommended because it works on reduce scarring once the reddened skin patches have healed. You will need some water to create a paste.
NOTE: Since the use of this remedy can sometimes be messy thanks to the herb’s deep orange color, you may want to use a pair of disposable gloves.
- Prepare the paste by adding few drops of water at a time to the turmeric powder.
- Once you have a thick and consistent paste, apply a generous amount on the affected skin.
- Tie the bandage on top of the paste and let it remain that way for half an hour.
- Once the time has elapsed, rinse off the paste using cold water.
- Use this remedy thrice daily for speedy healing.
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 2 Cups of oatmeal, bath water, and olive oil.
Oatmeal is an excellent anti-inflammatory that makes it a perfect remedy for the home treatment of skin chafing. When added to bath water, the oatmeal helps clean, soothe and moisturize the affected skin. The best way to use this remedy is to add the oatmeal to the bathwater and soak in it for half an hour. Olive oil is then applied after on dry skin for moisturization purposes. Make the best of oatmeal’s medicinal properties to get relief from chafing.
- Add the oatmeal to the bath water and mix well.
- Soak in the bath for half an hour and the dry the skin.
- Apply some olive oil on the affected skin in order to soothe and enhance quick healing of the chafed skin.
6. Tea Tree Oil:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: A few drops of tea tree oil, olive oil (used as a carrier oil), and cotton wool.
Tea tree oil is one of the essential oils that have long been used to treat skin conditions, among them, chafing. The oil is best known for its antiseptic properties that help hasten the healing of the affected skin. This works excellently because it also reduces the risk of the skin infection. Other benefits of using tea tree oil include soothing the irritated skin, providing pain relief as well as preventing the recurrence of chafing.
NOTE: Do not take tea tree oil internally as it is toxic to the internal body organs. You must also use the oil in its diluted form; failure to do this and using the oil undiluted is likely to cause irritation of the skin.
- Mix the tea tree oil with the olive oil.
- Place a few drops of the oil mixture in a ball of cotton wool.
- Use the wet cotton wool to apply the oil in the affected skin.
- Repeat this procedure daily until the skin is totally healed.
7. Use Petroleum Jelly:
Time Required: 5 Min
What You Need: A thin layer of the petroleum jelly.
One of the simplest remedies which you can use to treat chafing is to apply a thing layer of petroleum jelly. This remedy works by preventing the skin from rubbing during friction, thus preventing the irritation and soreness that accompanies the condition. In the same breath, avoid skin creams that are perfumed as they are likely to cause further irritation. Use petroleum jelly on the go for quick relief from chafing.
- Simply apply plain petroleum jelly to the affected part of the skin for pain relief.
8. Cornstarch or Talcum Powder:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Warm soapy water, clean towel, and cornstarch or talcum powder.
Cornstarch or talcum powder is recommended for the natural treatment of chafing in cases where it is as a result of excess moisture between the affected skin. This occurs because the sweat present is laden with salts that further irritate the skin and worsen the symptoms of this condition. When applied on the affected skin, both cornstarch and talcum powder ensure the skin remains dry, effectively dealing with friction.
NOTE: It is very important to note that this remedy must not be used on wet skin as it could heighten the risk of getting skin infections.
- Use warm soapy water to clean the affected skin prior to application of the remedy.
- Dry the skin using the towel.
- Dust a layer of the cornstarch or talcum powder on the affected skin.
- Use the remedy thrice daily to get rid of friction between the skin.
9. Neem Leaves and Lemon:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: A handful of neem leaves, fresh lemon as well as pestle and mortar.
Neem leaves have long been used for the natural treatment of different skin conditions. In the case of chafing, the leaves soothe the skin and aid in the reduction of the stinging sensation when the affected parts of the skin come into contact. Vitamin C found in the lemon on the other hand, speeds up the healing process. When mixed together, the result is a potent remedy with great healing properties. Follow the directions below to make use of this remedy and treat chafing naturally.
- Sort the neem leaves and clean well.
- Use a pestle and mortar to crush the leaves until you have a paste-like substance.
- Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice.
- Mix the juice with the crushed neem leaves in order to get a thick paste.
- Apply this paste on the affected skin and massage gently. Use this remedy thrice daily until you notice that the symptoms have subsided and the skin has healed.
Additional Tips to Deal with Skin Chafing:
Alongside the remedies mentioned above, some of the tips that you can use include:
- Using gentle bath products to avoid irritating the skin.
- Invest in clothes made of breathable fabric (preferably cotton) to avoid excessive sweating.
- Exercise regularly to keep the weight at bay and deal with obesity, a huge factor in skin chafing.
- Taking a blanaced diet to ensure your skin remains healthy.
- Stay hydrated to prevent the skin from drying out.
Chafing creates great discomfort, but is easily treated using the aforementioned home remedies. If, however, your skin is broken, you must seek medical attention to prevent an infection. The same is applicable if the home remedies do not offer a solution after regular use. In conclusion, it also helps to take preventive measures that keep the pain at bay.