I'm a young, inexperienced biker who set out a month ago on the TransAmerica trail. After a delightful first thousand miles, I began to develop a rash in my groin area that quickly went from nuisance to major problem. It kept me up late at night with incessant itching and was tender and often painful while riding.
I assumed at first that the rash was jock itch. I bought an over-the-counter anti-fungal cream and applied it. The rash continued to spread onto my upper thigh, my rear, and my waist line (right along the spandex waist-band of my biking shorts).
At this point, being near my home, I decided to take a few days off the trail and get the rash taken care of while I rested up. I went to the emergency room to get a diagnosis as soon as possible, and was told that I had contact dermititus that had also developed a bacterial infection. Prescribed with a steroid cream and an antibiotic, I headed home. Two days later, simply because I was so urgent to be rid of the rash and be on the trail again, I saw my internist, who told me that I had both a fungal infection and contact dermititus. He prescribed more medications, including a stronger steroid cream, an oral steroid, and a prescription anti-fungal.
Wanting one more opinion, I went to a dermatologist, who, after calling in two other dermatologists to examine me, decided that I had only contact dermititus, probably due to an allergy to my biking shorts. This came as quite a shock, as I have no allergies, and my biking shorts are relatively standard, Novara brand biking shorts.
Anyway (and I apologize for rambling here) it has now been one week and my rash continues to worsen! I am absolutely desperate to hit the trail again -- and the strong prescription medications that I was told would knock the rash out in a few days have not even kept it from further spreading! My hopes of reaching the Pacific fade with every day that I waste waiting for this skin problem to clear.
While I realize that asking for a medical diagnosis in an online forum is borderline ridiculous -- and I won't be posting photos, not to worry -- I am wondering if anyone has any thoughts on this? Has anyone heard of an allergy to biking shorts? Any strange stories of bizarre bike-induced rashes? Is there something that I (and five doctors!) could be missing here?
Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.