Chafing is a common skin problem caused by increased friction from rubbing of skin-to-skin or skin-to-fabric contact, and it’s often accompanied by rashes, pain, soreness, stinging, or burning feelings. Friction irritates and damages the skin, causing a rash, blisters, or raw skin. Chafing that is severe can be excruciatingly unpleasant, making moving difficult. Chafing can affect any part of your body, but the inner-thighs, groin, underarms, and nipples (in case of runners) are more prone to getting chafed. In women chafing affects the under-bra/ under breast, intimate areas and inner thighs in particular. The good news is that this isn’t a sign of anything serious and can be easily avoided with the help of an anti-chafing product.
An anti-chafing product works as a barrier to the skin and helps in prevention of chafing. The new age silicone-based barrier gels not only help in reducing the friction on skin but also helps soothing the skin from irritation. They provide smooth and silky feel on the skin. With a few options available in the market, one can be truly confused which product to buy from the available options. In this article we will list down some of the benefits one must look for when purchasing an anti-chafing product.
An anti-chafing product should be able to soothe and form protective barrier layer within seconds of application. Products like petroleum jelly, often gets rubbed away with the clothes and has little or no effect on the skin.
Long lasting and Emollient
An anti-chafing product should last through at least 8 hours of intense activity. The product shouldn’t be sticky and oily to the surface skin but should be soothing, like a protective barrier, which self- adjusts to sebum without oiliness.
High spread ability and Water-Repellant
The product should be of high spread ability which means a little should go a long way. As moisture increases friction on the skin the anti-chafing product should also be water repellant pools that it not only works well in presence of sweat or water (as in swimming pools) but also keeps water away from the skin.
Flexibility is one of the most important aspect while choosing an anti-chafing product as most of the products available in the market are not flexible. When the product is not flexible it breaks and wears out upon repeated body movements, thus exposing the skin surface to chafing or discomfort of rubbing. Whereas when an anti-chafing product has a flexible barrier layer, it not only helps in adjusting to the body movement but also helps in not breaking/ wearing out easily, thus ensuring long term protection.
Unobtrusive and Breathable
Anti-chafing creams which are colorless, odorless and unnoticeable after application are the best, the creams should also be non-occlusive and non-greasy, and should allow it allows sweat to pass through freely and allow skin to breathe.
Anti-chafing products should be preservative, fragrance, color and dye-free, as these can often not suit the skin of the user. Using hydrogen peroxide or iodine products to clean chaffed skin is not recommended, as these chemicals can actually slow down the healing process. Using a non-medicated chafing cream can work wonders on the skin.
It is important to use a dermatologically tested and approved product as it helps to soothe the chafed skin instantly and also confirms that the product is non-sensitive to all skin types and good for daily use.
It’s important not to ignore chafed skin. Inflamed, moisture-laden skin can lead to a skin infection if left untreated. The new age silicone based anti-chafing gel can not only help in reducing chafing but also preventing it. These gels come with most of the above properties and thus are much more superior and recommended for long term anti-chafing benefits. Chafing can be easily prevented with a proactive approach and is not a stressful problem when dealt with an effective way.
By (Ms. Maharukh Rustomjee, Chief scientist and Managing partner, Amaterasu Lifesciences LLP)