How to Stop Chafing While on the Treadmill

How to Stop Chafing While on the Treadmill

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Certain athletic attire can reduce the chafing you feel on the treadmill.

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A treadmill workout is a convenient way to burn calories as you work toward building a slimmer body, but painful chafing makes the activity miserable. Chafing during exercise, which typically takes place when your skin rubs against itself or your clothing rubs against your skin, can cut your workout short. With the proper preparations, however, it's easy to limit the chafing you experience or stop it altogether.


Wear exercise-appropriate clothing during your treadmill workout, regardless of whether you typically walk or run on the machine. Lightweight, synthetic underwear and outerwear often feel soft and light against your body and don't create the same chafing feeling that heavier clothing can cause. Compression shorts, for example, can limit the chafing you experience around your inner thighs or genitals.


Cover the affected areas of your body with such substances as baby powder or petroleum jelly. Try the baby powder first, as it creates less of a mess. Liberally apply the powder to the region before your workout. If you experience chafing in your groin area, for example, coat the area in powder. If the powder doesn't provide adequate relief, use petroleum jelly. Always wash either substance off after your workout.


Drink water frequently throughout your treadmill workout to stay hydrated. Columbia University's Go Ask Alice website notes dehydration can result in salt crystals that sit on your skin and contribute to painful chafing. Keeping hydrated will keep you sweating throughout the workout to avoid such crystals.

Things Needed

  • Appropriate workout attire
  • Baby powder
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Water


  • Consider adopting a new type of cardio workout if you can't avoid chafing while using the treadmill. Other workouts to attempt include swimming, using the rowing machine and bicycling.
  • Avoid exercising in dirty clothing. MedlinePlus warns that dried sweat or dirt from previously used clothing can result in irritation to your skin.


  • Visit a doctor if you require medication for excessively painful or irritated chafing as a result of your treadmill workout.


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