Cycling - Knowledge

Saddle Sore Remedies: Bid Adieu to Painful Saddle Sores

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Saddle sores are undesirable results of a rise in body temperature resulting in sweat which is aggravated by friction and affects the groin region of a human being, especially a cyclist. They often spread over the thigh area and cause much trouble, not only while cycling but also during making regular movements in our daily life. If you are a cyclist, you must be aware as to what it is, however, others too would form a fair idea if we define chafe; chafe is a skin irritation that is mostly caused due to intensive friction on the skin as is often aggravated by sweat and heat. Saddle sores and chamois rash are a form of skin chafing that result in butt rash. They are often associated with saddle sore abscess and cyst on the butt and may refuse to heal and go away as fast one would desire. It is mostly caused due to prolonged cycling when the groin area is a constant friction with the saddle of the cycle. And yes, there are saddle sore remedies, especially home remedies, which can bring a big relief to you.

As saddles vary from cycle to cycle, so does the ailment; this is because the infection is caused in the regions which come in contact with the surface of the saddle. Cycling saddle sores boil affect both males and females; however, if you know how to treat chafing and how to treat a rash and rash remedies, then getting relief very fast is feasible. We provide you with a profound knowledge of what to put on a rash and the various home remedies for rashes as well. They not only affect our fitness routine but also affect our peace of mind as the constant burning and itching take a toll on our composure. Besides, our regular routine also gets affected; it is not always possible to take a leave from work or school every now and then. Besides, excusing yourself from a meeting or a class to visit the loo to powder or apply the cream on your buttocks repeatedly is embarrassing. Let us go through the following information about saddle sore remedies to save ourselves from the disgust of saddle sores.

Causes for Saddle sores and Chamois Rash

Saddle sores and chamois rash affect us along the stretch of skin in the perineum area. The perineum is the bridge between your anal region and the genitals. This region is extremely sensitive and is one of the chief hot spots to get butt rash and saddle sores. While cycling, most of the body weight is felt here and as a result is very prone to such a skin irritation. Saddle sore remedies may be implemented at home to prevent such situation.

Before moving to the section about how to treat saddle sores, we must get complete knowledge about how they are caused; to avoid recurrence of such a nuisance, it is imperative that we nip it in the bud. We, who are in love with cycling, have at some time or the other have experience such an annoying and disgusting side effect of the sport. And, so that it does not come back to us again, we must go carefully through the following points.

  • Chafing in the inner thigh areas

Cyclists, especially women, are very prone to chafing in the inner thigh areas.  Due to continuous movement on the saddle, back and forth, the inner thighs get painful and itchy abrasions resulting in butt rashes, inner thigh chafing, skin abrasion.

  • Infections and inflammations like furuncles and folliculitis

Furuncles and folliculitis are inflammations or infection that grows at the root of the follicular regions of body hair. They are basically small painless boils which normally heals itself up by nature. However, its prolonged stay may aggravate the painless condition. They tend to grow big like cysts on the butt and refuse to go away easily. As a result, you may have to take a long break from your regular routine of cycling affecting your health regime.

  • Ulceration on the skin layers

The top layers of our skin cover can easily get ulcerated if the area surrounds it is extremely wet or even moist. Extremely humid weather, as well as perspiration, ulcerate your skin as bacteria growth get heavily aggravated and as a result, you are affected with butt rash, saddle sore abscess and cysts on the butt.

  • Swelling up of pores

People you suffer from enlargement of pores are vulnerable to such conditions as the pore absorbs too much of dirt causing an infection or inflammation in your buttocks, hampering your regular routine of cycling.

saddle sores causes
Painful causes of saddle sores (source)

Saddle Sore Remedies: End the Painful Sores

Let's now get into the easy home remedies that will ward away the pesky saddle sores and let you ride like a pro. 

1. Take a while off if you have the primary symptoms of itching

If you suspect the primary symptoms of itching around your groin and anal region, stop going for cycling immediately. Do not count chickens believing that they are within tolerable limits as you would really regret if they get aggravated. It is always better to take a day off or two to nip those butt rashes in the bud. Often, taking off for a while completely cures the initial stages of saddle sores and chamois rashes.

2. Going commando as often as possible

Ditch your panties and briefs as much as possible. Try to stay indoors and keep yourself well hydrated. As most of our underwears are made out of pure cotton, they absorb sweat and make the infection and inflammation more irritable. If you can stay indoors, wear comfortable shorts or skirts without underwear underneath to speed up the healing process.

3. Ditch your pair of jeans or tight trousers

Owing to our busy lifestyle, we may not afford to stay indoors even if we take a break from cycling for a while. If you have to go outdoors try to avoid wearing jeans or other apparels that would snugly remain in contact with the affected area. Instead, wear loose shorts or skirts outdoors.

4. Use naturally available antiseptics

Naturally available antiseptics like tea tree oil to keep it clean if redness or irritation begins. Tea tree oil, as well as Epsom salts, help to cool down the burning and itching sensation in the affected area brings instant relief.

home remedies for saddle sores
Epsom salts to cool off the saddle sores

5. Use handy products readily available at home

Handy products available at home too can be implemented to cure butt rashes at the primary stage. Swab and cover with tea tree and Vaseline in the affected areas for at least 3 times a day. Besides, apply ice to ease any swelling. But do not apply ice directly and instead, wrap it is a cheesecloth or a piece of muslin to give cold compress to the affected area.

home remedies for saddle sores
Magic of Tea tree oil and Vaseline (source)

6. Use drugstore and medical creams and powders

Drugstore and medical creams and powders act as effective saddle sore remedies and thus you may use it to cure saddle sores.  Begin with creams and ointments like: Noxema, Vagisil, Preparation H etc. You may also use Ichthammol Ointment, Benzoyl Peroxide & Salicylic Acid.  You may also use Triple Paste: a lanolin - based diaper rash ointment. Powders like the basic talcum powder, anti monkey butt, baby powder as well as Tegaderm and call in the Bag Balm may be used as well.

Ichthammol Ointment
Ichthammol Ointment

7. Use hot compress for relief

Hot compress has been proved fruitful in several cases as a home remedy. Hot compress bath or tub can be opted for as saddle sore remedies at home. Among the home remedies for rashes, hot compress with Epsom salts have worked wonders.

How to Avoid Saddle Sores and Chamois Rash

People who are fitness freaks would never compromise with their fitness routine; cyclists should go through the following points in order to avoid such a breach in your regular fitness routine. Our key motive is to avoid the following:

  • Saddle sores
  • Saddle sore cyst
  • Chamois rash
  • Butt rash
  • Thigh chaffing
  • Saddle sore boils 

Let us now go through the following points to avoid such embarrassing and disturbing skin conditions:

Choosing a Perfect Saddle for Yourself

Do not be befooled by the avant-garde styles of the newly launched saddles that are a fashion rave these days. According to professional cyclists, you must always opt for a saddle with a broad seating space and which is sturdy and heavy. These saddles, which are apparently not fashionable, are actually the perfect ones for prolonging cycling. The modern and minimalist cycle saddles are mostly too narrow and too light offering you discomfort as much as possible. As a result, these play a primary role in aggravating your chances of being affected by saddle sores and butt rash.

Being Aware of Your Position on the Saddle

Positioning is an important aspect to be taken care of when it comes to cycling. A proper position not only eliminates your chances of getting cycling saddle sore boils but also lessen the chances of getting backaches. Your bike must be your ideal match and that is why it is advisable that you consult your trainer before investing in one. Saddle height and side to side movement must be ideally customised for you to avoid any sort of discomfort. 

wrong cycle positioning
Wrong cycle positions can lead to back ache

Investing in a Proper Chamois

Investing in a good chamois is a must; it is as important as investing in a good saddle as it remains in direct contact with your skin. Chamois is basically the cushioned part of your cycle shorts aimed to provide you with comfort while cycling. Please try not to pay heed to fashion trends and buy the one that is ideally ‘the one’ for you. Again, do not opt for cheap fabrics to cut down on your budget as it may make you suffer for a long-term later. A lot of good and professional quality chamois is available in the market to choose from.

 chamois to prevent saddle sores
Invest in the best one (source)

Putting Chamois Cream into Use

Chamois cream is your swear buddy when it comes to cycling. This is because they not only keep saddle sores causing bacteria at bay but also lubricates the surface of your buttocks to avoid friction. A variety of chamois cream is available in the market as well as online, however, it is advisable that you consult a dermatologist before using one.

chamois cream
Chamois Cream

Stressing on Personal Hygiene and Cleanliness

Personal hygiene and cleanliness are as important in cycling as in the case of any other routine in our lives. It is not advisable to wear a pair of shorts that is dirty or a clean one for two long days at a stretch. Make sure to wash your cycling shorts properly with good quality detergent and rinse it with a fabric conditioner. Besides, you must always take a warm shower with an antiseptic soap after cycling every day and make sure to dry yourself up properly before you put on regular clothing.

Imbibing a Post – Cycling Ritual

Clean your saddle after every cycling ritual. This way you would be a step ahead in controlling saddle sore abscess beforehand. Ask your trainer about the proper way to clean your saddle without affecting its position.

Careful Trimming and Waxing in the Bikini Line

Trimming or waxing your bikini zone is a hygienic habit to prevent any moisture build-up or that of bacteria. However, if you are a cyclist, it would prove otherwise; shaving, trimming using of creams for depilatory purposes or waxing damage the outer layer of your skin and as a result, the affected skin becomes irritable and more prone to chaffing and butt rashes. Women report that they suffer from cycling saddle sores and cysts on butts far more than men. Pubic hair plays an important role to control sweat while exercising intensively.

Focus on Comfort

As mentioned earlier, following the fashion trend to look extremely impressive while cycling is actually extremely foolish. Comfort is the key to effortless cycling and infection free regime. Again, if you are experiencing discomfort rush either to your trainer or to your doctor and not your novice associate. Remember, he or she has as good as an experience as you. 

Being Well Hydrated

Hydration is the key to get alleviated from most of the ailments to some extent. As we tend to lose a lot of water while cycling through perspiration, it's imperative that you keep well hydrated always. Less of hydration dries up your skin making it more prone to abrasion. The area around the buttocks, especially along the region of the perineum is extremely sensitive and may dry up easily causing itching and discomfort. So, what are you thinking about? Wash your body inside out and get rid of the smallest possibility to be affected by saddle sores and chamois rash.

Wrapping Up

Butt rash is thus not just an irritation common with the newborn babies; they affect adults like us who are into the habit of cycling. Both professional and novice cyclists suffer from saddle sores and everyone wants to avoid it. Wear a clean pair of shorts every day and apply Vaseline if redness or irritation begins without delaying it further. Cycling saddle sore boils create a nuisance. Opting for saddle sore remedies at home is the most convenient and easy procedure to treat them. Keep chamois cream handy and apply chamois cream if the necessity arises. Remember to stay hydrated and follow the post-cycling routine every time you get off your bike and prepare to garage it. Emphasize on a very hygienic ritual of keeping clean and washing your cycling shorts every day; rather do not wear a dirty pair of shorts ever. Try curing your saddle sores and chamois rashes with the home remedies mentioned above. If you find that the irritation and burning are not giving in, even after a few days then you must at once visit a skin specialist or consult your trainer immediately and stop cycling for a while. 

However, you must not fear and stay back at home with your bike in the garage; saddle sores and chamois rashes are minor skin problems which can e easily cured under proper supervision. So, do not sit back and go for a happy ride on your bike everyday effortlessly.

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