Three Tips For Minimizing Chaffing From Fat Rolls And Excess Skin
Skin is literally the most flexible organ on the human body, capable of expanding and shrinking as needed to accommodate weight and/or height gains and losses. However, it's not without its weaknesses. If you weigh a significant amount or have excess skin from losing a lot of weight over a short period of time, you may have to deal with chaffing caused by the skin folding over and rubbing against itself. Here are three tips for reducing this issue and keeping your skin healthy.
Minimize Excess Moisture
The primary cause of skin chaffing is excess moisture. When the skin is wet, it's harder for it to slide smoothly against itself. The friction produced in this situation leads to skin irritation, pain, and—if not treated property—infections and ulcers. Additionally, excess moisture may lead to a condition called intertrigo, which is a skin infection caused by bacteria or fungus growing in warm moist areas of the body, such as between creases and rolls.
Therefore, the first thing you should do is minimize the amount of excess moisture in vulnerable areas. Start by thoroughly drying your skin after bathing. Use water-absorbent towels—such as those made from Egyptian or Pima cotton—or multiple towels if necessary to get all of the moisture, paying particular attention to areas where the skin folds over itself. Wait a short while before putting your clothing on to air dry any remaining moisture or use a hairdryer set on low to speed up the process.
The next step is to powder moisture-prone areas with cornstarch. These powders will help absorb sweat and keep skin friction to a minimum. While talcum powder can also be effective in this area, it can clog your pores and lead to other skin problems such as body acne. Additionally, be sure to apply the powder after you put on any moisturizers.
Avoid Pore-Clogging Moisturizers
Moisturizing lotions can also help minimize skin friction, but you want to be careful about the type of products you use in your problem areas. The goal is to ensure there is enough slipperiness so the skin folds glide easily over each other, and you want it to be long-lasting; otherwise, you'll end up having to reapply the moisturizer or powder frequently throughout the day.
Possibly the best moisturizers for this type of job are ones made using silicone. Silicone makes the skin smooth and silky and is slow to absorb into the skin. While it does create a barrier that locks moisture into the skin, it also simultaneously repels water and sweat. This is why silicone is commonly used in mattifying makeup, such as primers and foundations.
Be aware, though, silicone products can cause breakouts, particularly if you have sensitive skin. The silicone may trap dirt and oil in pores, leading to breakouts, so it's essential you use these products on clean skin.
Wear Breathable Clothing
A third thing you can do to minimize chafing is wear breathable clothing in strategic areas. This accomplishes two goals. First, clothing that promotes air circulation in vulnerable areas of the body can minimize sweating. Second, certain types of clothing can provide a physical barrier between overlapping skin to help reduce chaffing. For instance, compression shorts can eliminate chafing between the inner thighs.
Look for clothes made in materials known for wicking away moisture, such as cotton. Avoid wearing items that too tight. Not only can tight clothing aggravate skin chaffing, it may not allow adequate ventilation, which will make the problem worse.
For more information about reducing or eliminating skin chafing or help treat sore, infected skin that results from constant skin friction, contact a dermatologist.