What is the best way to treat saddle sores?

Loose clothes, Gold Bond medicated powder, or Moisturizer?

What seems to help reduce the painful symptoms of saddles sores once you already have them?

I know how to prevent them, so I'd prefer to focus on what to do after you find yourself with this problem (like after you decided not use use chamois cream).

  • Take a few days off. Keep the area clean and dry.

  • Try diaper rash ointment or maybe Aloe Vera and perhaps something like neosporin or OTC acne ointment.

  • Cover affected area(s) with bandaging… such as a hydrocolloid or semiocclusive hydrogel dressing. Personally, I'd use this along with an anti-bacterial ointment. This especially if you aren't taking days off.

The goal is to avoid infection and speed healing. You don't want boils forming.

For the DIY folks... diaper rash cream is primarily zinc oxide +- an anti-bacterial/anti-fungal ingredient carried in something like petrolatum. Some also include hydrocortisone Enjoy.

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  • 1
    Acne ointment and antibiotic-creams make a lot of sense! – heltonbiker Apr 17 '12 at 4:08
  • Accepted this answer, but I also like zenbike's recommendation of gold bond to keep it dry and reduce the discomfort. – Benzo Apr 20 '12 at 14:28
  • I agree. You said that you didn't need help with prevention. – user313 Apr 20 '12 at 17:40
  • I've also had good luck with using some unscented healing hand cream which rubs in quickly and reduces irritation as treatment for some chaffing / rubbing issues. – Benzo Oct 24 '12 at 15:51

There are many products, but they all boil down to one thing: Eliminating friction and moisture.


Even better is that all these products which help to heal you after, these same chamois cremes and bag balms, are designed to prevent saddle sores. Grandma always said an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure, right?

Gold Bond, bag balm, or Assos After Ride Skin Repair gel all work well. Loose clothes, not so much. They tend to allow the skin contact which is best avoided once saddle sores or chafing come to visit.

I've used chamois creme applied directly on the skin after a ride, and that is quite effective as well. Look for Assos Chamois Creme, DZ Nuts, or Chamois Butt'r.

I hope that helps.

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  • Hmmm.... I know the prices of some creams are kinda high, but I've never actually experienced "chamois crime". ;) – Daniel R Hicks Apr 17 '12 at 0:17
  • The Assos Chamois creme that I use is about $20 dollars for a jar that lasts me a year. That's not exactly criminal. ;-) (Guess I should either not answer at 1Am, or proofread better.) – zenbike Apr 17 '12 at 2:03

In my experience, once the sores have formed, nothing beats a "cortisone" (hydrocortisone) cream like Cortaid -- it actually works to heal the sores, rather than simply "allowing" them to heal, so healing can occur in hours rather than days. You can get a prescription version that's even better.

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  • If using corticosteroids, taking some days off is highly recommended. And if there are already bubbles/blisters/acne-like-formations, corticosteriods shoud be used only with anti-bacterial creams (there are some combo formulations) – heltonbiker Apr 17 '12 at 4:10
  • Use this stuff sparingly - it's basically a steroid cream. Fix the problem then take measures to prevent it happening again so you don't need to use it again. – John Hunt Feb 8 '18 at 13:29

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