Summer Chub Rub Is Ruining My Summer & I Can’t Stand It

Chub rub is a year-round occurrence, but it’s never worse than in summer and frankly, it’s getting me down. There are so many things I can’t do or have to really plan around because of chafing that it’s destroying my carefree summer vibe.

I have chubby thighs but skinny girls can be affected too. It’s a common misconception that chub rub only affects chubby girls but even the leanest of my girlfriends suffer from it from time to time too. If even the slightest bit of your thighs touch together, you could find yourself tearing your hair out over the pain and annoyance of this wretched affliction. My tree trunk thighs even suffer sometimes in winter but the high temperatures of summer and the sweat and friction it creates is enough to make me feel bad about my body on a daily basis.

Once your thighs are ripped to shreds, you’re screwed. In this sweaty case, prevention isn’t just better than cure, it’s a necessity. If you’ve ever had serious chub rub, you’ll know that it can be as mild as a rash or as bad as inner thigh bleeding. It takes days and days to heal and in between, you’ll be expected to live your life as normal. The pain for me is unbearable and a physical barrier between my thighs is the only way I can actually walk around once they’ve been damaged.

There are preventative measures, but none are really that great. From tight cycling shorts or lacy garters to a swipe of deodorant or chub rub-dedicated creams, there are a number of products on the market that claim to prevent your thighs from tearing one another to shreds. I’ve used them all. I’ve worn cycling shorts under my dresses and ripped through the seams. I’ve had silicon-backed thigh garters twist and slip down in public and I’ve swiped all sorts of gels and creams over my skin only to find it’s worn off after 30 minutes. Come on, science—you can give me a jab to prevent getting polio but you can’t find a way to stop my thighs kissing?! Step up, I have real problems here!

I’m really embarrassed by it even though I know it’s really common. I’m terrified someone will catch a glimpse of my physical barriers or wonder why I panic when there isn’t a bathroom close by (obviously I need somewhere to reapply creams in private). Even though I know some of my skinny friends get chub rub too, I still imagine some others would recoil in horror at the thought of this issue literally dominating my life. It’s something I have to constantly think about and stay on top of in the hot months and it’s basically the bane of my existence.

I feel too fat for shorts, so skirts are really my only option. Shorts would be ideal, really, but I’m too self-conscious in them. Every pair I try on makes my butt look even bigger than it is and my legs look like chunky sausages, so I’m just not confident wearing them. That means I have to resort to dresses and skirts when it’s really too hot for leggings or jeans.

Packing for a beach day makes me feel like an invalid. There’s nothing I love more than throwing myself into the sea on a hot day, but it’s a pity my body doesn’t share my aquatic tendencies. Last summer, I took a day trip to the beach and I packed everything I could possibly think of that my thighs might need. I wore a maxi dress over my swimsuit and I applied my topical cream religiously. I was determined not to let my stupid thighs ruin my day. It was all going so well until I decided it was time for a swim. I pulled off my dress and ran into the water like I didn’t have a care in the world. Of course, the water was freezing and my thighs were stinging from the high salt content. My legs weren’t cut or anything but the slight friction I had was enough for the water to really burn. I had to get out. It ruined everything.

I’ve been caught out before and suffered for days afterward. Another time, I was just walking to the shop around the corner. My lacy garters started to slip under my skirt and I casually tried to pull them up without drawing attention to myself. Of course, I made it worse and they ended up twisting and rolling up at the edges. There was no way to fix them without fully pulling up my skirt in the street so I had to continue my journey walking like John Wayne, the silicon backing making my legs stick together even more painfully. By the time I got back, my thighs were a literal bloody mess.

I’m often teased for wearing inappropriate clothes. Some days I simply don’t have the energy or motivation to worry about my chub rub and I just put on leggings and a long tunic. I might be a little warm but it’s worth it to not feel that burning pain. But that means I get a lot of comments about how I should be wearing summer clothes and questions about why I didn’t wear something more appropriate. It’s just embarrassing.

I’m now dreading my summer vacation. My vacation is rapidly approaching and I’m actually dreading it. I just know my thigh problems are going to dominate my mood and make me long for the winter months when wearing pants is comfortable and normal again. FML.

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