Ouch. And as Palm points out, excessive sweat is only a catalyst for this because it has a high salinity (in other words: it’s salty). “Longterm presence of sweat creates an environment that can increase bacterial colonization, causing irritation, odor, or worse on the skin,” she says.You might consider chafing to be a short-term problem that solves itself after a day or so, but if your thighs get chafed constantly, you can cause damage to your skin barrier, which could make you even more prone to chafing in the future. Connecticut-based board-certified dermatologist Mona Gohara explains it better. “When the barrier is disrupted, we have no protection and the skin responds with a chafing mutiny,” she says. “Think of how a heel on shoes warps from friction against the ground; it is the exact same concept.”That said, proper treatment of chafing is actually pretty important — and thankfully pretty easy, too. First thing’s first — if you get home from a day out and you’re really chafed and sweaty, take a shower. “Use a gentle cleanser,” Gohara advises. “Do not scrub; that makes things worse.”After that, Gohara, Marchbien, and Palm all agree that zinc-based topical barriers or petroleum jellies are best for treating chafing on the milder side. Gohara recommends Vaseline or Balmex, while Palm recommends Desitin, Smith & Nephew Secura Protective Ointment, and Medline Remedy Inzo Skin Protectant Cream. “These are greasier and best used at night, paired with some airy, light PJs,” Gohara says.Once you’ve treated the area with a topical, the best thing you can do is wait it out. “Mild redness or chafing requires rest, pure and simple,” Palm says. “Chafing and irritation are coming from that repeated rubbing activity, so it must be put to a stop.” She recommends wearing cotton-based clothing rather than synthetic fabrics while you do so.If your chafing is severe or you notice your chafed skin is a little different than usual, you should contact a doctor. “If [your thighs are] red, painful, swollen, or have pus bumps, contact a physician immediately because a skin infection or cellulitis — infection of the soft tissues — could be occurring,” Palm explains. In that cause, you’ll need a doctor to prescribe antibiotics ASAP.Otherwise, be sure to invest in chafe-soothing products and keep them in your go-to bags or anywhere super visible so you never forget to apply them. Palm’s favorite one is Chamois Butt’r and Marchbien recommends Vaseline All-Over Body Balm Jelly Stick. Your thighs can remain chafe-free, and you can finally go back to enjoying the summer without the painful distraction.More on summer skin issues:Now, see how eye makeup has evolved within the past 100 years:Don’t forget to follow Allure on Instagram and Twitter.