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Today’s question comes from BG in California who asks:
Is there a way to heal an under arm chafe fast … Ouch! How can I avoid this in future? Also, only one arm is chafing- is it possible it’s my form or is one under arm just fat?
Chafing is a problem for many of us, but lucky for you there is a solution. Read on!
There’s nothing like coming in from a great run and jumping in the shower. The water’s toasty, you step in and – OOOOOOOOWWWWWWEEEEEEEE – discover you have chafed. Oh man, no fun!
Chafing is caused by friction, usually when moist skin rubs against something else. It could be clothing like a sports bra neckline or shorts liner or another body part like one inner thigh against the other. The most common areas to chafe, are the sports bra neckline, under the sports bra, inner thighs and under arms. But anywhere skin rubs against something else can chafe.
To avoid chafing in the first place, the best thing to do is to apply some type of lubricant or barrier cream to the areas most prone to chafe on your body. You can use things like vaseline or aquaphor, but to me those things are pretty messy. I much prefer the commercial anti-chafing balms. Two always reliable choices are Body Glide and Run Guard. These can be purchased at your local running store or online.
Sometimes, just putting the balm on your skin isn’t enough. If you’re still chafing after lubing your skin, put the balm on the offending garment too. I have a couple pairs of shorts that chafe me so badly, I have to smear the stuff all over the liner and my skin so I don’t chafe.
If you have already chafed, I have some good news for you. Usually, although it really hurts when it happens, chafing will heal overnight and you’ll be fine the next day or the day after. To be on the safe side, just lube up the chafed area before running again to keep it from getting re-irritated. Of course, if you have a really really bad case of chafing, you might need to cover the chafed area and keep it from rubbing, lubed or un-lubed, until it is sufficiently healed. For instance, if it’s inner-thigh chafing, you can wear spandex until it heals. If it’s from your sports bra, wear a different one until it heals. If it’s your underarm, wear a shirt with sleeves until it’s all healed up.
As for your last concern, no! Chafing does not mean your form is off or that you’re fat. Just about every runner on earth has chafed at some point. Even Shalane Flanagan recently talked about chafing and she is the epitome of good form and the antithesis of fat. Larger runners may be more prone to chafing, but that’s just because there’s more skin to rub. But teeny-tiny to big and beautiful, since we’re all moving, sweating and creating friction, we almost universally chafe.
Where are you most prone to chafing? Any tips I missed?