by A Y Marian.




Chafing is another name for irritation and abrasion of the upper layers of skin that is caused by repeated rubbing. It most frequently occurs in the groin, under the arms, around the nipples and other areas that are close together. The best way to treat the condition is to prevent it. Try to keep areas prone to constant rubbing dry by using corn starch or talcum powder. Wear loose clothing that is airy and comfortable to allow good air flow. Cotton is also absorbent.


Skin that is broken can get raw and sore if not treated. The affected areas may sting or burn and the skin will appear reddened.


Skin can become red and sore by rubbing against rough or tight clothing or skin rubbing against skin. Moisture from sweat makes the condition worse.


If you are doing all you can to prevent it and it occurs anyway, see your doctor to check for a fungal infection. Fungal infections can cause similar symptoms. Treat the fungus before it gets worse. Skin problems may persist even after you are finished with the treatment.

Herbal Treatments

Internal Applications

  • Echinacea – this herb is antibacterial and anti-fungal. Take according to label instructions to prevent infection beginning on chafed areas.

External Applications

  • Calendula – the oil from this herb is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-fungal. It heals skin irritation quickly. Calendula infusion can be made to bathe the chafed area.
  • Comfrey – applying comfrey oil or salve works well to relieve the pain and irritation. Comfrey heals the skin quickly and completely.
  • Aloe vera – apply aloe vera gel liberally on the affected area and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  • Manuka – the oil and the honey from this herb are anti-fungal and antibacterial. It penetrates the skin and can be helpful in controlling similar problems.
  • Plantain – when this herb is added to a salve or oil, it is soothing and heals skin irritations quickly. It also blends well with calendula, comfrey and chickweed for healing the skin.
  • Chickweed – this soothing little herb can be added to an herbal salve that is helpful in healing chafing, scrapes and other minor skin irritations.
  • Oats – adding finely ground oatmeal to the bath is a great way to soothe irritated skin. It is always a good method to relieve stinging and burning of the skin.
  • Arnica – the herb can be used as a cream to treat abrasions. It is quick relief for swelling and discomfort.
  • Lemon balm – this herb can be applied as a wash to chafed areas to relieve the heat and sting. To make the wash, add the herb to boiling water and let it steep for 10 to 15 minutes. Let it cool before applying with a clean cloth.
  • Evening Primrose Oil – this oil is very nourishing for the skin and can treat the condition by restoring overall skin health. Apply as needed for relief.
  • Ground Ivy – made into an oil or ointment, ground ivy can help with inflammation caused by chafing of the skin. Apply the ointment or oil as needed.


You can use essential oils from chamomile, frankincense (boswellia), and lavender in a bath or massage either individually or in combination by adding a few drops to carrier oil.

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