Is Thigh Chafing Harmful? It's More Annoying Than It Is Dangerous

We all head into summer dreaming of fun in the sun — but sadly, said fun can lead to the dreaded thigh chafing. The rash caused by friction on the inner thighs may hurt like heck, but is it more than just a summertime inconvenience? Is thigh chafing actually harmful?

Well luckily, in most cases, no: thigh chafing is not harmful (well, any more than the burning pain it causes). As mentioned above, it's an inconvenience that often strikes in summer — because according to WebMD, sweat is a major factor; as is the seasonal swap from long pants to short shorts and sun dresses. It's also quite a common occurrence for athletes, especially runners.

While pretty darn uncomfortable, thigh chafing is a generally minor health concern. In some cases, though, it can lead to infections and yeast infections, which are more difficult to treat that thigh chafing on its own. According to Good Housekeeping, a particularly bad case of chub rub can turn to infection, as the inflamed area and broken skin are more susceptible to bacteria and yeast growth.

Luckily, it's not too tough to prevent — a quick trip to your doctor will generally get it cleared up, and keeping the area clean (both with antibacterial soap, and healing creams such as Neosporin) can also go a long way towards preventing infection.

And hey, you can outsmart infection entirely by knocking out your thigh chafing altogether — it won't disappear overnight, but there are a lot of products out there designed to help you stay chafe-free, from special thigh sleeves (AKA Bandelettes), to friction-reducing ointments that just so happen to double perfectly for your favorite mattifying face primer. Heck, even simpler solutions like baby powder and bike shorts can help the cause.

See: Bandalettes Elastic Anti-Chafing Thigh Bands, $16.95, Amazon

So, luckily for us, thigh chafing is mostly only harmful in the sense that it hurts — and the accompanying infections tend to be both preventable and treatable.

So, run straight into that summer sun, and let your thighs fly free.

Images: Christopher Campbell/Unsplash; Giphy (3)