Dr. Ron sez:
From what you've described your skin is in really
bad shape. Sweat contains (of course) copious amounts of salt, and between the extreme heat, trapped perspiration and your skin tearing (maceration) from friction you are literally rubbing salt in a wound. You need to break the cycle or it won't get any better. The reason it is so painful is due to the associated swelling.
While some of the creams mentioned here will certainly help at night, they won't help at all during the day while you're riding. The base compound in all of that stuff is plain old petroleum jelly (Vaseline). You do NOT want to plug your pores and sweat glands with that, or things will just get worse. Your skin needs to breathe and stay cool - while riding these potions will do exactly the opposite.
Baby powder, Gold Bond, Anti-Monkey Butt Powder, etc. is about the only common option - but all that stuff is just plain old refined and bleached corn starch with fancy marketing, and it's ability to absorb moisture is very limited without having to apply it all the time - and then you get kind of a gunky mess in your shorts. TRUE
Zeasorb powder can absorb about 5 times as much moisture, and is specifically designed to be much more slippery
. This will help the maceration dramatically.
You'll need to find a pharmacy to buy it, and a small bottle will set you back about $10.00 - but it works. Apply it liberally and rub it in to your skin and
your shorts. Along with the Zeasorb a low dose of Ibuprofen will also help to keep the swelling down. At night instead of washing the area with soap (lye - which of course just makes things worse) get some Aveeno Body Wash. It contains colloidal Oatmeal (Avena sativa is the active ingredient) and other emollients that will help to soothe the skin. After washing apply Aveeno Intense Relief Hand
Cream. It is readily absorbed and won't leave a residue. Fughedabout the other greasy kid stuff.
One other thing to consider - those stretch Lycra shorts often contain a lot of latex, especially in the waist band and cuffs - and latex can be extremely irritating. Millions of people are highly allergic to it, and simply touching it can cause contact dermatitis, hives, and in extreme cases - DEATH!
(what a bad way to go... death by Fruit of the Loom)
You may want to consider changing your shorts - but not with me!
(You can tell I've spent way
too much time around Dermatologists lately...)