Therefore, treatment is directed at reducing the level of skin bacteria and preventing pore blockage. According to this theory, increased saddle pressure (which often arises through increased miles) prevents small blood vessels from bringing blood to the skin and the skin gets less nutrients.
This causes a breakdown in the skin’s defenses, pore irritation, and blockage. Saddle sores are also more common after long easy rides: when riders do not push down hard on the pedals, they sit heavier on the saddle.
Riders who always get saddle sores on the same cheek may find that their leg on that side is shorter. This is pain in the area of the pelvic bones that bear your weight on the bicycle seat.
Pain in this area occasionally progresses to bursitis, tuberosities, or ulceration. It occurs because of friction caused by the repeated rubbing of the inside of the thigh during the up and down motion of the pedal stroke.
Many cyclists note that the inside of their shorts pill and wear with friction. Many seats, positions, and riding styles expose these tissues to pressure, jarring, friction, and shearing.
Chafing near the urethra can cause urinary tract symptoms and infection. Skin that is missing its topmost surface layers and denuded is ulcerated.
Active hemorrhoids external to the sphincter of the anus may contain blood clots and be painful. Although generally not thought to be caused by cycling, sitting on a saddle may increase discomfort or irritation.
Warmth and moisture Hygiene and irritants Allergies Yeast overgrowth Vaginal infections Medical problems, including dermatitis Avoid traveling to races or rides in your car already wearing your bike shorts.
Change out of moist or wet bicycling shorts as soon as possible after riding. Since this area always has some bacteria, and since irritated skin is prone to worsen and become infected, overzealous wiping must be avoided.
Avoid wiping affected areas with rough toilet tissue. Some riders use perfumed or chemically treated products such as sprays, sanitary napkins, or lubricating oils to which they may be allergic.
Yeast overgrowth is commonly called jock itch or crotch rot. Over-the-counter antifungal creams and powders may help reduce yeast overgrowth.
The extra moisture related to a vaginal infection may worsen bronchitis. Treating the cause of the underlying vaginal discharge may help improve bronchitis.
In turn, crotch irritation can also promote or exacerbate herpes outbreaks in people who harbor the virus. Infected or otherwise blocked sweat or other glands may develop into bronchitis if friction worsens these conditions.
Riders with skin conditions such as psoriasis or other eczema may have flare-ups in this area related to friction and other general factors listed above. Occasionally other medical problems such as lactose intolerance or pin worms are the cause.
Some general measures will help almost all causes of saddle soreness. A more comfortable ride reduces the causes of most saddle soreness.
Even without specific saddle soreness problems, the hints below provide a more enjoyable ride. Relaxed, shallow touring seat-tube angles are more comfortable than those of steep-angled time trial bikes.
The trend of modern wheels to be radially laced may marginally reduce wind resistance. Binding the saddle directly above the seat post is not as comfortable as the traditional offset clamp.
It may take a few tries to find a saddle shape that fits your anatomy. A cutout center section may reduce or eliminate pressure and irritation on the centerline of the crotch.
Friction can be minimized by using an emollient skin preparation, such as Vaseline, or an anti-yeast cream. A seat cover or pad fitted over your saddle, or two pairs of cycling shorts may reduce friction and shearing forces and function in the same way as a sock in a shoe.
However, if bronchitis is related to warmth and moisture, Vaseline or doubling up on your shorts may make things worse. Most bicycles are sized for men, making the top tube stem length too long for most women even if the frame fits otherwise.
A minority of women prefer a nose-up position so that the saddle presses more on the pubic bone and less on the soft tissues around the vagina. This allows moving air to cool and dry your crotch while you relieve pressure.
Modern synthetics wick away moisture and are softer on the skin than traditional leather chamois. Hot-water soaks increase blood circulation to the crotch, allowing faster recuperation.
Soiled shorts not only have more bacteria, they do not breathe as well as freshly laundered ones. Avoid cycling shorts that are pilled or with seams in areas that either rub the inside thigh or upon which pressure is placed.
A couple of years ago when I had some bad saddle sores, I modified my routine. Soak in a comfortably hot bathtub three times a day for 15 minutes.
Leave some tack so that it will still stick, but not so much that it pulls your skin and hair off when you remove it later. The extra padding of a second pair of shorts worn over the first may help reduce jarring or friction related saddle sores.
Rear-end suspension or beamed seat tubes reduce saddle pressure. Avoid pore-blocking emollients, such as Vaseline and Bag Balm in the gland-rich areas of the scrotum or vulva.
Topical cortisone, antifungal and antibacterial creams may occasionally help. If the area around the sore is infected, it may require surgical drainage or antibiotics.
Uninfected sores that remain as painful, swollen, hard lumps can occasionally be treated with a cortisone injection. Even when you ride with the best, most comfortable chamois, your nether regions are continuously subject to heat, moisture, chafing and pressure.
Fortunately, when saddles sores do occur, there are some simple ways to treat them and avoid a recurrence. Diagnose The term saddle sore” can refer to several specific conditions, but generally it means problems occurring in the area where your cycling shorts’ chamois contacts your body due to ongoing pressure or chafing from your saddle.
For most people, a saddle sore looks like a pimple or an ingrown hair, and essentially, it is the same thing: a bacteria-filled pore. In sensitive areas like in or on the back of your thighs or in your crotch, saddle sores can really hurt, making riding downright unpleasant.
Treat Once you get saddle sore, the best thing to do is to take a day or two off the bike to give delicate skin some time to heal without being subjected to more friction and sweat. A day or two off is usually enough time to calm down the inflamed area, but to further speed the healing process, you can take a cool bath with Epsom salts.
First, if your saddle sores keep coming back, you might want to talk to a dermatologist to see if your sensitive skin has an underlying problem. Secondly, consult your doc if your saddle sore lasts for more than two weeks or is excruciatingly painful.
Signs of infection include serious pain, pus, a fever, and chills; those symptoms might mean it's time for antibiotics. Then wash your shorts with the chamois inside out to get the pad spotless and completely dry between uses.
But know that using a cream can trap bacteria; that means you need to be even more vigilant about dropping your pants and cleaning up immediately after your ride. This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses.