Q & A Coach Forum: Speeding the Healing on a Saddle Sore


New (and badly made) cycling shorts combined with a 62.5 mile ride resulted in two nasty wounds along the crease (between the inner thigh and scrotum) on either side of the crotch. The PCP prescribed some betadine spray and zinc oxide ointment along with the advice ‘stay off the bike till this heals.’ Any suggestions on anything (else) I can do to speed up the healing? I live in the Northeast and the cycling season is short enough without being sidelined.

~Richard McCarthy

Head Coach Scott Saifer responds:

Hi Richard, That’s a painful injury. I know because I’ve had a similar one myself, from shorts where the fuzz had worn off the rubbery underlayer. I hope that you are well along toward healed. Your doctor is on the right track with the zinc oxide ointment. The area where you are injured tends to stay moist pretty much all the time, especially in warm weather. That makes it susceptible to fungal infections which can dramatically slow healing of a skin-break. If you aren’t already pretty much healed, I’d suggest getting an over-the-counter antifungal cream from the drug store to apply generously along with the zinc oxide, and allowing the area to dry well a time or two each day. In my experience, it is possible to ride and continue to heal so long as you use the antifungal. Let pain be your guide though. If it burns when you ride, wait a day. Good luck.