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How Do I Treat a Chafing Rash?

To treat a chafing rash, gently clean the area with mild soap and water, pat dry, and apply a soothing barrier cream or gel. Opt for loose, breathable clothing to prevent further irritation. For persistent discomfort, consider an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory. Want to ensure your skin heals quickly and prevent future chafing? Keep reading for detailed tips and visual guides.
Meshell Powell
Meshell Powell

Treatment for a chafing rash depends largely on the direct cause of the rash and often involves the use of moisturizing creams, antibiotic ointments, and cornstarch. Antifungal medications may be needed for a chafing-related rash that is caused by a fungal infection. An overgrowth of yeast can lead to this type of rash as well and may be treated with medications or home remedies such as yogurt. Lifestyle changes and steroid creams may be used for a rash caused by chafing in some instances. A doctor should be consulted to determine the source of the chafing rash before a treatment method is chosen.

In most cases, a chafing rash is caused by a combination of dry skin and friction, such as when the thighs rub together when walking. After thoroughly washing the affected area and gently patting it dry, antibacterial ointment or diaper rash cream can be applied to help heal the skin and prevent further injury. It is not necessary to cover the rash, although gauze can be used to guard against friction when physical activity is required. After the rash has healed, frequent moisturizing or the use of cornstarch on vulnerable areas may help prevent recurrences.

A chafing rash may occur as a result of thighs rubbing together when walking.
A chafing rash may occur as a result of thighs rubbing together when walking.

Drinking plenty of water and eating a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables may help prevent the development of a chafing rash and may also speed up the healing process for existing rashes. Obesity is a major contributing factor of chafing, so maintaining an ideal body weight is beneficial. Exercise is an important part of weight loss, but vulnerable areas of skin, especially the inner thighs, should be protected from excess friction.

Drinking plenty of water may help prevent the development of a chafing rash.
Drinking plenty of water may help prevent the development of a chafing rash.

Fungal infections may lead to the development of a chafing rash and are typically treated with over-the-counter medications. Athlete's foot, jock itch, and ringworm are all caused by the same type of fungus and can be treated with the same medications. Diluted tea tree oil is widely believed to be an effective natural remedy for treating these infections.

Eating fruits and vegetables may help prevent the development of a chafing rash.
Eating fruits and vegetables may help prevent the development of a chafing rash.

Yeast overgrowth is more common among women, although it can affect men as well. Over-the-counter medications are available to treat vaginal yeast infections, and prescription medications can also be used when indicated. Applying plain yogurt to the rash is thought to kill the yeast, and the regular consumption of yogurt may help prevent recurrent infections. When in doubt concerning the cause of a chafing rash, a doctor should be consulted.

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Discussion Comments

Grivusangel

It all depends on the kind of chafing you have. I use cornstarch if it's prickly heat. For other kinds of chafing, I make sure the area stays moisturized and use the Aveeno (or knock off brand) body wash.

If it's a yeast type thing, I use the Aveeno body wash and then splash it with Sea Breeze for sensitive skin. It burns sometimes, but it knocks the fungus out. I suspect this is because it's an astringent and makes the environment inhospitable. Sea Breeze can also work to help cool prickly heat. It's good stuff and I always keep a bottle in the medicine cabinet.

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    • A chafing rash may occur as a result of thighs rubbing together when walking.
      By: Serg Zastavkin
      A chafing rash may occur as a result of thighs rubbing together when walking.
    • Drinking plenty of water may help prevent the development of a chafing rash.
      By: Deyan Georgiev
      Drinking plenty of water may help prevent the development of a chafing rash.
    • Eating fruits and vegetables may help prevent the development of a chafing rash.
      By: Lsantilli
      Eating fruits and vegetables may help prevent the development of a chafing rash.
    • Obesity may contribute to the development of chafing rashes.
      By: Lsantilli
      Obesity may contribute to the development of chafing rashes.
    • Eating yogurt may help prevent recurring vaginal yeast infections.
      By: asife
      Eating yogurt may help prevent recurring vaginal yeast infections.
    • Petroleum jelly can help with chafing.
      By: blueee
      Petroleum jelly can help with chafing.
    • A tube of steroid cream, which can help with a chafing rash.
      By: picsfive
      A tube of steroid cream, which can help with a chafing rash.
    • Tea tree oil can be used to treat athlete's foot, which can cause chafing.
      By: roblan
      Tea tree oil can be used to treat athlete's foot, which can cause chafing.