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Posted: March 18, 2005
Science of Sport: "Ask Owen" Weekly Feature
Visitors are invited to submit training questions for exercise physiologist Owen Anderson, Ph. D. to answer in a weekly column.
Owen currently writes a weekly column for the Runner's Web.
Questions can be emailed to: Ask Owen.
Each week, Owen will pick the most interesting question(s) and publish his answer(s) on the Runner's Web.
Hello. I have a question that may not have been asked before. It is not for myself but my girlfriend. We have been training for some time, and every time we run for longer distances she experiences some chafing of her feminine parts. She would rather not ask anyone about it but if I can find the solution we will both be grateful. It is not a problem of being overweight (5'8" 125 pounds), just that she is built that way. Honestly as a guy I am surprised that this isn't more of a problem!
If you do answer this question, could you drop me an email?
Anecdotally, this problem is linked with the wearing of "granny panties", which tend to "ride up" during running and rub against body parts. One possible solution may simply be to wear the kind of running shorts which have the "hang-down" panties inside them which do not press tightly against the body.
It is tempting to recommend a cream of some sort to prevent the chafing, but - again anecdotally - creams do not seem to work very well. The water-based creams and lubricants simply run off the body as a runner sweats, and thus their potential protective quality is lost. Oil-based creams and lubricants present a different problem: They can prevent normal movement of fluid, clog pores and glands, and possibly even increase the risk of infection.
If wearing a different undergarment does not help, I would strongly recommend a consultation with a family care physician or gynecologist - to rule out the possibility of an underlying inflammation of some sort.
Very kindest regards,
Owen Anderson, Ph. D.
About Owen Anderson
Running Research News is a monthly newsletter which keeps sports-active people up-to-date on the latest information about training, sports nutrition, and sports medicine. RRN publishes practical, timely new material which improves workouts, prevents injuries, and heightens overall fitness.
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