The pain of chafing can be unbearable. What causes it? Is there underwear that can really prevent chafing?

Before resorting to powders and lotions, consider buying the right underwear to prevent chafing in the first place. 

In this article, we’ll help you understand what causes chafing, give you some preventative tips and suggest ways to relieve the pain if you suffer from it – then guide you the best type of anti-chafing underwear.

It’s a Burning Problem

Chafing is a serious problem.

It can stop you in your tracks and make whatever you are doing unbearable.

men: how to prevent chafing

Even basic movements like walking can be excruciating – and of course, marathon runners are all too familiar with the pain and discomfort of chafing.

Thankfully, chafing is relatively easy to treat and even easier to prevent.

What is Chafing?

Chafing happens when there is friction between your own skin that comes from your inner thighs rubbing together.

This friction damages your skin and causes a rash, pain, sometimes blisters and even bleeding. 

You can also get red blisters or a rash from harsh, itchy fabrics rubbing against your skin.

Where Does Chafing Occur?

Chafing normally happens on your inner upper thighs, but it can also occur elsewhere on your body if you wear clothes that don't fit properly.

Even though most people experience inner thigh chafing, some people also experience underwear line chafing or find irritated skin underneath their arms.

Chafing Symptoms

The symptoms are easy to recognize:

  • Red skin
  • Burning
  • Pain
  • Blister-like-lesions
  • A flat, hot rash

What Causes Chafing?

There are several common causes:

  • Wet skin and trapped moisture between the skin folds after swimming
  • Not drying off after a sweaty workout
  • Extensive walking or running, causing the skin to rub together
  • Wearing thin fabric on your legs which doesn't create enough of a barrier between the fabric and your skin
  • Heat and humidity
  • Wearing non-wicking underwear that doesn’t absorb moisture

How to Prevent Chafing

Here are some easy ways to prevent chafing:

  • Dry off your skin regularly. If you know that you sweat profusely on certain days, try to keep it dry. This will cut down on the redness and pain
  • Wear loose clothes. If your tight clothes are causing you to sweat more, wear looser clothes to help your body to stay cool
  • Keep your body temperature lower. Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated and cool
  • Powder your inner thighs. This can soak up the moisture and sweat and calm your inflamed skin. You can purchase specialty powder for this at drugstores or online
  • Wear anti-chafe underwear. The right kind of underwear will protect your thighs and genitals from irritation

How to Treat Chafing

If you already have chafing, here are some products that will help treat it: 

Baby powder

Baby will soak up moisture and help keep you dry, preventing further skin irritations. Apply it to your inner thighs before getting dressed. Re-apply as necessary. 

Vaseline

Vaseline or any type of branded petroleum jelly works by softening and moisturizing your skin - and it creates another barrier to protect your skin from more irritations, soothing the pain almost instantly.

For additional information about treating chafing, please be sure to check out WebMD.

What is the Best Type of Anti-Chafing Underwear?

The best type of underwear to prevent chafing is boxer briefs, because they stay close to the skin with enough length to protect the inner thighs. 

It’s also important to choose anti-chafe underwear with some moisture-wicking capability and stretch.

Fabrics that have moisture-wicking characteristics include:

  • Cellulose-based fibers like Modal, viscose / rayon, TENCEL, MicroModal
  • Nylon / Polyamide
  • Polyester

When sweating occurs, the wetness is pulled away from the skin and it evaporates. Plus these fabrics will normally dry faster than 100% cotton.

To help keep the underwear & legs in place, we also recommend finding underwear with a good amount of stretch & recovery. So, focus on boxer briefs with around 3-15% of spandex (i.e. elastane, Lycra).

Best Fit for Anti-Chafing Underwear?

Choose close fitting underwear that will stay in place, especially in the inner-thigh region. That is where chafing occurs the most. 

Exposed waistbands can roll over and/or move around on your body causing added bulk or unnecessary rubbing. Plus, they [exposed waistbands] tend to make your waistline look bigger (i.e. muffin-top), because they fit tighter than underwear with hidden waistbands.

So, underwear with hidden waistbands are a great choice, since they allow the underwear to stay in place, and don't bind around the waist & love handle area as much as exposed waistbands do.

Also, make sure you have the right fit.

If your underwear rides up, twists, or causes wedgies it can rub against your skin and cause painful chafing. 

underwear that rides up causes chafing

Photo credit: stepone.life (an Australian underwear brand)

Are There Anti-Chafing Boxers?

It goes without saying, wearing boxers instead of briefs will result in less thigh chafing. However, if the legs of your boxers fit too loose, it is possible that the boxers will ride up throughout the day. 

If that happens, not only will it create unnecessary bunching within the legs of your pants, it could create an environment where chafing could occur.

This is why we generally recommend boxer briefs, since the legs on boxer briefs will fit closer and be less prone to move around.

If you prefer wearing boxers over boxer briefs, you can find a list of Made in USA boxers in this article.

Are There Anti-Chafing Underwear Briefs?

Not really. Chafing usually occurs when the thighs rub together.

Since underwear briefs don't cover the thighs, it's more likely that chafing will occur. Though, it depends on whether or not your thighs have tendency to rub together.

If you prefer underwear briefs, but are still looking for a solution to prevent thigh chafing, you may want to consider wearing anti-chafing leg bands.

Stay Safe from the Chafe

If you want to prevent the misery of painful chafing, invest in good quality non-chafing boxer briefs.

It will give you a whole new level of under comfort.

One example of anti-chafe boxer briefs are our G3 CoolNlyon Made in USA men's underwear

Here are some great characteristics of our underwear: 

  • Chafe-free (of course!) with flat-lock seams
  • Body-friendly, wicking, moisture-absorbing and stretchy
  • Super comfortable
  • Wedgie-free with no bunching
  • Roomy & supportive, with a 3-dimensional X3 Pouch™ chamber for “the boys”
  • Low profile anti-pinch and anti-muffin top hidden waistband
  • Made from abrasion and odor resistant fabric

Plus, we've gone to great lengths to ensure they meet all the standards important to maintain good testicular health.

Check out our article that covers which type of underwear is best for men's health in depth.

If you have any questions about the above information, or about our underwear, please visit our contact page.

We'd be happy to assist you further.