How to Prevent Chafing When Running? Top Strategies for Amateurs and Pros

Chafing is an unpleasant problem of many runners, both amateur and pro. Depending on the individual, the problem might be mild to very severe. However, there are numerous strategies to deal with it. Here’s how to prevent chafing when running.

The Best Anti-Chafing Strategies

Runners around the world have come up with many strategies to combat chafing. These range from powders and lubricants, to bandages and adhesive strips. Toward that end, many runners have embraced better fitting clothes, seamless shirts, and seamless pants. Proper hygiene and hydration also play a large role in preventing chafing.

Stay Hydrated

You should make sure you’re properly hydrated at any time. However, it is especially important to stay hydrated when you’re running, as your body expels a lot of water through sweating.

Another reason to drink plenty of water before and during the run is that when the body stops sweating, the drying salt might cause chafing. Also, make sure to drink water after the training to make up for what you’ve lost during.

Buy Clothes that Fit

If your clothes are too tight or small, you should consider buying a set of running clothes that fit. Small and overly tight clothes can rub against your skin when you’re running and cause chafing.

The inner thighs, groin area, and armpits are especially vulnerable to chafing as a result of tight clothing. Women might also experience chafing on the nipples and under breasts.

When buying new running clothes, comfort should trump style. However, make sure not to go too big and baggy.

Apply Baby Powder

If you have problems with chafing when running, you might want to give baby powder a chance. If it is gentle enough for baby skin, it should be good enough for sensitive skin.

Apply it to the usual areas before you head out. To let the skin breathe during the run, you should wear something more comfortable than your standard running clothes.

Use Body Glide

If you’re not fond of baby powder, you can also use Body Glide. It is a balm that reduces clothes friction by way of a protective film on your skin. It is oil free and water resistant, so you won’t have to worry about sweat removing it from your skin.

There are many varieties, but the original Body Glide is the most popular. It comes in many sizes including travel.

Go Seamless

Seams on shorts and shirts can cause chafing in runners who have sensitive skin. If this is a recurring issue, it is a good idea to invest in some seamless clothes. Seamless clothing will reduce friction and are thus gentler to your skin.

Soft Bandages

If you don’t have time to go out and buy new clothes and don’t have any baby powder or lubricants with you, you might want to bandage the usual areas. Soft bandages are most effective on the inner thighs, feet, and nipples. They will not irritate the affected skin any further and will protect it from friction.

Replace Old Sports Bra

All runners, especially women, should replace their running clothes periodically. If you’re a female runner and you’ve experienced chafing in the breast area before, you might want to consider getting rid of the sports bra for new ones.

Another reason to swap out the bra is that breast sizes fluctuate over time. If your bra has become too loose or overly tight, it is likely your skin will chafe.

Use Vaseline

Have in mind that dry skin is more likely to chafe than the well-moisturized. Therefore, if your skin is prone to chafing, you can use Vaseline to prevent and treat the problem.

Apply the gel to the areas that are most commonly affected before the run. If you have a long running session planned, you can buy a travel-sized tube of Vaseline and keep it in your pocket. This way you’ll be able to reapply the gel if the going gets hard.

Let Your Skin Dry

Many runners don’t realize that their skin chafed during a run until they hit the shower and feel the pain when the affected area comes in contact with water. If it happens to you, you should wait for the skin to dry after the shower before putting your clothes on.

If you want to hit the track before the chafing heals, make sure to apply baby powder, a lubricant, or soft bandages to the affected area.

How to Protect the Sensitive Areas?

Not all runners chafe and those who do might experience chafing in different areas. That said, the most common areas are the armpits, breasts, thighs, and groin. Here are some useful tips for each area.


Armpits contain large sweat glands and are frequently affected by chafing. You should either go completely hairless or let the hair grow naturally, as stubbles increase the chances of chafing.

You might also want to lubricate the area before you hit the track. Silicone-based lubricants are your best bet.

Additionally, go for shirts that fit well and don’t have seams. Overly loose or tight shirts might cause chafing.


If your skin is prone to chafing, you might want to cover the nipples with a soft adhesive bandage. Alternatively, you might want to use a sports bra or Nip Guards. Another option is to lubricate them with Body Glide or a similar product.

Apply baby powder to the under-breast area to keep it dry during the run. If the bra straps are causing chafing, apply some lubricant or baby powder where they touch the skin.


If your thighs are prone to chafing, you should use baby powder to keep them dry during a run. Go for a pair of shorts that don’t press hard against your skin. Spandex tights are also a good option. Women might want to opt for running skirts with integrated seamless shorts.


If you have problems with groin chafing, lubricate the area thoroughly before the workout. It is advisable to select seamless shorts. You’d want them to fit snuggly but not overly so. Also, make sure they cover all previously chafed areas. Either shave your pubic hair completely or let it grow naturally.

No More Chafing

Chafing is among the most common problems affecting runners around the world. Some have it better than others though. It depends on skin type, hydration, hygiene, and the clothes.

So, how to prevent chafing when running? Wear properly fitted clothes, apply lubricants or baby powder, stay hydrated, and maintain good hygiene.