This sexy new solution to thigh-chafing, will make you love wearing summer dresses again! And stop chub-rub for good!
I know what you went through last summer!
I went through it too!
The searing burning pain of thigh chafing, when you have curvy inner thighs and dare to venture outside in hot weather wearing a dress!
I wish there was a more flattering name for this type of chafing, but the words “chub rub” do describe the problem in a succinct if not amusing way.
Here then is my experience of “chub rub”…
A few years ago I moved to Bangkok with its steamy hot climate, and I suffered the most excruciating rashes between my thighs. I also gained weight and grew bigger thighs! (I blame the food in Thailand – It’s plentiful, cheap and delicious).
Prior to moving I was living in Sydney Australia, and even at my slimmest, I struggled with inner thigh chafing during summer – whenever I wore a dress!
After a few years in Bangkok, I conquered the thigh chafing completely, out of sheer necessity!
Thailand is hot and humid all year round, and I had to find a solution.
Through trial and error, and obsessive research on everything to do with thigh chafing and chub rub, I learned that I’m not alone with this problem. It happens to men and women, and it’s not even exclusive to people with excess weight!
Here’s what I discovered…
- There are 3 factors that together, cause thigh chafing.
- Some types of clothing and underwear combinations create an ideal environment for easy-gliding thighs when walking in hot weather. (And some don’t and can actually exacerbate thigh chafing)!
- You can maintain chafe-free thighs, even if yours are very big, and you are walking around in humidity that resembles a sauna – with a new product called ChickyChaps, that I invented specifically to address the problem of thigh chafing in women.
In this post, I’ll talk about some girly thigh facts that could gross people out, because many women are shy about discussing this issue, for obvious reasons. The inner thigh is an intimate and very private area of our bodies…
But really, a thigh is just a limb! So without the slightest shame, here’s what I learned in my journey towards eradicating thigh chafing while living in one of the worlds hottest and most humid cities.
What causes this painful thigh chafing? – There are 3 main causes:
- Thighs that touch! — (Pressure + Insulation + friction) — If you don’t have a thigh gap and no light shines between your thighs when standing with your legs together. (Which is perfectly healthy and normal BTW). Then you (and I) have what some like to call Mermaid thighs! They always press against each other…and that creates insulation, which in turn creates heat. – Now add walking and you have Friction!
- Hot Weather — Add some hot weather, and this ramps-up the heat between full inner thighs even more
- Sweat / perspiration — All That Pressure, insulation, friction and heat causes salty sweat to build up between the inner thighs. Now you have wet and slightly sticky inner thighs… What happens? Those inner thighs actually become lightly glued together! Take a step and the thigh skin gets tugged (more friction). Take many steps and this repeated friction causes microscopic skin tearing, and many steps later – a painful day of thigh chafe!
These 3 factors combined, create the perfect storm for the skin on skin rubbing that leads to painful thigh chafing! And a miserable day out, instead of what should have been a blissful day out, in a pretty summer dress at that festival, garden party or picnic.
Body parts rubbing and chafing are surprisingly common occurrences for lots of people.
link on Wikipedia
And inner thigh chafing can happen not just to curvy women but also, with surprising frequency, to women who are fairly slender. These women are slim everywhere else except between their thighs!
Having either large thigh muscles and/or a large bank of stubborn fat on their inner thighs. As a result they can suffer from inner thigh chafing, while the rest of their bodies are slim and chafe free!
Cristen Conger explains how chub rub occurs for women of all shapes & sizes very humorously in this video from her blog & podcast – Stuff Mum never told you: chub rub thighs
As for me…
Well, my arms and calves have always stayed fairly slender, while my thighs, hips and bum, hold a lot of fat – and always have.
That’s just my shape, and if I dress carefully I can appear a bit slimmer than I actually am, but the upper part of my inner thighs is definitely NOT slim or gappy. My inner thighs don’t just touch a little when I walk, they push together with great force, scraping past each other like two bumper cars jammed together and burning rubber!
When I lose weight…that inner thigh fat is stubborn and never goes away. Seriously never! The rest of my body would have to become emaciated before my thighs would actually have a gap.
And I’m fine with being more curvy, because being skinny makes my boobs small and my face gaunt and my mouth thinner and meaner looking, which I don’t care for at all! I think women look a bit sexier and healthier when they have ample curves – so I’d rather have my cake and eat it too!
Some women with excess weight actually have a thigh-gap. Really! Know quite a few…
These are the women who always have great legs and they tend to put extra weight on their upper bodies, but not on their inner thighs. If they gain weight they still maintain a thigh gap and so rarely, if ever, suffer thigh chafing! (How lucky they are)
It’s not just how much fat the inner thighs are programmed to store either…
It comes down to – pelvis shape, how much the leg bones bow inward or outward, plus how much fat and muscle is wrapped around the inner thighs – that determines whether thighs touch or not!
So YES, many women both slim and curvy, young and old – have thighs that touch! Yet we keep it a secret…
I suspect, because a few years ago some trashy tabloid news articles were released declaring that for a woman to be beautiful, or closer to a 10 out of 10, she should have a thigh gap. Implying that if you don’t have one, you’re not beautiful! – This is rubbish!
A thigh gap has its cuteness for sure, but it’s not a measure of female beauty, it’s just one type of female beauty, while buxom thighs are yet another variation on female beauty! Full thighs look sexy and are strong – So celebrate if you’ve got a pair!
Mariska in her fusepilates blog has this to say…
“So did you know that it’s anatomically inaccurate to believe a woman’s thighs shouldn’t touch? The goal should be proper leg alignment, and in that alignment, almost everyone’s thighs will touch.”
Mariska uses herself as an example and explains that her thighs don’t touch, not because she is skinny – but because she is a little bow legged!
Jen Sinkler, a fitness writer, explains in her blog about thigh gaps, that there are 4 pelvic types…
She asked Dean Somerset, an exercise physiologist and strength coach, whether differing pelvic shapes can influence whether or not a woman has a thigh gap?
His response was – “There are absolutely differences in pelvic structures — and more specifically in femoral neck angulation — that can predispose someone to having more of a gap than others,”
What this means, as Jen Sinkler explains, is this:
“You can have two women who have identical leg lengths, thigh circumferences, and body- fat percent and distribution, and the one who has the right combination of bony alignment at the pelvis and femoral neck will show a gap, whereas the other won’t.”
And she concludes her blog by saying:
“I’m suggesting that we consciously, joyously choose not to let one shred of our self worth be determined by what is — or is not — between our legs.”
You can read her full article here
There are many health blessings (such as an increased longevity for instance) that come with having so called thunder thighs, but chafing during summer isn’t one of them.
So what can be done to stop thigh chafing and protect our curvy amazing thighs?
When it comes to the dreaded thigh chafe there are certain conditions full thighs need to remain comfortable, smooth gliding and calm in hot weather.
And you can control those conditions with the right clothing and undergarments!
When casually walking outdoors in high summer the right clothing for happy, chafe free, thighs is lightweight cotton clothing that’s slightly loose fitting, worn over some good old-fashioned cotton panties!
If you will be walking, NOT steady state running, outdoors in hot weather then… YES…cotton clothing is still king!
In extremely hot weather that cotton fabric should be lightweight, preferably not medium weight, and definitely not heavyweight (like denim).
Some people who merely perspire, rather than sweat excessively in hot weather, can wear medium-weight cotton that has a tiny amount of 2% spandex for a bit of stretch, or a small percentage of viscose or rayon blended into the cotton for easy ironing and better drape.
And on summer days that are not too humid, clothes made of these cotton-blend fabrics can work too, but keep in mind the more LIGHTWEIGHT the cotton, or cotton-blend is – the cooler your thighs (and the rest of you) will be!
Chambray is very light cotton that looks like denim and it’s a great choice. Linen is even cooler than cotton, and I wear it occasionally, but it’s not my first choice… Linen needs a lot of ironing (I hate ironing) it has less drape than cotton so isn’t especially slimming and it doesn’t pack well when traveling.
The only downside with 100% cotton clothes is; they do need a little ironing after washing. But a mini steam appliance will quickly & easily fix that (better than an iron)!
This blog: by Katie Patton – The Best And Worst Fabrics For Sweaty People – lists the most ideal fabrics for those who sweat a lot.
This blog: A Guide to Breathable Summer Fabrics – also puts cotton clothing as a first choice for staying cool in summer.
Coolmax for Exercise only
Next in order of effectiveness for keeping thighs cool is clothing made of Coolmax fabric, or some similar sweat-wicking synthetic fabric (but for non-sports outerwear, these fabrics have nothing on cotton!)
My husband has cotton shirts and expensive sweat wicking Coolmax shirts, and says his lightweight cotton shirts still win hands down because he sweats less in cotton than he does in Coolmax.
This is because cotton is more breathable than Coolmax.
So the moisture wicking abilities of synthetic fabrics like Coolmax are a little less effective than cotton for staying cool.
EXCEPT when exercising…
In situations that call for snugly fitted stretch clothing, such as when running for exercise or sport – only then are clothes made of Coolmax the better choice.
Tights with sweat wicking capabilities and mesh panels for increased breathability will be more functional for running than loose cotton shorts during exercise.
When running, cotton between the thighs can bunch up and stay damp and become rather cardboard like and make thigh chafing worse!
But if you’re not exercising and are simply walking around exploring outdoors in very hot weather, lightweight cotton clothes are the most breathable and most comfortable!
There is one type of cotton that isn’t so great for very hot weather… Cotton knits. Knit fabrics by their very nature are insulating and therefore a bit hotter to wear than non stretch cotton clothes.
Unless the knit is very fine as is the case with expensive mercerized t-shirts by Gucci or Armani, for example. Cheaper cotton knit fabrics are not especially cooling fabrics. So avoid clothes made of knitted fabrics on extra hot and humid days.
POWERMESH For Thighs!
Also in the fabric options is a nylon stretch mesh (called PowerMesh) which is mostly used for see-thru panels in swimwear, sportswear/activewear and lingerie, and as transparent clothing to wear over swimmers. For example, sheer sarongs.
Stretch PowerMesh is a more breathable fabric than coolmax, mainly because it’s full of tiny holes and is so lightweight see through and wispy.
ChickyChaps – the only thigh chafing solution – is made of PowerMesh
Being see-through and stretchy and full of tiny holes makes this fabric ideal for its breath-ability, snug fit and strong stretch when wrapped around thighs!
A little extra info on PowerMesh can be found on this blog
Sweat wicking clothing
Beyond those fabrics there’s Polyester, Rayon and Viscose.
I wear clothes made of those fabrics more often during winter in Thailand, which is still hotter than summer in Australia, and usually the form of loose cut clothing.
A Thai winter is still very hot, but the humidity is a bit lower and the air is more breezy. Clothes made of Polyester, Rayon and Viscose have sweat wicking abilities. So if you perspire no sweat shows, and that sweat dries very quickly.
Clothes made of these fabrics don’t usually feel wet for very long, as long there is a breeze in the air.
However… these fabrics aren’t as breathable as cotton. But they are fine for most people to wear on breezy summer days.
On extremely hot days with still air, high humidity and no breezes whatsoever, it’s probably safer to avoid clothes made of these synthetic fabrics.
Stick with cotton clothes on days like that!
Next in importance is the type of summer garment.
And SKORTS are a big favorite of mine. These are a cross between a skirt and a short! They look like a mini-skirt but have little shorts built into the garment underneath, they are great for walking around and exploring in hot weather (not for exercising).
And when skorts are made of lightweight cotton, they’re great for stopping thigh chafing & keeping thighs comfy and cool!
Shorts are just as effective in Bangkok, I wear plenty of lightweight cotton shorts in various styles too.
For those with short legs, big booty and full hips, choosing shorts with the right leg length and crotch rise is paramount. One stylish plus size blogger has this to say:
“Picking the right pair of shorts can be especially difficult, if you’re a mom like me that’s particular about how unflattering shorts can be for chunky thighs. Picking the right length and rise of your shorts can make all the difference in how you rock shorts, and I’m here to tell you – your body size CAN rock them!”
BUT… what if you have a wardrobe full of beautiful summer dresses and skirts you’d like to wear, but you don’t wear them, because regardless of the comfy cotton panties under the cotton dress – your inner thighs still rub together and chafe?
There are many drugstore products that can help with this, and they are definitely worth trying.
I used to dust menthol powder on my inner thighs, and that helped, but I had to reapply the powder every half hour.
If you have sensitive skin like I do, you may find that creams, gels and oils rubbed over the inner thighs are almost as uncomfortable as chub rub itself – and also put grease on your clothing.
Another option is to wear lightweight bike shorts or something similar underneath your dresses and skirts.
For me, this was very hot and uncomfortable.
Too much insulation, too many layers!
Do this in humid weather and you might boil in your own sweat inside the bike shorts…I almost did!
The Insulation caused by layering fabrics (even thin fabrics) is explained in this link on Wikipedia
“Two thin layers can be warmer yet lighter than one thick layer, because the air trapped between layers serves as thermal insulation.”
With 2-3 layers around your hips and butt – i.e. panties, bike shorts and then a skirt/dress as well, that’s a lot of extra layers! And that’s bad news for staying cool in hot weather.
It is very important for your hips, butt and thighs to breathe! Sweat running down the crevice of one’s butt, isn’t just uncomfortable – it can cause heat rash and even fungal infections. Air must circulate around your lower half – for thigh comfort and butt health, and too many layers won’t facilitate this.
Another product to consider, are stay-up thigh bands with silicone rubber. This is a better option, because your butt and hips can breathe, since the bands only cover the thighs. These are worth a try! But sadly for me, my thighs developed an itchy rash where the rubber pulled at my skin. So I can’t wear them.
But there is one NEW solution… ChickyChaps
I needed an ultra lightweight, soft, breathable, minimal coverage – anti-thigh-chafing undergarment, that didn’t have rubber and somehow stayed on my inner-thighs.
So I used my fashion-design background to create first for myself, and now for other women with buxom thighs – a pair of sexy looking demi-shorts that clip onto your panties and resembles stockings and suspenders!
This is how I got to wear summer dresses and skirts again. Without getting any thigh chafing ever again!
If you have inner thighs that touch. The type of clothing and underwear you put on before venturing outdoors on a hot sunny day is crucial to preventing thigh chafing.
100% cotton underwear worn under lightweight slightly loose cotton clothing should be your first choice to maximize airflow around the body and reduce sweating.
Hopefully, you have already stocked your wardrobe with a few key pieces in this always reliable natural fabric ready for summer.
Cotton skorts and shorts look cute and will reduce any chance of thigh chafing, by putting a barrier of breathable fabric between the inner thighs, and they’re a great choice when casually walking around in hot weather.
If you want to wear skirts and dresses… Powders, and lotions applied to the inner thighs, may work for you, and if you’re not prone to sweating a lot, then bike shorts can be an option. And stay-up thigh bands that grip onto thighs with silicone rubber strips, are a more breathable alternative if you don’t mind the rubber.
But the ultimate for thigh-chafe prevention, comfort and breath-ability when wearing skirts and dresses are a pair of ChickyChaps!
These “half shorts” or “demi-panties” only cover the thighs (especially the inner thighs) with smooth breathable stretch-mesh and no rubber. They stay securely in place by snapping onto your panties with tiny strong clips. They’re ultra functional yet resemble stockings and suspenders!
Hopefully you will find some of these suggestions to prevent thigh-chafing helpful. Especially if you’re going on holidays to a hot and humid destination, or you live in a place with very hot summers.
What tips, tricks and clothing choices have you found helpful for keeping cool in hot weather and preventing inner thigh chafing?
Leave me a comment below, and don’t forget to check back for future blog posts on staying cool in every way possible during the summer months.