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Saddle Sores

Jul 15, 2014
Saddle Sores
  • Saddle sores are kind of to be expected at some point in your cycling career. Even the big boys get them; Ivan Basso recently had his whole season wiped out by a sore arse.

    Well, there is plenty of info online about how to deal with them, but what about in Japan?

    From experience, you need to do 2 things.

    1. Get some salt from any combini, and while you are there get a new, clean, hand towel.

    2. Get to a doctor; any tiny local clinic, or massive hospital will do. You can go to pretty much any department, from Urology to Skin, or whatever, just get yourself in. Fill out the form, telling them you have a sore taint. Don't bother getting bogged down in explaining how much of a bad boy bike rider you are, and that your constantly rivet riding has given you an ingrowing hair which has become infected, etc., just go straight for the kill, and tell them you have a small abscess.

    The Japanese for this is 膿瘍 (noyo).

    The standard thing to treat this, and pretty much any other minor skin infection is an antibiotic cream called 'Gentamicin'. It works. It will work for you. So get it. If they don't offer it (which they will, but if for some reason they don't), just ask them directly for it. They will know what it is. The Japanese for this is just the Katakana; ゲンタマイシン. It is sometimes referred to as ゲンタシン.

    Now you are ready to go to work.

    Again, from experience, you need to do the following;

    1. Draw the pus up from deep inside the abscess. You do this with your salt and towel. Get a bowl, and pour a load of salt in it. Fill it with boiling water. Fold the towel up, and dip it in. It will cane your fingers, but ring the excess water out, and then get ready for some agony. Press this hard against the saddle sore, for as long as you can handle. Do this a load of times, until the water has cooled down and is no longer really really hot. This will bring the pus to the surface, after you have done this a number of times. It will take between 1 and 10 applications (usually) of the boiling salt water to get things moving.

    2. Each time you finish punishing your barse with the boiling brine, apply some Gentamicin. You dont need a load of it, just enough to cover the bump. At first this will probably not do anything, but as soon as the pus is drawn up enough to break the surface of the skin / start coming out the pore, the Gentamicin will be given access and will start working.

    Even without the pus coming out the top of the cavity, the heat from the boiling water will soften the pus and give you some relief from the pain. Once it breaks the surface and the Gentamicin starts working, you will feel a lot better. After a short time of applying, you will forget you ever had a saddle sore. Until you inevitably get the next one.

    Gentamicin is very very cheap too, which is a bonus; you are looking at around 100-200yen on a standard hospital prescription.



    If things get bad...

    If your sores start getting nasty, you need to get some anti-biotics. Doing this in Japan is easy, but there are some things to note.

    Go to the doctor and ask for some anti-biotics. That is the first step. The doctor will most likely follow the standard procedure of offering you a course of Promox (Amoxcillin) for 3 days; 3 tablets per day, at a single dosage of 100mg. This is typical 'not strong enough' Japanese medical practice, and may not be enough for the task in hand. In Japan, the doctors are legally allowed to prescribe up to 300mg per dose of Amoxcillin, up to a total of 10 days for the course. So, ask for that, and they will give it to you (with a bit of persuasion). This equals 90 tablets, as they usually only supply the tablets in 100mg form. Chomp your way through those and that should sort you out.
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