Crotch Chafing


Experience From -
Martin Hillyer , Chris , Anne Hudson , Jeff Washburn , Ray Zirblis , John Vonhof , Bob Rayburn , Stuart Gleman , Kathy Welch , Andy Holak ,

Martin Hillyer

Aaron Leitner wrote:

In the past two years I have run quite a few miles, and I still have problems chaffing. One would think that after awhile, that the area rubbing would toughen up, But it's not. Mine is in the crotch area, it rubs the very top of inside of my legs, and sometimes a little on the two " I believe there referred to as 'jewels'". I have used vaseline and aquaphor, and I'll be dogonned if I'm still not rubbing. Any other tips would be greatly appreciated. Just about ready to take up sewing or crocheting! Thanks.
Have you tried Bag Balm? It's similar to Vaseline, but is more viscous and contains lanolin. I find it lasts where Vaseline rubs off. It's meant for treating cow's udders. I found a can in my local drugstore - don't know if that'll work for you, but a feed store type place would probably carry it. The can was about $5.00 but it will probably last me the rest of my life (and considering that it eliminates chafing and nipple burn for me, it's well worth it.


The same thing occurs with me - specifically it occurs during any run longer than say 8-10 miles. I used to think I still had some weight to lose since it began when I started running 8 years and about 30 lbs ago. But now I'm at 170lbs and 6'1" so I know it's just the shape of my legs.

The one thing that works consistently for this chronic chafer is a nice pair of cotton/poly/lycra blend (any mix you like!) tights, the short ones, for any run over 8 miles. Never gives me any problems at all. While cotton may not wick very well it is, for me, the most comfortable. When cotton has a little lycra mixed in they fit snug but not tight - find a pair and give em' a test run - I found a model (reebok) that are plain gray, with no fancy logos or bright colors and crap and bought 4 or 5 pairs. Now it's a no brainer to wear em' - kind of like learning to run with a bottle in my hand - ya just get used to it.

Anne Hudson

To pose a question to the women out there regarding chaffing. I wear tights to avoid chaffing in over 5 hour runs. It works, but would prefer to wear shorts. Other than liposuction, is there an alternative to wearing tights? Any brand of shorts that are looser in the crotch region? vaseline just doesnt do it for me!

Jeff Washburn

One thing that I do to prevent chaffing is to dump Gold Bond powder down my shorts before I start and as often as necessary during the run, especially when it is hot and humid. This, along with, Body Gilde (or Vaseline) on the upper legs pretty much keeps me from chaffing. If it is extremely humid, chaffing cannot be completely prevented. I have no financial interest in the products mentioned.

Ray Zirblis

I typically use some kind of lubricant--vasoline/Bag balm /Lovey's ointment/Desennex(sp) diaper rash cream--and in training or races beyond marathon distance, I also wear tights or compression shorts. This combination works pretty well for me as long as I re-apply the ointment occationally. I've got to do my underarm area frequently in a long race, anyway.

Brick Robbins gave me some foil 'wet nap' packets with the astringent Witch Hazel at a race last April. Don't remember the name, but this stopped the pain and reduced the local inflamation of my chaffing. I found them useful for after runs. I think this is actually a hemorrhoid relief product.

Last May, John Vonhof suggested two Silicon base products, which I've tried and liked: Hydropel/ Protective Barrier Ointment (from C&M Pharmacal at (800 459-8663), and Silicone Glove from your local Avon salesperson. These are more expensive than the vasoline, and either stay on longer or provide more glide or both. Subjectively, while more expensive and requiring a special order, I like the feel and the scent or lack there of. To this old salmon and mackrel fisherman, the Desennex I'm still trying to get out of my clothes from the last Orlander Park 24 Hour smells just like rancid fish oil!

Finally, some runners tape their inner thighs, and I've tried this with varying success. When I've gotten the tape to stay on, this has worked well, and the duct or surgical tape has come off in the first hot shower. I've liked not having that sticky feeling.

John Vonhof

.. have tried the vaseline, both normal and the creamy stuff.... Udderbalm (similar to Bag Balm) has been my most useful remedy, however even this has to be reapplied frequently and early on.
You might try a fairly cheap fix. AVON sells a big tube of AVON Basics Silicone Glove Hand Cream for abouyt 3.00. The silicone might be a better and longer lasting lubricant than the thicker Bag Balm or Udderbalm. The phone book should show your local AVON sales rep. or try 1-800-FOR-AVON. This is also a great lubricant for one's feet. Some use it as is and others use it over a base of tincture of benzoin or similar skin toughener. I have three tubes of the stuff. Works for me.

Author of FIXING YOUR FEET: Preventive Maintenance and Treatments for Foot Problems of Runners, Hikers, and Adventure Racers

Bob Rayburn

Forget the liposuction, ultrarunning tends to produce strong upper leg muscles which in some of us tend to rub together - whatever we wear or smear on our bodies. I have tried the vaseline, both normal and the creamy stuff (which tends to really sting if the chaffing is already well advanced): both of these tend to burn off quickly with no advantage to the skin beneath. Udderbalm (similar to Bag Balm) has been my most useful remedy, however even this has to be reapplied frequently and early on. I find that there is no difference whether I wear tights or shorts, both allow chaffing; it seems that it is not only the legs rubbing together but also the material between the legs, be that shorts or tight, which rub against the legs.

My most useful solution to date is to rub liberal amounts of Udderbalm on the crotch area and upper inner thigh, then rub Udderbalm into the material of the shorts between the thighs so that it acts as a reservoir of lubricant to resupply that on the skin.

Stuart Gleman

You could try vaseline with added antibiotics and (probably) allantoin, also known as neosporin(tm) or 3-in-1 ointment. ive never used it on the areas you are mentioning but bag balm (udder ointment) is really good stufff and i suspect it might work well in your application. i am not a physician, just a subnormal ultrarunner, and i am not professing or prescribing just saying what works for me.

Kathy Welch

I have had a lot of luck using Body Glide to eliminate chafing. The 'endurance formula petroleum-free skin protection' comes in a 1.3 oz container that works like a deodorant tube. You never have to touch the stuff with your hands. The 1.3oz container costs $7.00, and I usually can find it at my local Fleet Feet store, or any good running store.

Andy Holak

To help avoid chafing on the upper inner thigh area, I wear short tight shorts under my running shorts for ultramarathons. I usually just use the relatively cheap cotton/poly shorts. And...I usually find these in the "womens" exercise section of the store (Target, K-Mart, etc.). I also sometimes use the cotton/poly tight underwear type shorts (without the opening for "The One Eyed Wonder Worm" if you know what I mean) that can be found in the mens underwear section of the store. These are nice and light, however, I once literally melted holes in the shorts where my legs rubbed together during a 50 miler . These shorts work pretty well. They're pretty cheap (unlike the lycra tight shorts) and they hold "everything" in place real well. In fact, I like to wear just the tight shorts with a pair of running shorts without the built in "brief" over the top of the tight shorts. Pretty comfy. Although, I still get chafing directly in the crotch area. Could it be the cotton? Not sure. Hope this helps.