Care of the Tender Creases
May 20, 2017 7:18 PM   Subscribe

Mefites of size, please share with me your best practices for the care of skin folds.

As a woman of size (270 lbs), I find that the creases between my lower belly and thighs and under my breasts are prone to trapping moisture, leading to problems with odor and fungal itchiness.

I use talcum powder on my creases, or jock itch powder when things get itchy, and am installing a bidet to help with cleaning my bits. But I'm going to Africa this summer and am concerned about my skin folds getting all rashy and unhappy in the equatorial heat.

My doctor says that powder tends to "ball up" (which I have experienced if the skin is not completely dry before applying it) and instead recommends diaper rash ointment. I kind of like Boudreaux's Butt Paste, because it seems to last longer than powder; but it contains zinc oxide, which gets on my clothes.

I've heard about using absorbent pads in the creases, but it's hard to imagine that would be comfortable. But I'm open to any and all effective suggestions.

How do you care for your tender crevices to keep them happy and smelling sweet? Bonus for natural and herbal remedies. Thanks!
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (20 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Use an antiperspirant under there for your base layer. Seriously. It really helps. Then use antifungal powder as needed. But you won't need as much. Wash at least daily in warm weather.
posted by SLC Mom at 7:38 PM on May 20, 2017 [4 favorites]

Post shower, use a hair dryer to get them truly dry! It makes a huuuuuge difference.
posted by ocherdraco at 7:44 PM on May 20, 2017 [6 favorites]

Body Glide!
posted by SuperSquirrel at 7:44 PM on May 20, 2017

Yep: antiperspirant everywhere you have folds or rub. Apply pre-emptively in the mornings, then keep a small travelsized with you in your bag to reapply on really sweaty days.

For a good diaper ointment that I like (doesn't stain clothes, smells good): the Gro-Via diaper balm stick.

And get yourself some talc-free dusting powder!
posted by TwoStride at 7:46 PM on May 20, 2017

(I like Nature's Baby and California Baby dusting powder brands).
posted by TwoStride at 7:47 PM on May 20, 2017

My life was changed by Lady Anti-Monkey Butt powder. It's made with cornstarch (which is not linked to various cancers like talcum powder is - I'm not an alarmist about cancer, but Johnson and Johnson has lost a few lawsuits.).

It also has calamine in it, which is why it's pink (not because it's a lady product and pinkified). It helps with irritation.
posted by honeybee413 at 8:10 PM on May 20, 2017 [2 favorites]

Mono stat makes an anti chafing gel that is "powder finish" and I much prefer it over anything else.
posted by Medieval Maven at 8:24 PM on May 20, 2017 [2 favorites]

I had this issue when I was pregnant and wicking underwear was amazing. The men's boxer briefs (tight boxers) work great - not the women's underwear (that does nothing). I've never tried a wicking undershirts or bras, but if they work as well as the boxers, I'd certainly recommend them. Also diaper cream works great - I used Desitin. Yes, it rubs off a white cream, but if you combo it with the wicking underthings then it probably won't matter much. Also don't forget about loose and airy night clothes - that can help a lot.
posted by Toddles at 8:54 PM on May 20, 2017

1) The Monistat chafing gel mentioned above
2) Always Be Bra'd - At any point I'm not in actual public, I wear bandeaux or bralettes from Torrid, for a little lift and wicking. As long as my situation isn't terribly sweaty, I sleep in nothing or a cotton tank for some airflow.
3) I keep a tube of neosporin by my bed, and if I feel like I'm getting a sore spot coming on as I'm getting into bed, I blob some on and I'm usually fine in the morning.

Downtown, I've started wearing these boxer briefs most of the time (they do not want to stay real smooth under leggings, and they are pretty incompatible with pads). My strong tip is to avoid the pink or white, as they stain at the drop of a hat. The gray ones seem to wash better, and then the black ones are black. The leg-crotch piece keeps me from getting sweaty and irritated from leg elastic/trim on most panties. Woman Within also has a shelf tank I like a lot.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:31 PM on May 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

My friend has this issue. Her dermatologist recommended Vaseline. Seems to help her.
posted by shalom at 11:42 PM on May 20, 2017

I can't quite speak to the foldspart but I spent two years in west Africa and had trouble with the heat and skin reactions (and I don't have particularly sensitive skin). What really helped the most was showering multiple times a day (or in the morning and night at the very least) and useing The Body Shops tea tree body wash. I think the antiseptic properties/drying nature of tea tree oil really helped. I would get bad inflammations on my butt from butt sweat, sitting on hard surfaces, and generally not ever really being able to air it out. That body wash is what helped more than anything else.
posted by raccoon409 at 4:10 AM on May 21, 2017

A bra liner has been life changing for me- I can't believe that no one ever told me about them! I have a big stack of them and wash them in hot water and dry in a hot dryer.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 6:35 AM on May 21, 2017 [4 favorites]

Bra liners are a thing as mentioned above they work well, I have seen them on the Lane Bryant website in summer and Amazon you can find something similar. You can also get belly liners for tummy folds that work the same on Amazon.
posted by wwax at 7:44 AM on May 21, 2017 [2 favorites]

My go to is antiperspirant and nystantin powder. My infections tend to be yeastie beasties so the powder works well for that.
posted by kathrynm at 8:23 AM on May 21, 2017

When I was more of size, I tended to my folds with exfoliation, some anti-perspirant spray, and touchup wiping during the day when I might normally go to the bathroom so that I wouldn't break out in heat rash or low-level fungal weirdness. I never figured out what the skin rash actually was but it reduced when I did become more compact (but still shows up in breast folds and thighs). I also made sure I wore breathable fabrics and got nearly religious in washing them in hot water with vinegar and no fabric softener to keep them able to absorb all kinds of sweaty goodness.

I've gone a more natural route of sorts as I've gotten older and a big help for me has been not using soap in my daily bathing rituals. I use manual friction via washcloth and warm to hot water. I've been using a body oil with lavender oil in it and it helps me smell fresh in the humid weather here. Also, ask locals once you are in Africa what they swear by - no doubt they have ideas as well!
posted by missh at 8:25 AM on May 21, 2017

As a man of somewhat less size than last year (140kg down from 176 in August) I clean my considerable paunch fold in the shower using a washcloth and a teeny squirt of anti-dandruff shampoo (active ingredient 2% zinc pyrithione), then towel dry, then rub in a little melaleuca oil cream. I also wear all-cotton clothing.

If I don't do these things, it starts to smell funky and sting after a few days. If I do, it doesn't.
posted by flabdablet at 9:25 AM on May 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

I bought a bra liner ( and it worked so well I ordered some bamboo fabric and made several more that I modified slightly and it was a huge savings. I also made some little strips for my tummy, about 2 X 5 inches long. They are super easy to make if you possess the tiniest bit of sewing knowledge and a basic machine. The fabric I used is this-

Bamboo fabric is key for this. It is absorbent, gentle and anti-fungal so it not only keeps skin dry but resists getting smelly. (Bamboo is magical fabric, I only wear bamboo socks now also.)

The liner is a little fiddly to get under the bra and it will show if you wear sheer tops but it's totally worth the extra moment to slip under my bra for me. I even use them after a shower at night in hot weather when it feels like my skin just will not get dry under my breasts. If you sew and want info on how I modified my bra liners let me know and I will share more info in it. My skin is not irritated in hot weather any more, used to get heat rashes and general yuckiness from using scented powders. Then once I get a heat rash I can't use powder for a while so I feel stinky and sweaty, I am so glad I learned of liners.
posted by RichardHenryYarbo at 9:37 AM on May 21, 2017 [3 favorites]

Post shower, use a hair dryer to get them truly dry! It makes a huuuuuge difference.

And to cut down on time with the hair dryer, after you towel off, go over those areas with a second (completely dry) towel.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 7:01 PM on May 21, 2017

My no-nonsense gynecologist told me to put a tablespoon or two of baking soda into a squirt bottle of warm water and to douse the affected areas/folds at the end of my shower when I got rashy last year. Don't rinse it off the affected areas (but do rinse it off your legs, lest you are left with a white rime). Cleared everything up for me.

She also suggested corn starch in lieu of talcum powder.
posted by sarajane at 4:41 AM on May 22, 2017

I do a lot of camping in the summer and here are my go to's to keep things comfy. Medicated Gold Bond Powder, which has menthol and has a nice tingle. Lotrimin powder for yeasty beasties. When at home I do the hair dryer bit too. I have friends that swear by Lady Anti-Monkey Butt powder but I haven't tried it yet.
posted by PJMoore at 7:01 AM on May 22, 2017

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