Saddle sores and skin tears

Anyone of a fussy disposition, please leave now!

Anyone suffered from skin fissures around their anus after frequent cycling? I seem to have developed a small fissure between my bum-cheeks, which heals nicely if I'm off the bike, but becomes sore and bloody post-ride.

I am fastidious about personal hygiene, so there's no chance it can be due to lapses there, and I've wondered if, at 51, my skin has lost some of its elasticity and is tearing rather than stretching when I sit on the saddle?
I don't have any discomfort during the ride, but afterwards, when showering, I find blood on the towel. The symptoms persist for a few days and only clear with rest. Treating with Bepantham cream seems to help, but once I get back on the bike, the split reappears.

Anyone got any experience of this, or can offer any suggestions? If it continues much longer, I will speak with my GP, but trying to avoid that at this point.
 
Are you using a chamois cream, it does help. for a long ride I uses Assos cream. You can go down the route of different saddle/shorts etc as well but if not using cream I would start there. a lot of people use Sudocrem as its readily available and cheaper.
 

DCLane

Found in the Yorkshire hills ...
My suggestion would be a dermatologist to help here I'm afraid.

The only other thoughts are to echo a good chamois cream - I use Veloskin on really long (300km+) rides.

Alternatively, and it's an odd one; is your saddle too wide and therefore stretching the skin?
 

Cycleops

Legendary Member
Location
Accra, Ghana
Dont really know what's going on there. I'd try using some shorts with a padded liner.
As above maybe your saddle could be the problem, one with a cut out might help.
 

Globalti

Legendary Member
It's nothing to be embarrassed about; lots of people suffer from anal fissures and bleeding. The important thing is not to allow them to become chronic or infected. I would be inclined to show it to my GP just to check there isn't a bad fissure, which may need surgical attention. I say that because my poor Dad suffered terribly with fissures and piles and was diagnosed with lower rectal cancer at a very young age.

Are you using padded shorts? Some cheaper pads (they come from a limited number of pad manufacturers) have a quite coarse covering, which I find irritating especially in wet conditions when the area gets soaked and the skin softens. Are you sweating a lot? That will soften and irritate the skin. Try riding cooler with less clothing. What kind of saddle do you use? It's always worth experimenting with saddles; I swear by Charge Spoon and Knife saddles, which have a flattish back to support the sit bones but a reasonable "cup" shape to cradle them.

What about the saddle position? There are three aspects of the position you can change; height, reach and angle. Could you post a picture of the bike on here, taken from the side?

Have you tried smearing a dollop of Vaseline or Sudocrem on the anal area before a long ride? When we used to ride Polaris events, which meant 7 hours on the Saturday and 5 on the Sunday, off road, often soaked in muddy water, we quickly found this prevented a sore bottom.
 
Thanks for all the replies so far... to clarify :

1. Always always always use chamois cream. A good dollop on my hand and applied directly to me, all round and especially on any contact points. I wipe off any excess on the chamois / pad on my shorts.
2. Never ride without padded shorts. Current shorts are Castelli's, though I also ride with Exteondo, Kalas, and 3-Sixty depending on what's not in the wash. Shorts get x1 wear, then in the wash. Only exception is when I commute (19 miles each way), where I put the morning shorts on for the afternoon ride home. I make sure they are dried on the radiator during the day so they can't fester. My old cheaper DHB's have long since been consigned to the "do not ever wear again" bin.
3. Road bike saddle is a Canyon and has a perineum "slot" in it. I've had this bike for 5 years and never had a problem with it.
4. Touring bike saddle is Selle Italia "Rolls". I've had this bike for over 10 years, and never had a problem with it.

Problem started about 4-5 weeks ago after I got really wet on a commute on the touring bike. I treated the problem then, but I wasn't sure it was definitely related to the bike... I also suffer with post-micturition drip, and occasional IBS (hence my fastidious personal hygiene in that area), so had to eliminate other possible causes.
 

Globalti

Legendary Member
Does the IBS cause bowel frequency? My cycling buddy is a very experienced gastroenterologist (about to retire) and hearing what he knows about the bowel my advice would be so see a gastroenterologist about that if you haven't already.

It sounds as if you have the equivalent to a badly chapped lip that is refusing to heal properly and opening up evey time it gets damp or stretched. I would definitely show it to a Dr, it may be that frequent cleaning is actually inhibiting the formation of a scab and preventing complete healing.
 
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Does the IBS cause bowel frequency? My cycling buddy is a very experienced gastroenterologist (about to retire) and hearing what he knows about the bowel my advice would be so see a gastroenterologist about that if you haven't already.

It sounds as if you have the equivalent to a badly chapped lip that is refusing to heal properly and opening up evey time it gets damp or stretched. I would definitely show it to a Dr, it may be that frequent cleaning is actually inhibiting the formation of a scab and preventing complete healing.
Goes along with what Mrs W keeps saying " leave it alone ! "

:wacko:
 
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