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How To Stop Vaginal Chafing

How To Stop Vaginal Chafing

Chafing in the vaginal region is not only uncomfortable, but it can also disrupt daily activities. If you've ever experienced the pain, irritation, and redness that come with vaginal chafing, you know how miserable it can make you feel.

Luckily, there are ways to find relief, prevent future chafing, and maintain comfort in your most sensitive areas. Ahead, we discuss what vaginal chafing is, what causes it, and how to address and prevent it effectively. 

What Is Vaginal Chafing?

Chafing is a common skin irritation that occurs when skin rubs against clothing or more skin. This friction can cause the skin to become irritated, resulting in redness, blisters, crusting, or raw skin. 

Chafing is more likely to occur in areas where there is repeated skin-on-skin contact, such as in the inner thighs, groin, underarms, and under the breasts. It can range from mild to severe, depending on the individual and the circumstances.

How Common Is Vaginal Chafing?

When it comes to the vaginal area, chafing is a frequent problem for women of all ages. The labia majora are especially prone to it because they frequently rub against each other or articles of clothing. This type of chafing can be especially uncomfortable, as the area is naturally more sensitive.

What Causes Vaginal Chafing?

Vaginal chafing can be caused by a variety of different factors, including:

  • Tight clothing: Constricting clothing that rubs against the skin can cause chafing in sensitive areas like the groin.
  • Friction from activities: Repetitive, vigorous activities such as running, cycling, or even sexual intercourse can cause chafing.
  • Excessive sweating: Sweat can accumulate in the groin area and cause skin-on-skin contact, leading to chafing.
  • Allergies and irritants: Certain fabrics, soaps, detergents, lotions, and creams can irritate the skin, leading to chafing.

What Are the Symptoms of Vaginal Chafing?

The symptoms of vaginal chafing can vary from person to person.

The most common signs of chafing include:

  • Redness or rash on the skin
  • Pain
  • Irritation
  • Itching
  • Burning sensation when touched or during activities
  • Fluid-filled blisters or sores 
  • Scaly, dry skin
  • Discoloration of the skin

If the symptoms of vaginal chafing are severe, we recommend seeking medical advice. Your doctor can provide you with a proper diagnosis and treatment plan to help you get relief. 

Severe vaginal chafing can sometimes be caused by an underlying medical condition, such as a fungal infection, which requires special care to treat. 

How Can You Address and Prevent Vaginal Chafing?

Vaginal chafing can be uncomfortable and even affect your daily life. The good news is that it can be addressed and prevented with a few simple steps. 

1. Wear Breathable Fabrics

The material of your clothing is critical when it comes to vaginal chafing. Cotton and moisture-wicking fabrics are excellent choices, as they are both breathable and lightweight. 

These materials can help to prevent sweat and moisture buildup, which can lead to chafing. Avoid tight-fitting, synthetic fabrics like polyester or nylon that can trap moisture, making you more prone to chafing.

2. Use Lubrication

If you're experiencing mild to moderate chafing, using a lubricant like petroleum jelly or even aloe vera can help soothe the area and reduce irritation. Lubricants can also help to prevent friction between clothing and skin, reducing the likelihood of chafing. 

Just make sure to choose a lubricant that is safe for vaginal use and free from irritants.

3. Keep the Area Dry

Excess moisture can increase the likelihood of chafing, so it's important to keep your vaginal area dry. Change out of wet clothing as soon as possible and use a gentle, non-irritating cleanser to clean the area. Pat the skin dry with a soft, absorbent cloth after bathing, and limit your use of harsh chemicals such as scented lotions or perfumes.

Pro Tip: Not sure where to find a female-friendly cleanser? Check out our pH Balancing Cleanser™, a fragrance-free cleanser that’s gentle enough for your vulva.

4. Loosen Your Clothing

Tight clothing can be a major cause of vaginal chafing and irritation. If you're experiencing discomfort, consider loosening or adjusting your clothing to reduce the amount of friction on your skin. Make sure to wear clothing that fits properly and doesn't rub against your skin as you move.

5. Let Your Vagina Breathe

It's important to give your vaginal area some breathing room — especially after exercising or engaging in vigorous activities. Consider going commando for a few hours to allow the area to dry properly and reduce the risk of irritation. If going commando isn't an option, choose a loose-fitting pair of underwear made from breathable fabrics like cotton.

6. Stay Hydrated

Believe it or not, dehydration can increase your risk of vaginal chafing, so it's important to stay well-hydrated each and every day. Dehydration can cause the skin to become dry, making it more susceptible to irritation and chafing. 

The recommended daily intake of water for adults is 64 ounces of water per day. Also, make sure to drink plenty of fluids, especially before, during, and after exercise.

7. Take Breaks During Vigorous Activities

If you're engaging in activities that involve a lot of friction, make sure to take frequent breaks. This can help to reduce the amount of skin-on-skin contact and give your body a chance to cool down, reducing your risk of chafing.

8. Keep Your Pubic Hair Trimmed

Did you know that pubic hair can trap moisture and cause irritation? If you're struggling with vaginal chafing, make sure to keep your pubic hair trimmed and neat. Consider using an electric trimmer for a close, comfortable shave and to reduce the likelihood of further irritation.

9. See a Doctor

If you're experiencing recurring vaginal chafing, it's important to see a doctor. They can help to identify the underlying cause of your chafing and provide you with effective treatment options. Your doctor may recommend creams or ointments to soothe the area or suggest changes to your clothing or hygiene routine.

The Bottom Line

Vaginal chafing can be uncomfortable, but it's not uncommon. There are many ways to prevent and stop vaginal chafing, from wearing loose-fitting clothing to keeping the area clean and dry. By following these tips, you can help keep your intimate area comfortable and happy — just remember to seek medical attention if your symptoms persist or worsen.

At Love Wellness, we’re on a mission to help women feel their best, with doctor-developed wellness products that actually work. Whether you're looking to support your vaginal health or maintain a healthy gut, we’re here to support you every step of the way.


Chafing: Causes & Prevention | Cleveland Clinic

Vulval & vaginal irritation | Jean Hailes for Women's Health

Experiencing Vaginal Dryness? Here's What You Need to Know. | ACOG

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