Thigh chafing, referred to adorably as “chub rub,” is anything but cute — in fact, it's pretty painful. In addition to dealing with the discomfort and soreness, you may have to contend with thigh chafing myths, which are likely the last thing you want to deal with when you’re struggling to get through the day with inner thighs that have been rubbed red raw. Because, unless you’re an eternal optimist – or the kind of person who thinks their newly pink thighs look adorbs – you probably aren’t looking on the bright side when suffering from thigh chafing.
Like many things in the fashion and beauty world, there are always going to be urban legends and myths about certain things, because some people go along with the crowd and don’t question what they’re told. When it came to thigh chafing, I believed a plethora of rumors like: Thigh chafing doesn’t affect slim people, it causes bad body odor, and talcum powder is the only way to make it stop. However, I spoke with Dr. Monica Grover, who set the record straight on the truth about thigh chafing. Here are some myths about thigh chafing you really should't believe.
1. Thigh Chafing Only Happens To Larger Folks
Dr. Grover tells me, "Anyone is prone towards developing thigh chafing. All you need is an initial cause, this can include excessive sweat, dry skin, or even clothing that doesn't aerate." She elaborates, "Friction is the major issue but if you have any of the above, friction can still be caused even from clothing rubbing against the skin." So any body of any size can suffer from thigh chafing – don't think you're immune to it if you're a straight sized gal!
2. Thigh Chafing Can Be Prevented By Using Creams & Ointments
On the contrary, Dr. Grover says, "Sometimes creams and ointments can make it worse." This was definitely news to me! Dr. Grover explains, "If you already have some chafing, these can actually cause too much moisture which can lock in sweat. Sweat contains salt and other electrolytes which can break down skin even further." So it may be wise to take it easy when applying creams and ointments to your chafed thighs.
3. Thigh Chafing Can Be Prevented By Using Talcum Powder
Dr. Grover dispelled another thigh chafing myth that I was dead certain was true. Dr. Grover tells me, "Talcum powder can work as it dries up any moisture, however, more studies are appearing where agents such as talcum powder and other substances should be kept away from the groin area as it could be a cause for ovarian cancer." She informs me of a potentially safer alternative to talc, "Mechanical barriers such as Bandelettes can work effectively without any secondary health effects." Although talcum powder works to dry up any moisture down there, the potential health risks probably aren't worth it.
4. Thigh Chafing Makes B.O. Stronger
"Thigh chafing does not make your body odor stronger." Dr. Grover says, "There isn't any correlation between a mechanical superficial breakdown of the skin and odor unless it becomes an infectious process and then an odor causing bacterial infection develops." So you can rest easy knowing that as long as your skin's healthy, any thigh chafing you experience shouldn't add to your body odor.
5. Thigh Chafing Makes You Sweat More
When it comes to the idea that thigh chafing makes you sweat more, Dr. Grover says, "Not initially. If thigh chafing is caused by dry skin and dry skin continues, then the body's defense mechanism is to create some moisture which may seem like sweat."
6. Thigh Chafing Causes Pimples
We've learnt that thigh chafing doesn't necessarily make you sweat more and may not make your B.O. stronger, but does it cause pimples? Dr. Grover tells me, "Thigh chafing does not cause pimples but may cause abscesses which are pus filled collections caused by bacteria." Keep an eye on your thighs if they're sore from chafing and if you see any abscesses appear, go to your GP for some professional advice on how to tackle them.
7. Chafing Only Happens With Thighs
Chafing only occurs on our thighs, right? Dr. Grover says, "Not true. Many other areas are prone to chafing especially sites of women's genitourinary parts." She explains, "The most common place is the vulva when friction and sweat can typically cause vulvovaginal yeast and bacterial infections." You're certainly not alone in suffering from chafing and you might even count yourself lucky that your genitourinary parts aren't chafing too.
There's absolutely no reason to be embarrassed about suffering with chafed thighs and the next time someone spouts one of these myths, you can slay their ignorance with the thigh chafing facts!