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Saddle Sores: What Causes Them and How to Treat Them

bicycle saddle

Our Knowledgeable Bicycle Accident Attorney Provides Tips

Saddle sores can occur even if you have a perfect bike fit and saddle, particularly if you ride for extended miles in hot weather. Your shorts and bike saddle, when combined with the crystals from dried sweat, can feel like sandpaper on your bottom as you pedal. The situation gets even worse if it is raining, because wet skin is even more vulnerable to chafing.

Most of the times, you do not realize that you are actually chafing yourself raw till you get off your bike and decide to take a shower. At times, saddle sores seem to appear out of the blue; you might observe a bit of skin irritation, and soon bacteria take over leaving you with inflamed hair follicles. If not treated, they could develop into infected boils, which can be very painful.

How can saddle pores be treated?

As soon as you notice a saddle sore, the best action to take is to stay off your bike for a day or two to give your skin a bit of time to heal without subjecting your infection to more sweat and friction. However, if you really have to ride, use a different bicycle with a different saddle to shift the pressure points.

A day or two is enough to alleviate the inflamed region, but if you want to speed up the healing process even faster, take a cool bath using Epsom salts. Additionally, allow your skin to breathe as much as possible; whether this means putting on a kilt or skirt or even sleeping in the buff. Lastly, if your skin has been broken, try applying warm compress or an appropriate ointment.

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Saddle sores are somewhat easy to treat, but if they keep on recurring, you might have a problem. Take time to reflect on what is happening: is your saddle really comfortable? Have you just recently gotten a bike fit? Are your favorite shorts worn out? You might want to try out a new saddle or adjust the height of your seat before finally visiting a doctor. There are three main reasons to check in with a doctor:

  1. If your saddle sores are recurring,
  2. If your saddle sores last for more than two weeks or are extremely painful, and/or
  3. If your saddle sores get infected. Common signs of infection include excruciating pain, fever, chills, and pus.

Prevention of saddle sores

Why go through the pain when you can prevent it? The best and most effective way of dealing with saddle sores is preventing them from developing in the first place.

Keep your chamois region clean and dry. Once your ride is over, take off those cycling shorts and clean up. Give the chamois region a bit of time to air out, or just ensure that the underwear you put on is dry. In addition, wash your cycling shorts with the chamois inside out and ensure that the pad is super clean and dry before use.

If chafing is something you experience during rides, try out a friction-fighting cream. Just remember to clean your shorts immediately after your ride to prevent any bacteria from getting trapped by the cream.

Lastly, frequently change up your riding position. Slide around the saddle to sit on different parts or even stand up once in a while. This will significantly decrease the amount of pressure applied on one particular spot.

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Above all, nothing is more important than keeping safe on the roads. However, no matter how cautious you are while cycling, accidents could still happen. A distracted driver might unexpectedly run into you! If you sustain injuries from a bicycle accident caused by a careless driver, contact a bicycle accident attorney as soon as you can. You will definitely need legal representation if you intend to file a personal injury claim and there’s no one better to represent you than a skilled bicycle accident attorney. Your bicycle accident attorney will look into your claim and present a strong case on your behalf. Contact our office for free consultation.

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