Yikes, if you've landed on this page, it's clear you're not having a great time with your Sports Bra. But don't worry - you're in good hands from here.
Hi, I'm Tish, the co-founder and director of Australia's only specialty Sports Bra store. I have fitted over 10,000 women in to technical Sports Bras, trust me when I say I know a lot about chafing.
I have personally experienced chafing myself, but really it's the 10,000 case studies of active women seeking better bras that I have seen that has cemented my experience in this.
How to treat Sports Bra chafing?
Once chafing has set in, one of the toughest undertakings is to get rid of it so you can get back out there comfortably. Ultimately we need to let the skin heal, at least to some extent. This can either be done by rest (yes, that means not running for a wee bit) or via using protective padding, just until the rawness is gone. You can expect to see ‘scars’ for weeks or maybe months to come.
For protective taping we suggest you do the following:
- Apply vasoline/petroleum jelly to area liberally. Ensure this is contained well under the padding in step 2.
- Apply layer of padding eg gauze or a makeup remover pad
- Apply a layer of fixomull/hypafix/omnifix tape. It’s very important you use this sort of hypo-allergienic tape, not a regular sports tape. This soft white stretchy tape is widely known to be a great anti-friction tape in its own right. But most importantly it will not damage delicate skin.
Really when it comes to chafing, we know in almost all cases it will go away if the cause is determined. That’s when the detail below becomes more important to you then what I have written above.
How to stop Sports Bra chafing?
Chafing is friction. Friction is caused by rubbing. So one of the biggest factors that will contribute to your bra chafing is the fit of the bra.
You need to ensure that your bra is fitting firmly in order to eliminate the ability of it to move against your skin.
If you are getting sports bra chafing near your underwire, then ensure that the underwire is sitting flat against your sternum and ribcage. If it is sitting against breast tissue then the likelihood of chaffing occurring is high. Because breast tissue will move during activity, even in a supportive bra, you absolutely cannot have the underwire pressing on breast tissue.
If you are experiencing chafing under your breasts along the ribcage, ensure that the ribcage band is firm enough. Tighten it as much as you can comfortably. If this doesn’t do the trick then you need to see an experienced bra fitter to check your fit and the suitability of your bra.
If you are experiencing chafing near the hook and eye clasp, ensure the ribcage band is as firm as you can comfortably tolerate it so that this area doesn’t rub against your skin. Ladies often believe it is the hook/eye fastening causing chafing, but in actual fact this is going to help to prevent it. It ensures that you can tighten a stretched out bra to prevent it rubbing once loosened. A hook/eye clasp is a non-negotiable feature in a bra to prevent chafing.
How to prevent Sports Bra chafing?
The best prevention for Sports Bra chafing is getting a well fitted activity appropriate technical sports bra.
You’ll need to avoid sports crops that can’t be adjusted and that loosen quickly.
Choosing styles with soft, but sturdy fabrics is key. Bras will abrasive fabrics and lots of seams in places that have chafed in the past must be avoided. Bras that feel like they have a lot of stretch will almost always stretch quickly, leading to the dreaded "bra burn" aka chafing.
Body glide or other anti friction ointments are also useful for reducing chaffing, but they won't prevent the issue if something major is at play. Though it certainly is a great adjunct to getting the bra fitted properly.
Some other tips about buying bras if you’ve been chafing
Try two different styles - not only will this double your odds of finding a winner, but it will give you and your experienced bra fitter very useful information about what will work best for you if one style works and the other doesn’t. This can only really be determined in a well fitted bra, so your past sports bra history won’t always give us the clues we’re looking for.
A note about chronic chafers
Like any issue in life the causes of chafing can be multifactorial. It’s not ‘just’ the sports bra design or fit that may contribute to your chafing. For some ladies other factors like the sheer distance you run, environmental conditions, other running garments and the moisture content in your skin can be bigger contributing factors to causing chafing. We see about 2% of cases that we just can’t fix with a bra alone.
Good luck out there! Don't forget to get in touch with any questions. We're here to help.