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How Do I Treat a Chafing Rash?

By Meshell Powell
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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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.

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.

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.

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
By Grivusangel — On Feb 06, 2014

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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