Here’s How You Can Treat and Prevent Saddle Sores
Have you been affected by those painful skin lesions on your body after riding a bicycle or bike? Those are saddle sores that can be cured using topical ointments and medications. To make the process easier, avoid sitting on bikes, scooters, or similar surfaces that can slow down the healing process. If the case persists or becomes serious, seek medical intervention. It’ll also prove useful if you select the proper, padded bicycle with comfortable seats, wear cycling shorts, and take all necessary precautions well in advance.
Types Of Saddle Sores
In general, there are four common types of saddle sores – ulcerations, furuncles, chafing, and folliculitis. You can gauge the severity depending on the type. Ulcerations mostly occur on the outermost layer of the skin when the bodyweight exerts too much pressure against the saddle. Furuncles and folliculitis are indicative of infections that are usually present beforehand. Chafing is the least serious form of sore which can amplify and form ulcerations when left untreated.
Who Are At Risk?
Anyone can become a victim to saddle sores, especially when the skin is rubbed and sweating is profuse. There is an increased risk for those who go on long bike rides. The skin needs to breathe which cannot happen with extended time on the saddle that ultimately poses problems. Few other risk factors include, improper fit on the bicycle as per the body frame, increased body weight, little or no change in position while riding, and skin exposed or covered too tightly against the saddle.
Home Remedies That Can Prove Useful
In case you develop saddle sores, try some remedial measures. For example, don’t sit on the bike or scooter for a few days as it will prevent the deterioration of the already formed sores. Make sure to keep the area clean and dry so that the infection doesn’t worsen. Try topical ointments like antibiotic creams, hemorrhoid creams, and diaper-rash creams to soothe the already inflamed skin. Even over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen can work wonders. Compress the area with warm water periodically. These remedies can help in the healing process if you follow them religiously.
When To Seek Medical Treatment?
Minor cases of ulcerations and chafing require medical intervention because when saddle sores fail to heal within few days, they can become painful and worse. Sometimes these infections can also be accompanied by pus and fever. Generally, doctors recommend add-on prescription drugs, antibiotics, oral medicals, and topical ointments. If everything fails, consult a doctor for he or she can determine the exact state of it and suggest treatments likewise.
How Can You Prevent Saddle Sores?
While it cannot always be prevented, saddle sores can be healed if you use the right bike shorts or sit on a properly fitted bike seat. To prevent the sores from ruining the fun of a bike ride, try considering few steps. First, look out for the apt saddle as padding is not always the solution. Sometimes you need a little wider or a tad narrower saddle instead. Above all, it must match your body type.
Secondly, slip into bibs or cycling shorts that are seamless and have cushioned chamois, so that chances of a sore are further reduced. Additionally, try using a branded chamois cream on the inner thighs and surrounding region to minimize the chances of chaffing. Third, make sure to change your cycling position frequently. If you can hover over the saddle when on an inclined plane, your body pressure against the saddle will decrease and blood flow might increase. This also helps in reducing the chances of saddle sores.
Take ample rest. Get off the bicycle whenever possible in between your rides. Shorter bike rides are preferable. You can also change the shorts and take quick showers in between rides. Most importantly, do not make the mistake of wearing the same shorts for a prolonged time duration. As soon as the ride gets over, wash the clothes and your body thoroughly. You surely don’t want bacteria to grow from sweaty regions or develop skin irritations.
Saddle sores are common and you should take all the necessary steps to avoid them. Utilize the above-mentioned tips and you can heal faster, in case you still end up with them.
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