Saddle sores include a range of skin conditions seen in the pelvic/genital region of cyclists. They occur as a result of moisture, pressure and friction where cyclist sits on the bike seat (saddle).
A saddle sore, much like a boil often begins as a tender, pinkish-red, swollen area that quickly develops to a pea like pimple on the buttock. As it develops it becomes itchy often with a feeling of heat. The discomfort, pain gets worse as it fills with pus/used cells. The discomfort lessens when the saddle sore/boil drains. The sore may drain on its own or it may need to be opened to drain. The saddle sore takes days to heal and after healing can leave a bruised skin mark at the site of occurrence. It is important to note, this site is vulnerable to recurrence.
Saddle sores are thought to develop due to friction and chafing of the skin over the buttocks, genital region and inner thigh. Essentially, the chafing, and damage of the skin allows bacteria (S. aureus) to penetrate through the epidermis skin layer. The body wants to contain and remove of the bacteria. The body isolates the bacterial resulting in redness and inflammation which is seen and felt as a saddle sore (boil).
āSport Pro™ is a medicinal skin treatment to protect the skin’s barrier function, reduce chafing in the genital area, and reduce dermal bacterial colonization. āSport Pro™ is formulated to reduce recurrence of saddle sore, to reduce saddle sore symptoms and facilitate skin repair. CLICK HERE to learn more about āSport Pro™ skin protectant.
In medicine, a prodrome is an early symptom that often indicates the start of a disease before specific symptoms occur. A saddle sore often has a prodrome affect, catching these early symptoms with āSport Pro™ medicinal treatment helps to diminish the capacity of saddle sore.
Tips to prevent development of skin issues in cyclists include wearing proper bike shorts that help keep the area dry, and reducing repetitive forces and friction between the skin and saddle surface. Shaving the area should be avoided as this irritates the hair follicles and can introduce skin bacteria into the follicles. Various synthetic pads within bike shorts, called chamois, can help reduce injury. Athletes should properly wash shorts between rides. Lubricants such as chamois cream (carried by most biking stores) or petroleum jelly products can also be used to help reduce friction. It is important to adequately clean the skin using soap and water after rides. A “bike fit” should be performed with focus on changing the type of saddle, adjusting the seat height and tilt, and proper handlebar position to help with reducing pressure in areas of concern. Sometimes seats with cutouts or modified noses can help.
Return to Play
Returning to cycling with saddle sores is dependent on symptoms. If the athlete has an active bacterial skin infection, especially if it is making him/her feel poorly, the physician may limit his/her cycling. Tips for returning without worsening sores are to shorten rides, allow a day between rides, use moisture barriers and/or chamois creams as needed, ensure use of clean, breathable biking shorts, use of a seat with good fit, and washing with a good antibacterial soap after rides. If sores worsen despite riding, the athlete may need to cross train off the bike for a few weeks.
Kathá Soma skin therapeutics are for people with vulnerable and troubled skin. Our naturally derived, nutrient enriched skin care formulas penetrate the top (epidermis) and middle (dermis) skin layers to protect and renew skin.
DISCLAIMER The content presented within the Kathá Soma website is not intended as or should be construed as medical advice. Please consult with a healthcare practitioner for individual medical recommendations. Kathá Soma Consumer Health USA/2015
Keira and āSport Pro™ are distributed exclusively by Katha-Soma Consumer Health USA. 2015-16.