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Saddle sore, or the pain and inflammation of the intimate areas of women resulting from the position in the saddle, is a subject that is little talked about, yet half of all women who regularly ride bikes suffer from it.
Now it's time to put aside the shame, inhibition, and silence and talk about it.
SHER wants 100% of women to be free of these problems.
In a previous analysis, we already identified the most common causes and suggested ways to overcome them. https://sheractive.com/blogs/news/how-to-reduce-the-risk-of-saddle-sore-and-infections
Among these causes, one of the most frequent is related to the choice of the right pad and its correct use.
It's not easy to identify a valid pad without having tried it on the saddle, so we suggest first of all at least to check in the store or at home (depending on the method of purchase) the following things:
- if possible choose a pad / short designed for women - because in a good pad the anatomical differences are studied.
- depending on the use (type of bike and then the seat) choose a pad with maximum support in the area that you have the highest pressure points (for example - the straighter you're position, the higher support is necessary on the sit bones. the more aggressive your position, the more support you need in the pelvis area)
- when the garment is worn check that the pad rests well on the entire area of the body: a well built pad and short does not give you the feeling of being bulky, it follows your shape in an optimal way and the seams are not shaving on your inner legs
- check the density of the pad: not always necessarily a soft pad with a lot of thickness offers maximum support. It may look like it when you hold it in your hand, but when you put your weight on it, all the foam can be compressed too much and so in the long run it may not give you the support you want. Instead, check if the foam offers a good density and therefore is not easily compressible.
Once you have found the pad that you find most comfortable, and that will always be so, even after many hours in the saddle, we would like to give you some advice on its proper maintenance, to extend its life.
(suggestions elaborated sin collaboration with Dr. PAD, one of the most important padding producers from Italy)
- Wash the garments before the first use and after each outing, possibly immediately after returning.
- Washing should be done in a washing machine at 30 ° C (in newer models are already preset cycles for sportswear).
- If in possession of a washing bag, introduce the garment upside down, otherwise wash the garment straight.
- If there is no alternative to hand washing, you must treat the bottom gently (without wringing or tugging, especially when wet).
- Use neutral detergents if possible, never aggressive ones.
- Do not use fabric softeners, bleach or ammonia. In particular, fabric softener tends to disintegrate the foam.
- Avoid combining garments of different colors (especially do not combine other colors with white garments) to avoid unwanted shades.
- Do not use dryers (except those of the latest generation that work at low temperatures), avoid leaving garments in direct sunlight, however, do not leave the back wet (bacteriostatic treatments can not in any case avoid unwanted proliferation due to poor maintenance), do not wring the back.
- Avoid smearing creams on the surface of the case back.
- Always dry the pad well before putting the garment on again for the next ride.
CREAM USE: YES OR NO?
The use of cream is a very controversial subject: often it is not always necessary, sometimes it is counterproductive. Here are a couple of indications on how to use the cream (always refer to your doctor for guidance on the use of medical aids to treat particular conditions, changes or diseases):
- Any moisturizer will do. For irritated skin, zinc oxide cream (Fissan Paste, for example) can also be used.
- The cream should only be spread on the skin; some people think you should spread it on the pad. Spreading the cream on the pad will only shorten its life. Very important: you must give the skin time to absorb the cream (I recommend that you apply it at least half an hour before putting on your bib). Clogged pores could be the cause of irritation during or after the ride.
- Upon return, you must remove all cream residue from the skin and especially from the pad, leaving it for about an hour soaking in water at room temperature.
Generally we always recommend to change the shorts (or if the brand offers it, only the pad) after 1 year of use, since it loses elasticity and support.
As SHER we are very keen on ongoing research and development of more suitable solutions for women.
In 2020 we launched a new pad, the first pad for women that integrates a fully antibacterial and anti fungal permanent solution with a 120kg density support. A pad that greatly reduces the risk of inflammation and infections such as cystitis and candida.
Result of 250 hours and 5970 km of testing with 25 women cyclists, including several female athletes, it is our way of keeping our promise to make 100% of women satisfied in the saddle!