How to Prevent Chafing from Swim Trunks

If you’ve had your fun day at the beach or pool ruined by painful chafing, you’re not alone.  Many of us have experienced the pain and discomfort that comes with chafing from swim trunks. Luckily, there are steps you can take to prevent chafing so you can fully enjoy your time in the water.

How to Prevent Chafing from Swim Trunks

You can prevent your swim trunks from chafing you by selecting the right swim trunks that fit you right, preferably made with soft, moisture-wicking material such as nylon or polyester, with anti-chafing features such as mesh lining, in addition to applying anti-chafe products and maintaining proper skin hygiene so that your skin will not be so easily irritated.

Keep reading on as we go over why swim trunks specifically are likely to cause chafing as well as detailed explanations on how to prevent it so you can have your fun in the sun without worrying about getting chafed.

Why Do Swim Trunks Cause Chafing?

Chafing is a common issue that many people experience when wearing swim trunks. It occurs as a result of friction, moisture, and irritation caused by the swim trunks rubbing against your skin. 

One of the main reasons swim trunks cause chafing is due to friction. When you’re swimming or moving around in your swimwear, your swim trunks tend to move against your skin. This constant rubbing, combined with friction from wet skin and saltwater, can cause irritation and discomfort. 

To minimize friction, you’ll want to find swim trunks that are not too tight or too loose since this could exacerbate the problem.

Moisture is another factor that contributes to chafing while wearing swim trunks . Wet skin can increase the likelihood of friction as well as create an environment for bacteria to grow, which may further irritate your skin. 

Therefore, it’s essential to keep your skin as dry as possible, especially in areas where swim trunks rub against your body. Some ways to reduce moisture include quick-drying fabrics, wearing a moisture-wicking undergarment, or applying an anti-chafing powder before putting on your swim trunks.

Additionally, the materials used in swim trunks can also cause irritation. Some fabrics may not be as comfortable against your skin, leading to potential chafing when wet. Look for swim trunks made of soft and breathable materials, such as nylon or polyester blends, to help reduce irritation and ensure comfort while wearing them. 

Chemicals used in some swim trunk designs, such as dyes, could also trigger skin irritation, so it’s crucial to choose high-quality swimwear that won’t irritate your skin.

Choosing the Right Swim Trunks

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When it comes to preventing chafing from swim trunks, selecting the proper pair is a major victory in this war against chafing. In this section, we’ll explore how to choose the best swim trunks for you, focusing on sizing and fit, anti-chafing materials, and special anti-chafing features.

Sizing and Fit

A well-fitting pair of swim trunks can significantly reduce the chance of chafing. Here are a few tips to help you find the right size:

  • Measure yourself: Grab a measuring tape and measure your waist and hips to find your ideal swim trunk size. Then compare your measurements to the sizing charts so that you can be a bit more objective about how a pair might fit.
  • Try them on: If possible, try swim trunks in-store or look for online retailers with hassle-free return policies to ensure you get the right fit.
  • Aim for a snug fit: Your swim trunks should fit comfortably around your waist and should not be too tight or too loose. Make sure there is enough room for movement but not too much fabric to cause chafing.
  • Avoid excess bagginess: Baggy trunks can create more friction and lead to chafing. Stick with a more fitted style for improved comfort.
  • Buy from the same brand: A medium from one company might be a size small in another. That’s why measuring yourself and comparing the sizing chart is so important, as mentioned above, but if you find a brand whose sizing agrees with your body, you can save yourself a lot of hassle just buying from them again.

Anti-Chafing Materials

The materials used to construct your swim trunks also make a big difference in whether they might cause chafing or not.

  • Synthetic fabrics: Look for swim trunks made from moisture-wicking materials like polyester or nylon, as they help keep your skin dry and reduce friction.
  • Avoid cotton: Though comfortable, cotton can hold moisture, increasing the chance of chafing, and even worse, increases the risk of drowning.
  • Quick-drying fabric: Look for trunks made of fast-drying fabric to reduce the time your skin is exposed to moisture.

Anti-Chafing Features

Some swim trunks are designed with special features to help prevent chafing. Keep an eye out for these:

  • Built-in underwear: Swim trunks with built-in underwear or mesh lining provide an additional layer of protection against chafing.
  • Compression liners: Some trunks feature compression liners that fit snugly around your legs, acting as a barrier against friction and chafing.
  • Seamless construction: Swimwear with seamless or flatlock stitching can help reduce the irritation caused by rubbing against the stitching

Caring for Your Swim Trunks

If you don’t properly clean your swim trunks after every use, leftover salt, sand, and other debris can cause chafing the next time you wear your trunks. Proper care and maintenance of your swim trunks can help to prevent chafing and prolong their lifespan. Follow these tips to keep your swim trunks in pristine condition.

Washing Guidelines

  • Pre-rinse: After a swim, always rinse off your swim trunks in freshwater. This helps remove any residues like chlorine, salt, or sunscreen.
  • Cold wash: When it’s time for a proper wash, opt for a cold water cycle with mild detergent. This will help protect the fabric and maintain its color.
  • Avoid cotton: Cotton swim trunks or those with cotton linings are more likely to cause chafing. Opt for a polyester or other quick-dry material instead.
  • Skip the dryer: High heat can damage the construction and integrity of your swim trunks. Instead, hang them up to air dry, avoiding direct sunlight which can fade colors and deteriorate the material.

When to Replace Old Swim Trunks

  • Check for wear: Inspect your swim trunks for obvious signs of wear, such as fraying or fading. High-quality swim trunks may last longer, but they still need to be replaced over time.
  • Chafing is persistent: If chafing continues despite proper care, consider replacing your swim trunks with a newer model designed to reduce chafing.
  • Elasticity loss: Swim trunks that have lost their elasticity won’t fit properly, increasing the potential for chafing. If your trunks are starting to sag or feel loose, it’s time for a new pair.

Additional Steps to Prevent Chafing

Wear Protective Undergarments

To prevent chafing, consider investing in underwear specially designed for swimming or athletic pursuits. Wearing the built-in underwear or mesh lining in swim trunks can provide an extra layer of protection between your skin and the swimwear:

  • Look for swim trunks with a mesh lining for added comfort and support.
  • Choose quick-drying fabrics to reduce the risk of irritation caused by dampness.
  • Opt for seamless designs to minimize friction and rubbing.

Additionally, there are anti-chafe swimwear options available on the market that can help reduce the risk of skin irritation.

Apply Lotions and Balms

When it comes to skincare products that can help prevent chafing, you have several options:

  • Apply lotions and balms that are specifically designed to protect your skin from chafing and irritation. Some products create a barrier to reduce friction between your legs and your swim trunks.
  • Use sunscreen with a lotion-based formula, as these thicker creams and butters can provide added protection against chafing. Sun-damaged skin is also more sensitive and susceptible to chafing, so prevention can go a long way in keeping you comfortable.
  • Consider using a water-resistant anti-chafe salve to protect your skin from irritation caused by constant exposure to water and other elements.

Treating Chafed Skin

If you already have chafed skin, then you should let it heal before returning to your routine activities.

Chafed skin only takes one to two days to heal as long as it is treated immediately. If you leave chafed skin unattended or continue to participate in activities that exacerbate it, the chafed area can take longer to heal or become worse over time.

The first step to treating chafed skin is to cleanse the area with a gentle body wash and lukewarm water. Pat the skin dry, and let the chafed area air out for a few minutes before applying one of the following home remedies: petroleum jelly, coconut oil, aloe vera gel or cream, or zinc oxide ointment. 

You can also use over-the-counter creams or ointments that contain hydrocortisone or other anti-inflammatory agents. If the chafed area is painful, swollen, bleeding, or crusted, you should seek medical attention.