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Question
Posted by: Mountainbiking Joe | 2004/11/03

Saddle Sores from Cycling

Hi,

I need help!

I ride approximately 60km's per day on my mountainbike during weekdays, and approximately 130km's over weekends. Recently I've been having problems with saddle sores . It seems like ingrown hairs becoming hard and infected sores. This is extremely painfull.

I need PRACTICAL advice on how to treat them.

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Our expert says:
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hi Joe

The term saddle sores is often used to describe one of three things, Chafing, boils or ingrown hairs. Chafing is caused by the constant rubbing against the saddle caused from the normal cycling motion can cause chafing of the groin and inner thighs. This is why you want to buy as thin a saddle as will support you (by the ischial tuberosities - your "sit bones") and why cyclists usually wear good quality, skin tight cycling shorts.

Boils and "in-grown hairs" are often slightly more of a problem. You have said that your problem is both. Both of these are from bacterial infections. "In-grown hairs," or folliculitis, is not such a problem, occurs frequently where you have a lot of rubbing and a lot of hair in tight clothing, and it also tends to heal on its own without causing pain. This makes me think that perhaps your main problem is the boils. On the other hand, boils, or furuncle, which look a lot like acne are from bacterial infections, and can become large, hard, and really, really hurt! You really don't want to get a boil in the wrong place, or your bike won't seem so friendly to you anymore, as you have discovered! Because the boils are caused by bacterial infections, the best thing you can do is ask your doctor about preventative treatment with anti-bacterial ointments. The important lesson here is to always wear clean shorts, and to get out of your cycling clothes as soon as you can after a ride. But the antibacterial ointments are a good bet to get rid of it right away.

Good luck

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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