Prevention and Treatment of Chafing at Camp

A discussion of the prevention of treatment and chafing at camp is important because of the amount of time spent swimming.

With all of the first aid information in the various Cub Scout and Scouts BSA handbooks, I never come across much information about the one problem we see most frequently at summer camp. I am, of course, talking about the prevention and treatment of chafing at camp.

Here in the hot, humid Midwest, most leaders know that when they see a boy walking around camp with a funny gait, that a chafing problem has developed. Many young men are uncomfortable discussing the problem with a leader, so I always recommend that parents discuss prevention and treatment with their sons before they go to camp.

Prevention and Treatment of Chafing at Camp

Causes of Chafing

Clothes which don’t fit correctly rub against your skin.

Dampness due to sweating or damp clothing exacerbates the problem.

Prevention of Chafing

Don’t spend the entire day in a damp swimsuit.

Change to dry clothes when the aquatics activities are over.

Wear some properly fitted boxer briefs.

Treatment of Chafing

Apply cornstarch or baby powder to the affected areas. Gold Bond works well.

There are also commercial products which come in a stick form which can be applied.

A thin layer of petroleum jelly applied to the effected area can also help.

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13 responses to “Prevention and Treatment of Chafing at Camp”

  1. Marie Avatar

    Since chaffing or gaulding is actually a fungus, one of the best preventives and treatments is washing the area really well with an anti-bacterial soap such as Dial.

  2. D Baker Avatar
    D Baker

    Gold bond powder also works very well.

  3. Irene Avatar

    Dry clothes and powder are good preventive measures. Vaseline Intensive care is a great overnight remedy.

  4. j webelo Avatar
    j webelo

    What i figured out work well is Boudreaux’s Butt Paste it is a diaper rash cream and works great. Put it on thick and it will ease the pain and heal fast

  5. nnobles Avatar

    If using Gold Bond make sure it is NOT the foot powder it will course an uncomfortable burning sensation.

    Desitin or Boudreaux’s Butt Paste are great but I would put it in a small “to go” container so that the scout doesn’t get made fun of and so that if it is lost it is no big deal.

    We keep both baby powder and Desitin in our pack first aid kit. It is one of the most used things in the kit.

  6. Dee Schartiger Avatar
    Dee Schartiger

    We found a great powder that works wonders – it is called Monkey Butt Powder -sold here in Walmart, Our Camp medic has some in the med lodge to use!

  7. lela Hayward Avatar
    lela Hayward

    When I was a girl back in Kansas, my mother would put a piece of alum in the men’s pocket to keep them dry and safe from gaulding. Does anyone have information on this subject???

    1. cathy Avatar

      yes it does work

    2. Tammy Avatar

      i just read that u can actually put it on the infected area too and it works

    3. Veronica Avatar

      My dad would carry alum stones in his pockets to prevent chaffing and it worked for him. It draws the moisture away from the sweaty areas

  8. Lou Avatar

    I took several Webelos to camp one summer and they all had chafing. Our camp medic gave me Benedryl for them and it worked. I asked about the drowsiness and the medic said they are so busy they won’t even notice it and it worked within 30 minutes.

  9. Ellen Avatar

    As an overweight person, I found that a roll-on antiperspirant applied to the probable affected area (usually the thighs) prevents chafing altogether. And almost everyone has antiperspirant in their backpacks. Try it!

  10. Fati Avatar

    My son is extremely active so Body Glide is our go-to product. Works great and available at Wal-mart and Target.

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