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Monkey Butt. . . Prevention, Care, and Treatment

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To go along with the Alternative Toilet Paper thread, I thought maybe another 'below the belt' problem for some walkers and hikers might be in order.


Monkey Butt

This is not about the big, colorful back-ends of baboons :)

For those who are new to distance walking on a Camino, or backpacking, or trekking, there are some things which may be unknown to the newbie. Monkey Butt is one.

Monkey Butt is about a condition with symptoms of itching, rawness, redness, swelling, and general irritation around the upper thigh-gluteal-perineal-anal-groin area. It can be anything from a diaper rash like sore area between the buttocks, to chafing and rashes in other parts of the nether region areas.

Monkey Butt can also include chafing. This is another related problem for some walkers and backpackers. Perspiration in the groin area gets trapped in the folds of skin and thighs that are rubbing together. The friction this creates quickly produces rawness. It can become a burning, painful condition that makes walking a misery.

I guess Monkey Butt is a universal catch-all term for Nether Region Nastiness which makes walking very unpleasant.

Chafing

As I mentioned above, chafing happens as a result of friction. The source of the friction can be from two body parts, like thighs, rubbing together. It can also be from fabric rubbing against the skin. In many cases, chafing involves both.

For the most part, skin can take a lot of wear and tear, but it will wear down from repetitive movements where skin rubs against skin and/or fabric. Add constant moisture in the nether areas from being hot and sweaty, and that all day walk can end up, for some folks, with severe pain, bleeding, scabs, and even blistering.

For Butt Chafing there are some common risk factors.
  • Being overweight.
  • Wearing tight fitting clothes that are too tight or fit poorly.
  • Being too hairy. Yup, some is good, and a lot is not. This is something that is what it is, and you just have to accept what you’ve been given. Trying to landscape only aggravates the situation.
  • Physical activities like we do when walking a Camino: strenuous walking or hiking.
Prevention of Monkey Butt

The issue boils down to preventing chafing, skin irritations, and rashes.

First, if you are a current victim of Monkey Butt, the severity will dictate whether you should try and take a long break from walking (1 or 2 days) or simply begin using some of the preventive measures that are mentioned below. If you have a mild Monkey Butt outbreak and continue without a break, you’ll likely still get some immediate relief while you’re waiting for your monkey butt to clear up. Once you’ve got your Monkey Butt under control these tips will help to keep it at bay.

Clothing

Clothes that reduce skin friction is an obvious consideration. Wearing compression-type underwear or leggings which keep skin to skin contact from occurring really helps. Baselayer bottoms will also work.

If you wear running or hiking shorts, these can be worn underneath. The preference should be a focus on fabrics that are light and breathable and which wicks moisture away from the skin.

Underwear. 100% cotton underwear tends to get wet and stay wet, developing bacterial growths and funk. But on the other hand, underwear made from a full synthetic may interfere with needed airflow. There is underwear that carry a label of “technical” underwear, which is worth considering. Merino wool underwear is another option.

My personal underwear favorite: The Commando Brand. It has great airflow and is easy to care for. :)

Grooming

Body hair.

Body hair can help prevent chafing. Although thick or long body hair can aggravate sweat retention, moderate amounts of body hair reduces friction. If very long you might consider doing some mild trimming, but do not shave, pluck, pull or burn it all off.

Hygiene.

It is important to gently but thoroughly clean all cracks, crevices and folds of the inner thighs, perineum, and other nether areas. Odor and irritation down below are caused by bacteria and fungal organisms which thrive on warmth and moisture. Attempts by these pathogenic gomers to set up house and move in are continuous, but highly preventable with good hygiene.

Keep in mind that residual soaps will cause skin irritations, so be thorough with the rinse.

Stuff That Helps With Healing

Experienced hikers and other athletes have developed a variety of techniques to help with healing and prevention.
  • Time. When Monkey Butt has occurred, it takes time for it to resolve. If it is severe, taking a break from activity is almost a necessity. Even 24 hours can make a big difference in healing.
  • If the cause of Monkey Butt is specific to an organism, like a fungus, then proper medications like anti-fungal creams may be necessary. If simple Over-The-Counter (OTC) treatments have not helped to resolve the problem, it is a good idea to see a medical provider to do specific testing for a cause of the Monkey Butt.
  • Bag Balm. Bag Balm is a medicated lanolin that was developed for treating dairy cows with skin irritations on the udder and teats. It was found to be beneficial for all sorts of superficial skin issues, and even helps to discourage some common types of organisms. It has been found to be both soothing and healing for many chafing issues. It is also used to prevent chafing by applying it to the skin to reduce friction. Because of the lanolin base, the anti-friction skin applications tend to last longer than petrolatum products, like Vaseline.
  • OTC Lidocaine creams, anti-itch creams with hydrocortisone, Diaper rash ointments, etc. will help relieve symptoms like pain and itchiness. Again, these are for symptom relief and are not necessarily healing (although diaper rash preparations will do both).
Prevention Strategies
  • Body Glide, HikerGoo, Compeed Anti-Blister Stick, etc. These are waxy substances which stay on the skin for a long period of time and reduce friction. As with Bag Balm or Vaseline, they are applied to the skin and then re-applied as needed throughout the day.
  • Bag Balm or Vaseline. A time-honored method. A thin layer is applied to the area of concern.
  • Clothing. Mentioned above. . garments which prevent skin to skin friction.
  • Tapes and shields. These have limited application. Unlike feet, it is not advisable to apply barriers like tapes and moleskin to areas of the body at risk for Monkey Butt. Not only is there a higher risk for skin reactions to the adhesives, but the pain of removal could be a bit exquisite.
  • One area for a barrier application that can be of help for some men and women, are the nipples. It is common for the fabric of a shirt to rub against the nipples, which over time will cause rawness. Some folks are susceptible, others not so much. Alternatives to tapes, etc. include using Vaseline and Body Glide type substances.
There are, undoubtedly, numerous Monkey Butt Prevention Tips and Treatments that Forum members have used to good effect. This might become an interesting thread :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances sept-oct 2018
(Via Tolosana Sept 2020 - alas! deferred)
To go along with the Alternative Toilet Paper thread, I thought maybe another 'below the belt' problem for some walkers and hikers might be in order.


Monkey Butt

This is not about the big, colorful back-ends of baboons :)

For those who are new to distance walking on a Camino, or backpacking, or trekking, there are some things which may be unknown to the newbie. Monkey Butt is one.

Monkey Butt is about a condition with symptoms of itching, rawness, redness, swelling, and general irritation around the upper thigh-gluteal-perineal-anal-groin area. It can be anything from a diaper rash like sore area between the buttocks, to chafing and rashes in other parts of the nether region areas.

Monkey Butt can also include chafing. This is another related problem for some walkers and backpackers. Perspiration in the groin area gets trapped in the folds of skin and thighs that are rubbing together. The friction this creates quickly produces rawness. It can become a burning, painful condition that makes walking a misery.

I guess Monkey Butt is a universal catch-all term for Nether Region Nastiness which makes walking very unpleasant.

Chafing

As I mentioned above, chafing happens as a result of friction. The source of the friction can be from two body parts, like thighs, rubbing together. It can also be from fabric rubbing against the skin. In many cases, chafing involves both.

For the most part, skin can take a lot of wear and tear, but it will wear down from repetitive movements where skin rubs against skin and/or fabric. Add constant moisture in the nether areas from being hot and sweaty, and that all day walk can end up, for some folks, with severe pain, bleeding, scabs, and even blistering.

For Butt Chafing there are some common risk factors.
  • Being overweight.
  • Wearing tight fitting clothes that are too tight or fit poorly.
  • Being too hairy. Yup, some is good, and a lot is not. This is something that is what it is, and you just have to accept what you’ve been given. Trying to landscape only aggravates the situation.
  • Physical activities like we do when walking a Camino: strenuous walking or hiking.
Prevention of Monkey Butt

The issue boils down to preventing chafing, skin irritations, and rashes.

First, if you are a current victim of Monkey Butt, the severity will dictate whether you should try and take a long break from walking (1 or 2 days) or simply begin using some of the preventive measures that are mentioned below. If you have a mild Monkey Butt outbreak and continue without a break, you’ll likely still get some immediate relief while you’re waiting for your monkey butt to clear up. Once you’ve got your Monkey Butt under control these tips will help to keep it at bay.

Clothing

Clothes that reduce skin friction is an obvious consideration. Wearing compression-type underwear or leggings which keep skin to skin contact from occurring really helps. Baselayer bottoms will also work.

If you wear running or hiking shorts, these can be worn underneath. The preference should be a focus on fabrics that are light and breathable and which wicks moisture away from the skin.

Underwear. 100% cotton underwear tends to get wet and stay wet, developing bacterial growths and funk. But on the other hand, underwear made from a full synthetic may interfere with needed airflow. There is underwear that carry a label of “technical” underwear, which is worth considering. Merino wool underwear is another option.

My personal underwear favorite: The Commando Brand. It has great airflow and is easy to care for. :)

Grooming

Body hair.

Body hair can help prevent chafing. Although thick or long body hair can aggravate sweat retention, moderate amounts of body hair reduces friction. If very long you might consider doing some mild trimming, but do not shave, pluck, pull or burn it all off.

Hygiene.

It is important to gently but thoroughly clean all cracks, crevices and folds of the inner thighs, perineum, and other nether areas. Odor and irritation down below are caused by bacteria and fungal organisms which thrive on warmth and moisture. Attempts by these pathogenic gomers to set up house and move in are continuous, but highly preventable with good hygiene.

Keep in mind that residual soaps will cause skin irritations, so be thorough with the rinse.

Stuff That Helps With Healing

Experienced hikers and other athletes have developed a variety of techniques to help with healing and prevention.
  • Time. When Monkey Butt has occurred, it takes time for it to resolve. If it is severe, taking a break from activity is almost a necessity. Even 24 hours can make a big difference in healing.
  • If the cause of Monkey Butt is specific to an organism, like a fungus, then proper medications like anti-fungal creams may be necessary. If simple Over-The-Counter (OTC) treatments have not helped to resolve the problem, it is a good idea to see a medical provider to do specific testing for a cause of the Monkey Butt.
  • Bag Balm. Bag Balm is a medicated lanolin that was developed for treating dairy cows with skin irritations on the udder and teats. It was found to be beneficial for all sorts of superficial skin issues, and even helps to discourage some common types of organisms. It has been found to be both soothing and healing for many chafing issues. It is also used to prevent chafing by applying it to the skin to reduce friction. Because of the lanolin base, the anti-friction skin applications tend to last longer than petrolatum products, like Vaseline.
  • OTC Lidocaine creams, anti-itch creams with hydrocortisone, Diaper rash ointments, etc. will help relieve symptoms like pain and itchiness. Again, these are for symptom relief and are not necessarily healing (although diaper rash preparations will do both).
Prevention Strategies
  • Body Glide, HikerGoo, Compeed Anti-Blister Stick, etc. These are waxy substances which stay on the skin for a long period of time and reduce friction. As with Bag Balm or Vaseline, they are applied to the skin and then re-applied as needed throughout the day.
  • Bag Balm or Vaseline. A time-honored method. A thin layer is applied to the area of concern.
  • Clothing. Mentioned above. . garments which prevent skin to skin friction.
  • Tapes and shields. These have limited application. Unlike feet, it is not advisable to apply barriers like tapes and moleskin to areas of the body at risk for Monkey Butt. Not only is there a higher risk for skin reactions to the adhesives, but the pain of removal could be a bit exquisite.
  • One area for a barrier application that can be of help for some men and women, are the nipples. It is common for the fabric of a shirt to rub against the nipples, which over time will cause rawness. Some folks are susceptible, others not so much. Alternatives to tapes, etc. include using Vaseline and Body Glide type substances.
There are, undoubtedly, numerous Monkey Butt Prevention Tips and Treatments that Forum members have used to good effect. This might become an interesting thread :)
Dave Bugg, your posts almost always cheer me up in one way or another! I have thankfully never had to contend with Monkey Butt - my struggle was with blisters (on toes) and your advice on that topic was very helpful. Although, I did finally have to see a podiatrist in Estella, and she sorted me out for the remainder of my Camino. I don't think she could have done much for Monkey Butt, though! Thanks for yet another fascinating and informative message.
 

malingerer

samarkand
Camino(s) past & future
cf (2), de la plata, cp. (2003 -2018)
To go along with the Alternative Toilet Paper thread, I thought maybe another 'below the belt' problem for some walkers and hikers might be in order.


Monkey Butt

This is not about the big, colorful back-ends of baboons :)

For those who are new to distance walking on a Camino, or backpacking, or trekking, there are some things which may be unknown to the newbie. Monkey Butt is one.

Monkey Butt is about a condition with symptoms of itching, rawness, redness, swelling, and general irritation around the upper thigh-gluteal-perineal-anal-groin area. It can be anything from a diaper rash like sore area between the buttocks, to chafing and rashes in other parts of the nether region areas.

Monkey Butt can also include chafing. This is another related problem for some walkers and backpackers. Perspiration in the groin area gets trapped in the folds of skin and thighs that are rubbing together. The friction this creates quickly produces rawness. It can become a burning, painful condition that makes walking a misery.

I guess Monkey Butt is a universal catch-all term for Nether Region Nastiness which makes walking very unpleasant.

Chafing

As I mentioned above, chafing happens as a result of friction. The source of the friction can be from two body parts, like thighs, rubbing together. It can also be from fabric rubbing against the skin. In many cases, chafing involves both.

For the most part, skin can take a lot of wear and tear, but it will wear down from repetitive movements where skin rubs against skin and/or fabric. Add constant moisture in the nether areas from being hot and sweaty, and that all day walk can end up, for some folks, with severe pain, bleeding, scabs, and even blistering.

For Butt Chafing there are some common risk factors.
  • Being overweight.
  • Wearing tight fitting clothes that are too tight or fit poorly.
  • Being too hairy. Yup, some is good, and a lot is not. This is something that is what it is, and you just have to accept what you’ve been given. Trying to landscape only aggravates the situation.
  • Physical activities like we do when walking a Camino: strenuous walking or hiking.
Prevention of Monkey Butt

The issue boils down to preventing chafing, skin irritations, and rashes.

First, if you are a current victim of Monkey Butt, the severity will dictate whether you should try and take a long break from walking (1 or 2 days) or simply begin using some of the preventive measures that are mentioned below. If you have a mild Monkey Butt outbreak and continue without a break, you’ll likely still get some immediate relief while you’re waiting for your monkey butt to clear up. Once you’ve got your Monkey Butt under control these tips will help to keep it at bay.

Clothing

Clothes that reduce skin friction is an obvious consideration. Wearing compression-type underwear or leggings which keep skin to skin contact from occurring really helps. Baselayer bottoms will also work.

If you wear running or hiking shorts, these can be worn underneath. The preference should be a focus on fabrics that are light and breathable and which wicks moisture away from the skin.

Underwear. 100% cotton underwear tends to get wet and stay wet, developing bacterial growths and funk. But on the other hand, underwear made from a full synthetic may interfere with needed airflow. There is underwear that carry a label of “technical” underwear, which is worth considering. Merino wool underwear is another option.

My personal underwear favorite: The Commando Brand. It has great airflow and is easy to care for. :)

Grooming

Body hair.

Body hair can help prevent chafing. Although thick or long body hair can aggravate sweat retention, moderate amounts of body hair reduces friction. If very long you might consider doing some mild trimming, but do not shave, pluck, pull or burn it all off.

Hygiene.

It is important to gently but thoroughly clean all cracks, crevices and folds of the inner thighs, perineum, and other nether areas. Odor and irritation down below are caused by bacteria and fungal organisms which thrive on warmth and moisture. Attempts by these pathogenic gomers to set up house and move in are continuous, but highly preventable with good hygiene.

Keep in mind that residual soaps will cause skin irritations, so be thorough with the rinse.

Stuff That Helps With Healing

Experienced hikers and other athletes have developed a variety of techniques to help with healing and prevention.
  • Time. When Monkey Butt has occurred, it takes time for it to resolve. If it is severe, taking a break from activity is almost a necessity. Even 24 hours can make a big difference in healing.
  • If the cause of Monkey Butt is specific to an organism, like a fungus, then proper medications like anti-fungal creams may be necessary. If simple Over-The-Counter (OTC) treatments have not helped to resolve the problem, it is a good idea to see a medical provider to do specific testing for a cause of the Monkey Butt.
  • Bag Balm. Bag Balm is a medicated lanolin that was developed for treating dairy cows with skin irritations on the udder and teats. It was found to be beneficial for all sorts of superficial skin issues, and even helps to discourage some common types of organisms. It has been found to be both soothing and healing for many chafing issues. It is also used to prevent chafing by applying it to the skin to reduce friction. Because of the lanolin base, the anti-friction skin applications tend to last longer than petrolatum products, like Vaseline.
  • OTC Lidocaine creams, anti-itch creams with hydrocortisone, Diaper rash ointments, etc. will help relieve symptoms like pain and itchiness. Again, these are for symptom relief and are not necessarily healing (although diaper rash preparations will do both).
Prevention Strategies
  • Body Glide, HikerGoo, Compeed Anti-Blister Stick, etc. These are waxy substances which stay on the skin for a long period of time and reduce friction. As with Bag Balm or Vaseline, they are applied to the skin and then re-applied as needed throughout the day.
  • Bag Balm or Vaseline. A time-honored method. A thin layer is applied to the area of concern.
  • Clothing. Mentioned above. . garments which prevent skin to skin friction.
  • Tapes and shields. These have limited application. Unlike feet, it is not advisable to apply barriers like tapes and moleskin to areas of the body at risk for Monkey Butt. Not only is there a higher risk for skin reactions to the adhesives, but the pain of removal could be a bit exquisite.
  • One area for a barrier application that can be of help for some men and women, are the nipples. It is common for the fabric of a shirt to rub against the nipples, which over time will cause rawness. Some folks are susceptible, others not so much. Alternatives to tapes, etc. include using Vaseline and Body Glide type substances.
There are, undoubtedly, numerous Monkey Butt Prevention Tips and Treatments that Forum members have used to good effect. This might become an interesting thread :)

I'm buying a kilt!

The Malingerer :)
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
There are many similar options but my ‘instant relief’ product for monkey butt, chub rub, chef’s arse and other friction related issues is ‘Grizzly Active’, produced by a tiny business in Yorkshire.

In occasion in the past it has saved my day.

It’s a petroleum jelly, lanolin etc mix in individual-use sachets. Easily found through google.

(I just checked out of interest only to find to my horror that the product is no longer available. Happily I bought 100 sachets last year, so that’s going to last a while. Other similar products are sold as ‘chamois cream’ - cyclists would recognise this as an ‘undercarriage’ lubricant for the part of you most in contact with the saddle. Anyway / ignore my, take Dave’s advice.

With respect to other friction prevention, as opposed to treatment products: the waxy lubricant sticks are much the same as each other. Body glide is quite pricy, Gold Bond may be cheaper depending on where you are.
 
Last edited:

evanscl

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Oct 2016
Lots of useful info there @davebugg , the bag balm sounds interesting, also the yorkshire remedy. Thanks for the post, i will look things up. I use vaseline for prevention but should any areas still get chafed etc I always take a lavender and teatree oil blend: 10ml of any carrier oil such as grapeseed or peach kernel oil, then add 3 drops of pure essential lavender oil and 3 of pure essential teatree oil.( if weight is a REAL issue you can do a 5ml bottle and 2 drops lavender 1 teatree but its not easy to replace the contents while travelling if you need a bit more than 5ml). Make sure its in brown/blue glass to stop light and the top fits well so it doesnt leak. I know its glass but if packed in a small sealed plastic bag tucked in with soft stuff its fine and a 10ml bottle is tiny. This blend works on any sore skin whether it be chafing, scratches, cracked skin or open blisters, spots, bites whatever. Put on a thin smear over sore area at night and by morning your skin is improved. I never travel without some.
 

Delphinoula

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C. PdC 2018 Finisterre Muxía 2018
C.Franconia 2019 C.Algeciras Sevillia 2019
Swabian C. (2020)
Did not know it was called monkey..., guys called it over here Wulf.
If you ever took care of babies what works for them will work for you.
If you find a real lonely private place sunning helps or and blowing with the hair blower as well.Go to an Italian they most likely have one. European baby creams is great
1587654145484.png Or what you use to prevent blisters.
 

Penbaysail

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
I use Calmoseptine paste, available in the U.S. for about $7 for a 2.5 oz. jar (about 70 grams). I always carry a half full jar, and it’s basically a thickened calamine lotion with Menthol + 20% Zinc Oxide. Works on many rashes & skin scrapes. Also works as a sunscreen around the eyes & ears.
 

KathrineRoss

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(June 2020)
All good advice, Thanks; I have an all purpose anti-inflammatory & anti-fungal cream from my Dr, its in an easy to carry little tube, I will be sure to take it along ...
 

LesR

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2017, 2018; Camino Portuguese 2019
To go along with the Alternative Toilet Paper thread, I thought maybe another 'below the belt' problem for some walkers and hikers might be in order.


Monkey Butt

This is not about the big, colorful back-ends of baboons :)

For those who are new to distance walking on a Camino, or backpacking, or trekking, there are some things which may be unknown to the newbie. Monkey Butt is one.

Monkey Butt is about a condition with symptoms of itching, rawness, redness, swelling, and general irritation around the upper thigh-gluteal-perineal-anal-groin area. It can be anything from a diaper rash like sore area between the buttocks, to chafing and rashes in other parts of the nether region areas.

Monkey Butt can also include chafing. This is another related problem for some walkers and backpackers. Perspiration in the groin area gets trapped in the folds of skin and thighs that are rubbing together. The friction this creates quickly produces rawness. It can become a burning, painful condition that makes walking a misery.

I guess Monkey Butt is a universal catch-all term for Nether Region Nastiness which makes walking very unpleasant.

Chafing

As I mentioned above, chafing happens as a result of friction. The source of the friction can be from two body parts, like thighs, rubbing together. It can also be from fabric rubbing against the skin. In many cases, chafing involves both.

For the most part, skin can take a lot of wear and tear, but it will wear down from repetitive movements where skin rubs against skin and/or fabric. Add constant moisture in the nether areas from being hot and sweaty, and that all day walk can end up, for some folks, with severe pain, bleeding, scabs, and even blistering.

For Butt Chafing there are some common risk factors.
  • Being overweight.
  • Wearing tight fitting clothes that are too tight or fit poorly.
  • Being too hairy. Yup, some is good, and a lot is not. This is something that is what it is, and you just have to accept what you’ve been given. Trying to landscape only aggravates the situation.
  • Physical activities like we do when walking a Camino: strenuous walking or hiking.
Prevention of Monkey Butt

The issue boils down to preventing chafing, skin irritations, and rashes.

First, if you are a current victim of Monkey Butt, the severity will dictate whether you should try and take a long break from walking (1 or 2 days) or simply begin using some of the preventive measures that are mentioned below. If you have a mild Monkey Butt outbreak and continue without a break, you’ll likely still get some immediate relief while you’re waiting for your monkey butt to clear up. Once you’ve got your Monkey Butt under control these tips will help to keep it at bay.

Clothing

Clothes that reduce skin friction is an obvious consideration. Wearing compression-type underwear or leggings which keep skin to skin contact from occurring really helps. Baselayer bottoms will also work.

If you wear running or hiking shorts, these can be worn underneath. The preference should be a focus on fabrics that are light and breathable and which wicks moisture away from the skin.

Underwear. 100% cotton underwear tends to get wet and stay wet, developing bacterial growths and funk. But on the other hand, underwear made from a full synthetic may interfere with needed airflow. There is underwear that carry a label of “technical” underwear, which is worth considering. Merino wool underwear is another option.

My personal underwear favorite: The Commando Brand. It has great airflow and is easy to care for. :)

Grooming

Body hair.

Body hair can help prevent chafing. Although thick or long body hair can aggravate sweat retention, moderate amounts of body hair reduces friction. If very long you might consider doing some mild trimming, but do not shave, pluck, pull or burn it all off.

Hygiene.

It is important to gently but thoroughly clean all cracks, crevices and folds of the inner thighs, perineum, and other nether areas. Odor and irritation down below are caused by bacteria and fungal organisms which thrive on warmth and moisture. Attempts by these pathogenic gomers to set up house and move in are continuous, but highly preventable with good hygiene.

Keep in mind that residual soaps will cause skin irritations, so be thorough with the rinse.

Stuff That Helps With Healing

Experienced hikers and other athletes have developed a variety of techniques to help with healing and prevention.
  • Time. When Monkey Butt has occurred, it takes time for it to resolve. If it is severe, taking a break from activity is almost a necessity. Even 24 hours can make a big difference in healing.
  • If the cause of Monkey Butt is specific to an organism, like a fungus, then proper medications like anti-fungal creams may be necessary. If simple Over-The-Counter (OTC) treatments have not helped to resolve the problem, it is a good idea to see a medical provider to do specific testing for a cause of the Monkey Butt.
  • Bag Balm. Bag Balm is a medicated lanolin that was developed for treating dairy cows with skin irritations on the udder and teats. It was found to be beneficial for all sorts of superficial skin issues, and even helps to discourage some common types of organisms. It has been found to be both soothing and healing for many chafing issues. It is also used to prevent chafing by applying it to the skin to reduce friction. Because of the lanolin base, the anti-friction skin applications tend to last longer than petrolatum products, like Vaseline.
  • OTC Lidocaine creams, anti-itch creams with hydrocortisone, Diaper rash ointments, etc. will help relieve symptoms like pain and itchiness. Again, these are for symptom relief and are not necessarily healing (although diaper rash preparations will do both).
Prevention Strategies
  • Body Glide, HikerGoo, Compeed Anti-Blister Stick, etc. These are waxy substances which stay on the skin for a long period of time and reduce friction. As with Bag Balm or Vaseline, they are applied to the skin and then re-applied as needed throughout the day.
  • Bag Balm or Vaseline. A time-honored method. A thin layer is applied to the area of concern.
  • Clothing. Mentioned above. . garments which prevent skin to skin friction.
  • Tapes and shields. These have limited application. Unlike feet, it is not advisable to apply barriers like tapes and moleskin to areas of the body at risk for Monkey Butt. Not only is there a higher risk for skin reactions to the adhesives, but the pain of removal could be a bit exquisite.
  • One area for a barrier application that can be of help for some men and women, are the nipples. It is common for the fabric of a shirt to rub against the nipples, which over time will cause rawness. Some folks are susceptible, others not so much. Alternatives to tapes, etc. include using Vaseline and Body Glide type substances.
There are, undoubtedly, numerous Monkey Butt Prevention Tips and Treatments that Forum members have used to good effect. This might become an interesting thread :)

CF2018 - I found Zambuk antiseptic ointment (https://earthclinic.com/remedies/zam-buk-benefits-and-uses/) very effective in treating aforesaid monkey butt.... It was recommended to me by a horse riding relative, although I didn't ask about the specifics of her use of it...

1587678063669.png
 
Last edited:

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
I can't say I've heard of "Monkey Butt," maybe that is a regional term for what's known (in my part of the world) as "Swamp Ass," or "Yow Bottom." Standard treatment? Gold Bond medicated body powder! (Ammen's is very good too.)
It's good for all kinds of itchy, sticky, or moisty troubles down there and all over.
 

Anthony18

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2019
To go along with the Alternative Toilet Paper thread, I thought maybe another 'below the belt' problem for some walkers and hikers might be in order.


Monkey Butt

This is not about the big, colorful back-ends of baboons :)

For those who are new to distance walking on a Camino, or backpacking, or trekking, there are some things which may be unknown to the newbie. Monkey Butt is one.

Monkey Butt is about a condition with symptoms of itching, rawness, redness, swelling, and general irritation around the upper thigh-gluteal-perineal-anal-groin area. It can be anything from a diaper rash like sore area between the buttocks, to chafing and rashes in other parts of the nether region areas.

Monkey Butt can also include chafing. This is another related problem for some walkers and backpackers. Perspiration in the groin area gets trapped in the folds of skin and thighs that are rubbing together. The friction this creates quickly produces rawness. It can become a burning, painful condition that makes walking a misery.

I guess Monkey Butt is a universal catch-all term for Nether Region Nastiness which makes walking very unpleasant.

Chafing

As I mentioned above, chafing happens as a result of friction. The source of the friction can be from two body parts, like thighs, rubbing together. It can also be from fabric rubbing against the skin. In many cases, chafing involves both.

For the most part, skin can take a lot of wear and tear, but it will wear down from repetitive movements where skin rubs against skin and/or fabric. Add constant moisture in the nether areas from being hot and sweaty, and that all day walk can end up, for some folks, with severe pain, bleeding, scabs, and even blistering.

For Butt Chafing there are some common risk factors.
  • Being overweight.
  • Wearing tight fitting clothes that are too tight or fit poorly.
  • Being too hairy. Yup, some is good, and a lot is not. This is something that is what it is, and you just have to accept what you’ve been given. Trying to landscape only aggravates the situation.
  • Physical activities like we do when walking a Camino: strenuous walking or hiking.
Prevention of Monkey Butt

The issue boils down to preventing chafing, skin irritations, and rashes.

First, if you are a current victim of Monkey Butt, the severity will dictate whether you should try and take a long break from walking (1 or 2 days) or simply begin using some of the preventive measures that are mentioned below. If you have a mild Monkey Butt outbreak and continue without a break, you’ll likely still get some immediate relief while you’re waiting for your monkey butt to clear up. Once you’ve got your Monkey Butt under control these tips will help to keep it at bay.

Clothing

Clothes that reduce skin friction is an obvious consideration. Wearing compression-type underwear or leggings which keep skin to skin contact from occurring really helps. Baselayer bottoms will also work.

If you wear running or hiking shorts, these can be worn underneath. The preference should be a focus on fabrics that are light and breathable and which wicks moisture away from the skin.

Underwear. 100% cotton underwear tends to get wet and stay wet, developing bacterial growths and funk. But on the other hand, underwear made from a full synthetic may interfere with needed airflow. There is underwear that carry a label of “technical” underwear, which is worth considering. Merino wool underwear is another option.

My personal underwear favorite: The Commando Brand. It has great airflow and is easy to care for. :)

Grooming

Body hair.

Body hair can help prevent chafing. Although thick or long body hair can aggravate sweat retention, moderate amounts of body hair reduces friction. If very long you might consider doing some mild trimming, but do not shave, pluck, pull or burn it all off.

Hygiene.

It is important to gently but thoroughly clean all cracks, crevices and folds of the inner thighs, perineum, and other nether areas. Odor and irritation down below are caused by bacteria and fungal organisms which thrive on warmth and moisture. Attempts by these pathogenic gomers to set up house and move in are continuous, but highly preventable with good hygiene.

Keep in mind that residual soaps will cause skin irritations, so be thorough with the rinse.

Stuff That Helps With Healing

Experienced hikers and other athletes have developed a variety of techniques to help with healing and prevention.
  • Time. When Monkey Butt has occurred, it takes time for it to resolve. If it is severe, taking a break from activity is almost a necessity. Even 24 hours can make a big difference in healing.
  • If the cause of Monkey Butt is specific to an organism, like a fungus, then proper medications like anti-fungal creams may be necessary. If simple Over-The-Counter (OTC) treatments have not helped to resolve the problem, it is a good idea to see a medical provider to do specific testing for a cause of the Monkey Butt.
  • Bag Balm. Bag Balm is a medicated lanolin that was developed for treating dairy cows with skin irritations on the udder and teats. It was found to be beneficial for all sorts of superficial skin issues, and even helps to discourage some common types of organisms. It has been found to be both soothing and healing for many chafing issues. It is also used to prevent chafing by applying it to the skin to reduce friction. Because of the lanolin base, the anti-friction skin applications tend to last longer than petrolatum products, like Vaseline.
  • OTC Lidocaine creams, anti-itch creams with hydrocortisone, Diaper rash ointments, etc. will help relieve symptoms like pain and itchiness. Again, these are for symptom relief and are not necessarily healing (although diaper rash preparations will do both).
Prevention Strategies
  • Body Glide, HikerGoo, Compeed Anti-Blister Stick, etc. These are waxy substances which stay on the skin for a long period of time and reduce friction. As with Bag Balm or Vaseline, they are applied to the skin and then re-applied as needed throughout the day.
  • Bag Balm or Vaseline. A time-honored method. A thin layer is applied to the area of concern.
  • Clothing. Mentioned above. . garments which prevent skin to skin friction.
  • Tapes and shields. These have limited application. Unlike feet, it is not advisable to apply barriers like tapes and moleskin to areas of the body at risk for Monkey Butt. Not only is there a higher risk for skin reactions to the adhesives, but the pain of removal could be a bit exquisite.
  • One area for a barrier application that can be of help for some men and women, are the nipples. It is common for the fabric of a shirt to rub against the nipples, which over time will cause rawness. Some folks are susceptible, others not so much. Alternatives to tapes, etc. include using Vaseline and Body Glide type substances.
There are, undoubtedly, numerous Monkey Butt Prevention Tips and Treatments that Forum members have used to good effect. This might become an interesting thread :)
Here's my holy trinity...Zinc Oxide, prep-H and Vaseline.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
Have gotten the old below the belt chafe on more than one occasion while walking the Camino, in the military and backpacking. Nowadays I have found that the proper underwear and shorts/pants make all the difference. I only wear shorts and pants with a gusseted crotch and the same goes for the tech underwear I'm wearing. I did not always have that option. I also always carry a tube of vaseline and it is probably one of the most versatile things in my kit. Use it for blister prevention, the occasional chafing and as a regular skin moisturizer for feet, hands elbows and knees. Would not walk the Camino without it.
 

RRat

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning 2017
To go along with the Alternative Toilet Paper thread, I thought maybe another 'below the belt' problem for some walkers and hikers might be in order.


Monkey Butt

This is not about the big, colorful back-ends of baboons :)

For those who are new to distance walking on a Camino, or backpacking, or trekking, there are some things which may be unknown to the newbie. Monkey Butt is one.

Monkey Butt is about a condition with symptoms of itching, rawness, redness, swelling, and general irritation around the upper thigh-gluteal-perineal-anal-groin area. It can be anything from a diaper rash like sore area between the buttocks, to chafing and rashes in other parts of the nether region areas.

Monkey Butt can also include chafing. This is another related problem for some walkers and backpackers. Perspiration in the groin area gets trapped in the folds of skin and thighs that are rubbing together. The friction this creates quickly produces rawness. It can become a burning, painful condition that makes walking a misery.

I guess Monkey Butt is a universal catch-all term for Nether Region Nastiness which makes walking very unpleasant.

Chafing

As I mentioned above, chafing happens as a result of friction. The source of the friction can be from two body parts, like thighs, rubbing together. It can also be from fabric rubbing against the skin. In many cases, chafing involves both.

For the most part, skin can take a lot of wear and tear, but it will wear down from repetitive movements where skin rubs against skin and/or fabric. Add constant moisture in the nether areas from being hot and sweaty, and that all day walk can end up, for some folks, with severe pain, bleeding, scabs, and even blistering.

For Butt Chafing there are some common risk factors.
  • Being overweight.
  • Wearing tight fitting clothes that are too tight or fit poorly.
  • Being too hairy. Yup, some is good, and a lot is not. This is something that is what it is, and you just have to accept what you’ve been given. Trying to landscape only aggravates the situation.
  • Physical activities like we do when walking a Camino: strenuous walking or hiking.
Prevention of Monkey Butt

The issue boils down to preventing chafing, skin irritations, and rashes.

First, if you are a current victim of Monkey Butt, the severity will dictate whether you should try and take a long break from walking (1 or 2 days) or simply begin using some of the preventive measures that are mentioned below. If you have a mild Monkey Butt outbreak and continue without a break, you’ll likely still get some immediate relief while you’re waiting for your monkey butt to clear up. Once you’ve got your Monkey Butt under control these tips will help to keep it at bay.

Clothing

Clothes that reduce skin friction is an obvious consideration. Wearing compression-type underwear or leggings which keep skin to skin contact from occurring really helps. Baselayer bottoms will also work.

If you wear running or hiking shorts, these can be worn underneath. The preference should be a focus on fabrics that are light and breathable and which wicks moisture away from the skin.

Underwear. 100% cotton underwear tends to get wet and stay wet, developing bacterial growths and funk. But on the other hand, underwear made from a full synthetic may interfere with needed airflow. There is underwear that carry a label of “technical” underwear, which is worth considering. Merino wool underwear is another option.

My personal underwear favorite: The Commando Brand. It has great airflow and is easy to care for. :)

Grooming

Body hair.

Body hair can help prevent chafing. Although thick or long body hair can aggravate sweat retention, moderate amounts of body hair reduces friction. If very long you might consider doing some mild trimming, but do not shave, pluck, pull or burn it all off.

Hygiene.

It is important to gently but thoroughly clean all cracks, crevices and folds of the inner thighs, perineum, and other nether areas. Odor and irritation down below are caused by bacteria and fungal organisms which thrive on warmth and moisture. Attempts by these pathogenic gomers to set up house and move in are continuous, but highly preventable with good hygiene.

Keep in mind that residual soaps will cause skin irritations, so be thorough with the rinse.

Stuff That Helps With Healing

Experienced hikers and other athletes have developed a variety of techniques to help with healing and prevention.
  • Time. When Monkey Butt has occurred, it takes time for it to resolve. If it is severe, taking a break from activity is almost a necessity. Even 24 hours can make a big difference in healing.
  • If the cause of Monkey Butt is specific to an organism, like a fungus, then proper medications like anti-fungal creams may be necessary. If simple Over-The-Counter (OTC) treatments have not helped to resolve the problem, it is a good idea to see a medical provider to do specific testing for a cause of the Monkey Butt.
  • Bag Balm. Bag Balm is a medicated lanolin that was developed for treating dairy cows with skin irritations on the udder and teats. It was found to be beneficial for all sorts of superficial skin issues, and even helps to discourage some common types of organisms. It has been found to be both soothing and healing for many chafing issues. It is also used to prevent chafing by applying it to the skin to reduce friction. Because of the lanolin base, the anti-friction skin applications tend to last longer than petrolatum products, like Vaseline.
  • OTC Lidocaine creams, anti-itch creams with hydrocortisone, Diaper rash ointments, etc. will help relieve symptoms like pain and itchiness. Again, these are for symptom relief and are not necessarily healing (although diaper rash preparations will do both).
Prevention Strategies
  • Body Glide, HikerGoo, Compeed Anti-Blister Stick, etc. These are waxy substances which stay on the skin for a long period of time and reduce friction. As with Bag Balm or Vaseline, they are applied to the skin and then re-applied as needed throughout the day.
  • Bag Balm or Vaseline. A time-honored method. A thin layer is applied to the area of concern.
  • Clothing. Mentioned above. . garments which prevent skin to skin friction.
  • Tapes and shields. These have limited application. Unlike feet, it is not advisable to apply barriers like tapes and moleskin to areas of the body at risk for Monkey Butt. Not only is there a higher risk for skin reactions to the adhesives, but the pain of removal could be a bit exquisite.
  • One area for a barrier application that can be of help for some men and women, are the nipples. It is common for the fabric of a shirt to rub against the nipples, which over time will cause rawness. Some folks are susceptible, others not so much. Alternatives to tapes, etc. include using Vaseline and Body Glide type substances.
There are, undoubtedly, numerous Monkey Butt Prevention Tips and Treatments that Forum members have used to good effect. This might become an interesting thread :)
Any baby diaper rash ointment will work. Balmex is our family's go to ointment on the way home from the beach. Sand gets EVERWHERE if you follow my drift.
 

Delphinoula

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C. PdC 2018 Finisterre Muxía 2018
C.Franconia 2019 C.Algeciras Sevillia 2019
Swabian C. (2020)
I wonder about Eucalyptus camphor and maybe peppermint oil on irritated skin at delicate areas.
or is Zam Buk for the saddle?
Now I know why Wicks rub is so successful for my feed looking at those ingredients.
 

LesR

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2017, 2018; Camino Portuguese 2019
I wonder about Eucalyptus camphor and maybe peppermint oil on irritated skin at delicate areas.
or is Zam Buk for the saddle?
Now I know why Wicks rub is so successful for my feed looking at those ingredients.
Zam Buk worked for me - two days and it was gone... (and it wasn't applied to a saddle as I was just walking)
 

mikebet

Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Pamplona (2016); Baiona to Santiago (2018); Sarria to Santiago (2018)
That's a new one on me. I've ever heard of monkey butt outside the context of motorcycling, where sitting on a plastic seat for a long time in hot weather can bring it on. Now crotch rot, that's another story. LOL
 

Heather Anne

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
The best thing that I have ever used is Alexander's Rash Ease cream. Available on Amazon. It prevents and treats a rash and is not sticky or gooey.
ALEXANDER'S RASH EASE SPORT CREAM
  • Description
  • Directions
  • Ingredients
Sports activities and outdoor adventures can also result in a sore butt. Perspiration in contact with skin will often generate skin rash and chafing. Alexander’s Rash Ease sport cream is an excellent cream for treatment and prevention of skin rash and chafing caused by sport activities.
 

hecate105

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
'09 Portuguese Estellas '14 Aurelia '16 St Davids '17 Via Augusta/V dl P. '18/'19 Michael Mary Way
Whatever you do- do NOT use tiger balm....!! When cycling in Cambodia my American friend bought some at the market thinking it was like a nappy rash cream - boy did he regret that....! :eek:😂🤪
 

LakeMcD

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 15' Portuguese 16' GR10/Norte/Primitivo 17' Chemin LePuy 18' Salvador/Prim/Kerry Way 19'
I had the unfortunate experience of this malady on my first camino. In addition to what has been mentioned above, I also found ventilation to be beneficial, anything to reduce the heat down. Go commando !!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2017
I was fortunate not to have experienced any problems in 2017 when I walked the Camino Frances. However, I was aware of the possibility of irritation when walking day after day after day, so I carried Vaseline with me—a product I've used to good effect in hot, humid environments when running, cycling, and hiking. The Spanish product, Acofar Derm vaselina pura filante, is available in pharmacies throughout Spain, and works equally well.
 

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