According to WebMD, skin chafing can appear anywhere on one’s body, but most commonly on the thighs, nipples, groin, and underarm areas due to repetitive friction. Overweight people and those who have a passion for exercise are afflicted the most, but luckily, there are ways to treat skin chafing naturally from the comfort of one’s own home.
5 Fun Facts has searched for natural remedies that can cure and relieve chafing skin to help make life a little bit easier and pain-free.
1. Cold compress
The first thing most people do when they are suffering from a skin irritation is apply a cold compress to the affected area. A study that was conducted by the American Academy of Dermatology showed that skin issues, like itching and chafing, can be helped by applying a cold compress or a cloth filled with ice to the afflicted area. This method should be applied when the irritation first appears and continued until it subsides.
2. Talcum powder or cornstarch
Georgianna Donadio, Ph.D. says that cornstarch helps relieve skin irritations while keeping the affected area dry. She suggests sprinkling some cornstarch directly on the affected skin area or mixing it with some petroleum jelly to increase the lubrication factor.
In case petroleum jelly isn’t something you keep in your cabinets, you can use baby powder instead. According to Dr. Audrey Kunin, baby powder can prevent skin chafing since it lubricates the skin and doesn’t let friction create skin issues. The best way to apply it to your skin without creating a mess is by sprinkling it on a handkerchief and calmly applying it to the affected area.
3. Mixing water and plain oatmeal
A study that was conducted in 2012 showed that personal care products that contained oatmeal had very low irritant levels and were extremely unlikely to cause allergic reactions. The easiest way to relieve skin chafing and other dermatological issues is to mix 2 cups of ground oatmeal in a bathtub full of lukewarm water and to soak in it for about 20 minutes. Repeating this remedy once a day will help reduce and finally get rid of skin chafing.
4. Mix calendula oil with dried chamomile, green tea, and water.
A study that dates back to 2009 found that calendula oil has extremely anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal properties that can prevent and heal chafing due to it being rich in flavonoids. You can either apply a few drops of calendula oil directly on the affected area or boil it with dried chamomile, green tea, and some water; and add it to a bathtub filled with lukewarm water.
5. Aloe vera gel
A study has shown that the glycoprotein that aloe vera contains helps reduce pain and inflammation and also heals skin wounds. Moreover, it helps the skin grow new cells due to its properties having low toxicity levels. You can use it by either applying the gel directly from the plant or by buying pure aloe vera gel from any pharmacy.
6. Paste made of baking soda and water
According to Dr. Mercola, baking soda has strong anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that can help people with various health issues. For skin issues including chafing skin, a spoonful of baking soda and some water will create a paste which when applied directly to the affected area, will treat redness and irritation. For even higher detoxifying effects, you can add baking soda and apple cider to a bath and enjoy its healing abilities.
7. Turmeric (curcumin)
In a study that was published in the book, The Molecular Targets and Therapeutic Uses of Curcumin in Health and Disease, turmeric was found to have rich antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and served as a good fighter against pathological conditions such as cancer and atherosclerosis. For chafing skin, it can be mixed with water until it creates a thick paste. Apply the paste to the affected skin area and let it sit for 30 minutes before rinsing off.
8. Tea tree oil
There are various studies indicating the value of using tea tree oil for treating skin conditions, including acne. According to the official Australian Tea Tree Oil website, the product itself has rich antiseptic, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which can soothe and relieve chafing skin. The best way to use tea tree oil on irritated skin is by adding a few drops of it to a wet cotton ball and applying it on the affected area twice a day until the chafing disappears.
9. Olive oil
Olive oil is commonly used as an ingredient in many moisturizers to treat dry skin. This choice was made after many studies had strongly indicated its anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties. That’s why it’s no shock that this miraculous natural ingredient can actually be beneficial for chafed skin since it promotes wound healing and repairs skin barriers.
According to WebMD, there are a few ways that chafed skin can be avoided so that you won’t have to go through the healing process. The 3 most important things you can do to prevent chafing skin are:
- Remain dry. Leaving your skin wet can be destructive for your skin. You should apply talcum powder or cornstarch to your skin so that it absorbs all the unnecessary moisture.
- Make sure to lubricate. Petroleum jelly is the most common lubricant that you can apply to the areas that are the most sensitive. It’s a great protector against chafing since it minimizes the negative effects of friction.
- Dress accordingly. Cotton is your worst enemy when exercising. You’re better off wearing synthetic fibers that don’t harm your skin. If the weather is warm, you should refrain from wearing too many layers and just opt for a jogging bra or no shirt at all if you are a man.
Chafed skin can be very annoying and keep you from doing things you enjoy the most. We hope that these remedies will be of great help. If these remedies have helped you relieve chafing skin in the past, please tell us about it in the comment section.
Alena Sofronova for 5FunFacts.com