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Possibly NSFW? Chafing!

Okay, well, I’m going to just put this out there.

I’ve actually had this topic on my mind for a little while now, but never could quite articulate it.

Maybe it’s also something you struggle with?

Here’s the short version: in the summer, whenever I shave above my knees, the next time I ride (no matter when), I get horrible chafing and skin breakouts.

exhibit A: thighs my peasant ancestors would be proud of; I mostly am too, because they let me do all sorts of things, but fuck do they also get in the way

The longer version: I mostly avoid shaving above my knees! I have spent my whole life sucking at conventional displays of femininity, why attempt it now? I don’t like to wear shorts anyway (I spend the summer in capris or jeans or long skirts), I don’t even own a bathing suit anymore, so I just…don’t.

But then sometimes I do. Because I want to wear something shorter, or think about buying a bathing suit. And WITHOUT FAIL, even if I have the sharpest razor, the most careful preparation, the best after-care, even if I follow every internet tip I can find, within 2-3 days, basically, the next time I ride, I get horrible, HORRIBLE chafing misery. The skin breaks out, it gets irritated, I am alternately in pain and unbelievably itchy, I regret every choice that led me to that moment.

It’s some combination of even the mild irritation of my skin + my substantial weightlifting/riding thighs + the snugness of breeches and my seat in the saddle + summertime sweat and funk. Sometimes the inside of my knees also gets it, but rarely as badly, and I just deal with it. (They are almost always patchy red and irritated, sometimes a little hive-y/bumpy from extra irritation, but only rarely as bad as my thighs.)

It can happen in the winter, but it doesn’t generally, and also, I care much less about shaving carefully in the winter because I wear three to five layers at all times. There’s also less sweat, and my winter breeches are usually fleece-lined and/or less snug. Etc.

I’m just sick of it. Obviously I’m not going to just stop riding, but I’d like to think about wearing shorter shorts, or a bathing suit, without feeling exhausted and miserable and even more like I totally suck at being a girl. (Which I already know I do, but I don’t like having it so obviously rubbed in, y’know?)

Does anyone else struggle with it? Have you figured it out, or have you just given up, or am I alone in my weird body stuff?

3 thoughts on “Possibly NSFW? Chafing!

  1. Not exactly the same, but I have a summer issue where I get chafing and for a while it turned into angry red bumps that existed almost year round. The main thing I changed was that I went to a dermatologist and got a prescription lotion that has helped immensely – I’m not at home or I would include what it is. Secondly, I only wear tech fabric breeches when it’s really hot and sweaty weather. I realized my TS breeches were also part of the issue in hot weather.
    I do get burning after I shave my legs and used to get lots of red bumps which I thought were razor burn but are actually an overproduction of skin cells that becomes even worse after shaving. The prescription lotion helps with this as well, although I’m not a frequent shaver anyways.
    Basically, it is probably worth a visit to a dermatologist!

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  2. I chafe only in winter when I do no stirrups. Look up products long distance runner’s use, there are all sorts of lotions and powders. Since yours has to do with shaving though you might need a product that will alleviate the skin/pores, anything that could help with razor burn and ingrown hairs.

    Like

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