How I Prevent Skin Chafing

By The Bald Scrambler


Published By: Daniel Woodley. Published: 11th May 2024. Filed at: Guides. Disclosure: I may earn a commission from purchases made via links.

I’ve been unusually lazy over the winter months and have done very few long hikes, I’ve also added a few extra pounds and to be honest, during a recent 2-day hike, I suffered from horrendous skin chafing on my inner thighs.

It was so bad, it looked like someone had been over me with a cheese grater.

I’ve had this issue before so I knew how to tackle it.

Whether you have chafing on your inner thigh or anywhere else, I think you’ll find this guide helpful.

1) Wear Compression Shorts

The first thing I did was to ditch my regular boxer shorts and put on a pair of fairly tight compression shorts.

These help to keep everything tucked in and also act as a barrier between my skin and my trousers, which were rubbing on my inner thigh skin.

Compression shorts have worked wonders for me and if I could only suggest one thing you try, I would say get a pair of these.

They don’t scrunch up like regular shorts do and are comfy.

They aren’t expensive, just make sure you buy ones that don’t contain cotton and aren’t too loose.

2) Try BodyGlide

I have a friend who loves cycling and he suffers from saddle rash, which is chafing of the skin around the inner thigh.

He suggested BodyGlide as it’s popular with cyclists.

This product isn’t cheap and there are unbranded, similar products online but I went with BodyGlide and it’s worked wonders.

The product is waxy and is rubbed onto the skin. It doesn’t fully dry but helps the trousers to slide over the skin, rather than rubbing it.

I found that one application lasted for an entire all-day hike and it really did ease the chafing.

Also, BodyGlide doesn’t smell, is easy to wash off the skin with soap and comes off clothes in the washing machine. It’s never stained my clothes and it looks like the product will last a long time and has a long shelf life.

Only yesterday I completed the Surrey Three Peaks hike which is 37.5km and when I came back, I had no chafing or redness at all on my thighs; a far cry from what it looked like a month ago.

I believe BodyGlide can also be used under bra straps, where backpack straps rub the skin, around the waist if belts rub etc.

Tip: A friend purchased the green/camo coloured BodyGlide and had issues with it – I believe it was very crumbly and not as good as the original blue product.

3) Check The Inner Seam

When I suffered the bout of skin chafing, I was wearing the same trousers I had last year but I had put on weight and I noticed the inner seam of my trousers was rubbing on the skin.

The photo shows the culprit – a thick inner seam on my trousers.

Not all trousers have such a thick seam, many are much thinner and less likely to rub on the skin.

If you’re experiencing issues with chafing, I suggest choosing trousers with a thinner seam. This is probably more important on underwear, but also check your trousers and shorts if your chafing is severe.

There are clothes made seamless or with flatlock seams which you may find helps.

This thick seam didn't help

This seam was the culprit

4) Other Things You Can Try

I read somewhere that sweat can cause chafing so I also purchased a product called “Below the Belt: Fresh and Dry Balls”.

Jokes aside, this stuff is a gel-like product that leaves the skin *down there* moisturised and deodorised. It doesn’t contain any talc powder but did keep my bits dry and sweat-free.

I found that it does work but to be honest, I think it’s overkill. I was in so much pain with my chafing that I purchased this but now I think the BodyGlide is sufficient.

You can also try removing tags from clothes, wearing well-ventilated and sweat-wicking clothes, these should all help.

5) What You Shouldn’t Do

I’ve seen a few articles online where the authors suggest wearing loose clothing.

My experience of this is quite different as I found that loose trousers scrunched up and rubbed on the skin even more.

Clothes that cause you to sweat should be avoided as wet skin is more likely to chafe.

Don’t wear cotton as this will make it worse.

Avoid putting on any ointments or similar that may irritate the sore skin.

About Daniel Woodley

This guide to chafing was created by Daniel Woodley, aka The Bald Scrambler.

From walking along beaches and kayaking down rivers to making his way up mountains and even jumping out of planes, Daniel has a love of the outdoors but scrambling is his real passion.


Daniel Woodley

Daniel Woodley aka The Bald Scrambler

Have fun, keep safe. Hopefully I’ll see you on the mountains one day

By The Bald Scrambler

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