Some Help With Chafing

During the Juneau Marathon this past summer I totally forgot to apply anti-chafe ointment (you’d think after 50+ marathons I’d remember) and I got the most hellacious chafing under one arm.

By mile 20 I was running with my arms held away from my body like wings.

Unfortunately the race didn’t have much in the way of support and there wasn’t a spot to stop and glob some petroleum jelly on the area.

Question About Chafing

Hello MTA! Since I started running half marathons, I tend to get chafing under my armpit from my bra. I am a Powerlifter and my back is more muscular than most women. Do you have any suggestions on bras that don’t chafe when I run long distances? By the end of my half marathon, its unbearable! I can’t imagine running a full marathon with all that chafing! Body glide has not helped with this particular area . Please help! -Heather

I Feel Your Pain!

I totally feel your pain in regard to chafing. Body Glide does nothing for me either and I must have skin that chafes very easily. Part of the equation for women definitely has to do with finding the right bra. I have some sports bras that work for shorter runs and ones that are my go-to long runs and marathon (you usually find out by experience which ones work for each distance).

My favorite bra is Champion Marathon Sports Bra (here’s the Amazon link). It’s not very pricy and performs better than any I’ve tried in reducing chafing. However, I realize that this particular bra won’t work for everyone as some women will need more support. When it comes to finding that ideal sports bra it’s really a matter of trial and error. The same can be true for finding the right anti-chafing ointment.

There are runners who use something simple like petroleum jelly to devoted fans of Body Glide. I typically use a product called Trail Toes which is a lot thicker than most (and I glob it on my problem areas). Sometimes on a very hot/humid day I’ll still get some breakthrough chaffing and I’ve seen some people recommend using KT tape on the skin in the areas you have chaffing to provide a barrier. I’ve used KT tape on my back bra line (a site of frequent chafing for me) and it worked great.

A good strategy if you’re prone to chafing is to lay out your anti-chafe product with your running clothes so that you don’t forget to apply it.

I’d be interested to hear from our readers. What have you found to work?

4 Responses to Some Help With Chafing

  1. Lewis Van Atta April 10, 2019 at 7:40 pm #

    Three comments:

    -Body glide seems to work well for me
    -I tend to chafe in the center of my chest where my heart rate monitor strap hits.
    -The worst spot I ever chafed on: my first marathon in 2009 (Humboldt Redwoods) after I finished I had to go pee…and I discovered, painfully, that I had chafed on a “uniquely male” portion of my anatomy…..

    • Angie Spencer April 11, 2019 at 12:24 pm #

      Ouch! That sounds very painful. I’m sure that you Body Glide that area very carefully now.

  2. Rom October 15, 2019 at 9:23 am #

    OMG, I was listening to this this weekend as I was driving home after running the BAA 1/2 marathon. I cringed at some of the descriptions (specially the ‘butt crack’ one, but I was thinking ‘lucky me I never chafe. Fast forward to me getting home and running an epson salt bath, and I feel a burning sensation on my inner thing when I got in the water. Sure enough, chaffed!!!!! Instant karma I guess

    • Angie Spencer October 15, 2019 at 11:35 am #

      Hey Rom, Congrats on running the BAA half marathon!! So sorry to hear about the unexpected chaffing. I imagine it was quite the unexpected shock to feel the burn in the Epsom salt bath (which will reveal even the tiniest area). Hope it heals quickly!

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