Question: I’ve recently developed a couple of cysts on my upper leg and buttocks. Is this caused by irritation from my cycling shorts? Bacteria? What are the remedies? — Jon B.
Coach Fred Matheny Replies: Cysts and other skin eruptions where the saddle meets the shorts usually result from abrasion. The skin’s surface always contains bacteria. When friction breaks the skin, bacteria can enter and cause infection.
To prevent it, use a saddle and shorts that are compatible with your anatomy. Check your saddle’s height. It it’s too high, your tender tissue will be sawed across the nose on each pedal stroke, increasing abrasion.
Buy shorts with a smooth, lightly padded liner and wash them after every ride. Use a skin lubricant, such as Chamois BUTT’r (available in bike shops) or Bag Balm (drug stores) to protect against abrasion.
Finally, as soon as your ride is over, get out of the sweaty shorts and into the shower. Scrub clean with soap. Apply an antibiotic such as erythromycin (Emgel) to any spots that seem to be developing. It’s available by prescription.