Thigh-rubbing friction
July 16, 2006 11:36 AM   Subscribe

For all the big-thighed women out there... In hot weather, do you have problems with wearing skirts sans pantyhose and walking any distance? If so, how do you deal with the inner-thigh chafing?

I am not overweight by any means and am in fact quite fit, but I do have somewhat fleshy upper thighs that touch for about two inches below the groin area when I'm standing up. In the summer if I wear skirts without pantyhose, I can't walk more than six blocks without starting to get painfully chapped in that two inch area. It's really embarrassing. I do notice other women who have a similar physique to me "waddling" a little, ie walking with their legs a little wide. The way I avoid that is by cutting off the lower legs of black pantyhose and wearing this pseudo-thigh girdle under my skirt, and therefore eliminating the upper-inner thigh friction. I feel like such a weirdo for having to resort to such DIY solutions, but I am surprised that there is no undergarment product catering to this problem. No one else I know seems to have this problem, and even my heaviest girlfriends wear skirts all year round. (I can't just wear full pantyhose in the summer, because I wear sandals and pantyhose-toe is tacky and weird when you're just going to the beach.) I have been doing all sorts of exercises focusing on my inner thighs to try and slim them for the sole purpose of being able to wear skirts, but nothing is helping. Am I completely alone in this, or is there a method of dealing that I just haven't heard of? Please help me find a way to be a breezy skirt-wearer without the thigh-rubbing issue!
posted by anonymous to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (39 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Chub rub! You are not alone. Solutions include BodyGlide, baby powder, corn starch, wearing bike shorts under skirts, and wearing a split slip under skirts. Stop by a running store to pick up BodyGlide or other anti-chafe products.
posted by bonheur at 11:49 AM on July 16, 2006

I wear super lightweight cycling shorts or, if I'm not dressing to impress, sometimes just men's boxer briefs. I've been checking out some women's variants of these, but since there's only like two days a year when this is really a problem up here, I haven't investigated more. Corn starch or baby powder, lotion or sometimes close-shaving can also help.
posted by jessamyn at 11:50 AM on July 16, 2006

I'm afraid you're not alone. I have a friend who has tried several of the suggestions in that thread and my friend thought they were great. Specifically, BodyGlide and Spanx and the Monistat product.

And I think many people with this problem are not also overweight. Unintelligent design on someone's part.
posted by theredpen at 11:51 AM on July 16, 2006

I'm pear-shaped/Renaissance-looking and I have this issue...but only in the city. I am wondering if it has something to do with the flatness and the long distances walked. (I can go hiking in my skirts for the whole day without this being a problem.) Since you say '6 blocks' I presume you're in a city walking around as well. It drives me crazy when I go to the city and forget to either go the bikeshorts/chopped off hose route or, since I wear fuller and longer skirts than most women, the extremely thin yoga pants route.

You say 'pseudo-thigh girdle' and then say 'why is there no undergarment for this'. There is, and you even know it: the panty girdle. It's in the weird support garment section of department stores.

Talcum/cornstarch will work for a bit, but not enough, and not all day.

You're not alone, it's just that people are probably wearing something, not walking as much and thus not having the problem, and generally don't talk about it. (I mean, look, you're posting it anonymously.)
posted by cobaltnine at 11:54 AM on July 16, 2006

I find that I'm most likely to notice chafing only after three or more days in a row of wearing a skirt. So I look at the week's forcast and plan to wear pants on a couple of the least-hot days.

Also, leggings and footless tights are in fashion right now. But I myself would rather wear pants than two layers in the heat.
posted by lampoil at 11:56 AM on July 16, 2006

I second the monistat anti-chafing cream. The stuff is great. Just let it dry well, otherwise you'll send up with white powdery marks on your clothing.
posted by necessitas at 12:04 PM on July 16, 2006

My roommate, who is quite svelt, studied in Paris for six months, and came back with holes in the inner thighs of all her pants!

Honestly, the best thing to keep you from chafing is deodorant. Just rub the stuff on your legs where you have the problem. No sweat = no chafing! (Also works on your feet in the spots where your sandals rub your bare tootsies)
posted by radioamy at 12:09 PM on July 16, 2006

I love Spanx's Power Panties, or their less expensive Target version, Assets Unbelievable Underwear. They are somewhat like bike shorts, but I find them less heavy and less constricting, as there is no elastic waistband. They totally prevent chafing between the thighs and also make you look smoother under your skirts.
posted by tastybrains at 12:10 PM on July 16, 2006 [1 favorite]

I third the Monistat product. I just carry it with me in my purse and reapply as needed. No more chub rub!
posted by youcancallmeal at 12:26 PM on July 16, 2006

A dermatolgist recently recommended Zeasorb AF powder to me for similar chafing and yeast related problems due to heat and dampness. I like it. You might want to give it a try.

They keep it behind the counter at my local CVS. It's got the same stuff in it as monistat. Use it wherever. Men can use it for jock itch too. It's all the same problem.
posted by bim at 1:41 PM on July 16, 2006 [1 favorite]

And I do wish that they'd invent some better underwear for women that don't wear a size 2.
posted by bim at 1:56 PM on July 16, 2006 [1 favorite]

Another vote for Monistat Soothing Care. I live in NYC, and walk miles every single day. I also wear skirts 13 days out of 14. In the past I used deodorant and/or pettipants. But even pettipants seemed too hot (I don't know how people can deal with Spanx or bike shorts in the summer). But now I just use the Soothing Care gel, and have no problems.
posted by kimdog at 2:00 PM on July 16, 2006

Comfort shorts - they're like cut-off tights. They're cheap and they work.
posted by Flitcraft at 2:30 PM on July 16, 2006

Ach! I cant find how to link to the right page. They're under hosiery on the site I linked to above.
posted by Flitcraft at 2:32 PM on July 16, 2006

sorry ladies. i just needed to say how much us guys appreciate you. not every guy is chasing down skinny-minis. some girls i know use baby power. they also stopped lotioning their inner thighs (ummm, black people you know we put coco butter everything part of our bodies...)

there's also a silk power product you ue to make your sheets satin-like. my *ahem* girl loves how smooth it makes her skin feel.
posted by Davaal at 2:34 PM on July 16, 2006 [2 favorites]

I am also not overweight, but have the same issue. I had the same issue at my thinnest (I was a size 4 in high school). Despite the fact it's always presented as a fat woman issue, it's really not.

I second tastybrains' suggestion of Assets shorts. They're not as pricy as Spanx (though they're still a little steep for what you get) and they work really really well.
posted by antimony at 2:37 PM on July 16, 2006

Gold Bond Medicated Powder works fine for me. I have a little travel-size one that I put in my purse. The Monistat stuff sounds cool though -- I will have to check it out.
posted by Medieval Maven at 2:52 PM on July 16, 2006

From the pettipants link above . . This thing looks pretty awful. Anyone have any reports back on that particular solution?
posted by Medieval Maven at 2:54 PM on July 16, 2006

I have started using Neutrogena cooling sunscreen. It's in a pressurized can, and just one spray really cools and soothes your skin.

Is there a baby powder in a pressurized can?
posted by sweetkid at 2:55 PM on July 16, 2006

I'm a man with the same class of problems. Get the weakest cortisone cream you can find (e.g., Cortaid), and smear your thighs when possible and before bed.
posted by GarageWine at 3:26 PM on July 16, 2006

I find that women's underpants that are a similar style to men's boxer briefs are a good alternative to bike shorts and the like under skirts. Bonds make really good ones, although I'm not sure about their availability outside Australia and NZ.
posted by cholly at 4:07 PM on July 16, 2006

I have seen the Spanx at Nordstrom Rack for $9.99. So if you would like to save money check the Rack and Marshall's or Ross. Good luck!
posted by halonine at 4:19 PM on July 16, 2006

That thing looks pretty ridiculous, medival maiden. I think that I'd rather my legs fall off before I'd ever wear something like that. The "boxer like" underwear is a great idea though. I'll have to look around. I don't want anything that's tight like panyhose and such. I'd go insane.
posted by bim at 4:32 PM on July 16, 2006

I use a combo of BodyGlide an antiperspirant. The Monostat stuff can wear off, but BodyGlide does better.
posted by oflinkey at 4:39 PM on July 16, 2006

I get that. Yeah, I wear bike shorts underneath my skirts. You also have the advantage of not having to worry about sudden gusts of wind!

(And since you mentioned it in the post - don't bother doing exercises to target your thighs. Spot reduction is a myth.)
posted by web-goddess at 4:50 PM on July 16, 2006

Is there a baby powder in a pressurized can?

Yep. You can find it in the foot care aisle. A couple different companies make 'em, such as Tinactin, Odor Eaters. Great freakin idea.
posted by radioamy at 4:54 PM on July 16, 2006

Most women I know have this. Body Glide (available at runner's shops and works under bra straps and other areas of chafing too), or Body Glide and shorts, are the usual solutions. Just wanted to emphasize what should be clear from the answers here: It sounds like your thighs are completely normal. It is the rare woman whose thighs don't touch when she stands or walks.
posted by LobsterMitten at 6:53 PM on July 16, 2006

Never had any trouble with the Monistat product. I love it. I recommended it to everyone I know. One tube lasted all last summer and is looking like it'll last through this summer too. It has allowed me to wear skirts again.
posted by librarina at 8:32 PM on July 16, 2006

I use calendula cream for chafing and vinegar for bra itch--I only had the peeling on my thighs once a long time ago and didn't realize I could've treated it myself until AFTER the visit to the dermatologist.
posted by brujita at 9:18 PM on July 16, 2006

I also have this problem and am also not overweight. Just have a fleshy part at the top of my thighs. No amount of bike riding or exercise ever really gets rid of it, although the rest of my legs are wonderfully toned. My legs also aren't hairy or bumpy or dry or sweaty, they're just shaped a certain way.

I've tried a few different products and even bought fancy underwear shorts but to be honest I gave up and just went back to chopped off opaque tights (30 or 40 denier panty hose). They're really really cheap, very easy to get hold of (can be found at any local supermarket), last for ages and are totally replaceable. It's so much easier. Why mess around rubbing stuff on or buying fancy underwear if something so cheap and easy does the trick?

I am liking the new fashion for stylish dress-shorts though, comfortable and hides the flab.
posted by shelleycat at 10:12 PM on July 16, 2006

Why mess around rubbing stuff on or buying fancy underwear if something so cheap and easy does the trick?

Because sometimes it just feels really nice and freeing to not have to be always wearing fabric between your legs in order to not get a burning rash. Those products can be quite liberating, especially in summer.
posted by RoseovSharon at 10:54 PM on July 16, 2006

A quick spray of unscented, antiperspirant on each side of parts that chafe nails it, all day long without the need for the grim, long leg underwear/cycle pants. Just make sure you cover up your lady parts before you spray!
posted by Arqa at 12:23 AM on July 17, 2006

Another recommendation for the Monistat Soothing Care anti-chafing gel. It's amazing. Just bring it with you in case you do feel like you need to re-apply.
posted by candyland at 6:30 AM on July 17, 2006

Vaseline is what I was recommended by a runner, and it works and doesn't wear off in sweat, etc. in high humidity. Plus it's available everywhere easily.
posted by viggorlijah at 6:52 AM on July 17, 2006

I'm a fan of powder, myself, and my mother suggests that wearing a pantyliner helps, too.
Here are my powder experiences:
Regular baby powder doesn't last long
Gold Bond kind of burns
Dr. Scholl's Foot Powder is great. I know, it's for feet, but that just means it's stronger than regular powder. It has a cool minty scent without the vapo-action of Gold Bond.

Remember to carry a little travel-size powder in your purse for reapplying.

I have to say that I prefer re-applying powder and wearing a skirt to wearing shorts - shorts ride up on me pretty quickly, which ultimately makes me feel more self-conscious and uncomfortable than chafing. At least I can powder for chafing.
posted by Sprout the Vulgarian at 7:19 AM on July 17, 2006

Wonder what women did before pantihose? How did active, full-figured women find relief from this in the 19th century? Bloomers?
posted by Rash at 9:41 AM on July 17, 2006

Attn for those on a budget
Bodyglide which goes for 8 dollars @ 1.3 oz is simply zinc oxide 1% which is the main ingredient for anti-diaper rash ointments,cremes and gels available in your drug store babystuff aisle.
16 oz for 10.49 and does the same thing
posted by stavx at 5:07 PM on July 17, 2006

I am male, but when wearing my kilt, I had similar issues until another kilt wearer told me the solution of using antiperspirant on my inner thighs. That does the trick for me.
posted by fings at 7:10 PM on July 17, 2006

Kind of a derail here, but sorta related.
Have any of you ladies experienced a darkening of your inner thighs in that area of chaffening, especially higher up, just below the tender bits? Is it due to the chafe? Any way to reduce it once it's started? (asking on behalf of the wife)
posted by UnclePlayground at 10:53 AM on July 18, 2006

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