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tube of diaper cream

Photo: MaryCaroline (Shutterstock)

The first step in avoiding the pain of chafing is to prevent it from happening in the first place. But sometimes—especially in sweaty weather—you’ll return home to find some part of yourself rubbed raw. Take a tip from the butts of babes: You can soothe raw skin with diaper cream.

A zinc-oxide diaper cream like A+D or Desitin (applied after gently but thoroughly washing with soap) keeps injured skin from drying out and may protect against infection. It also provides a barrier between your skin and any clothing that may brush against it while it’s healing. Consider your laundry, though: The cream is goopy and you may not want to get it on your best clothes.

To treat your chafing, try one of these:

And, better yet, to prevent it in the first place:

Next time you go out, remember to prevent the chafing before it starts: Choose clothes and sports bras that fit well, consider nipple guards or Band-Aids if the nips are a sore spot for you, and apply a lube like BodyGlide anywhere that might give you trouble. If you already have a raw spot, the same tips that prevent chafing can also prevent further irritation so you can still run while you’re waiting for it to heal.

Sweat makes chafing more likely, so even if you’ve run a certain distance without problems in the past, that same distance on a hot, sweaty day could leave you with painful souvenirs. For the same reason, you’ll have more chafing (and foot blisters) on rainy days, or even on hot days if you’re in the habit of pouring cold water on yourself mid-run.

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