Chamois Butter Is Great For Bicycle Riders

By Maya Sutcliffe

Chafing of skin in sensitive areas is a concern for most cyclists, and especially those in training for competition. As the rider pedals the cycle, the combination of friction, heat and sweat irritate the skin and can become a serious infection. One effective solution to this common problem is the use of chamois butter to provide a protective layer between the fabric and skin.

Any abnormal skin condition on an area of the body in direct contact with the seat is a saddle sore. The friction caused by the skin rubbing against the fabric chafes the surface producing red abrasions and inflammation. Sometimes an infection settles into the base of a hair follicle. Pus accumulation in this area can develop into pimples and even abscesses if an individual fails to seek treatment.

Formulas vary according to product. Some contain all natural ingredients while others contain alcohol and parabens, which are preservatives commonly used in many cosmetic and pharmacological products. Manufacturers choose the ingredients used in these products for their ability to moisturize the skin, reduce friction, soothe irritation and inhibit the growth of fungus and bacteria that can lead to dangerous infections.

Menthol is a common ingredient in these creams. This powerful analgesic relieves pain and most minor aches cyclists feel after a long ride. Ingredients with high levels of vitamin E have lubricating properties to decrease skin damage from chafing.

The chamois, or padding, sewn into cycling shorts chafes wherever it touches skin. Users should follow label instructions for applying product to the fabric or skin. Ointments will not stain fabrics and wash right out.

Adjusting the saddle height, wearing the proper bike attire and good hygiene will all help prevent painful and potentially dangerous saddle sores. Riders who use chamois butter are able to ride comfortably for longer distances. Individuals who ride off-road on mountain trails can withstand grueling conditions with less discomfort.

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