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Monkey Butt

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davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
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 Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking.
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I don't have these problems, Dave, but it was an interesting read, none the less! Ive read a little something about this on the forum before, but this thread is practically a "first" with all the many details you provide. 😜
 
Last edited:

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
It has been mentioned before but not so detailed though ;)

What @davebugg so thoroughly explained above is one more reason to take a few hikes with full gear before hitting the Camino. That's for first timers. All the rest already know how to deal with it. I hope...

My remedy or/and prevention is talcum powder. Very cheap in farmacias but you still have to carry it :D
 

Micah26

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino France's (2018)
Thanks DaveBugg I’ve learned a new name😊 As a well endowed middle aged woman I was a little concerned this might be an issue on my Camino. Luckily, it was not?! But now as I continue to walk I have a name and a remedy should it happen... Thanks!
 

malingerer

Active Member
Thanks DaveBugg I’ve learned a new name😊 As a well endowed middle aged woman I was a little concerned this might be an issue on my Camino. Luckily, it was not?! But now as I continue to walk I have a name and a remedy should it happen... Thanks!
likewise an hilarious thankee for new name for an old condition! My sanctified arse now has a new array of sayings, conditions and cures! I thought talcum powder had gone out of fashion? Nappy rash has always tickled me in more ways than one ! (I'm 81) :)

Yours aye,

the malingerer.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
And there I thought this was called 'chub rub.'
Thanks for bringing it into the open, @davebugg!

Anyone with daikon legs understands the physics (and physicality) of this all too well.
Women who do not have legs like chopsticks need to pay attention this thread if they intend to walk in skirts: body glide is your friend, especially in the heat.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
Presumably the reason John Wayne walked the way he did?

Zinc Oxide (Sudocrem is a popular brand in the UK). I've related before about buying a pair of shorts in Decathlon in Estella and within a day having an unbelievably painful rash on my inner thigh due to a poorly made up inseam. The cream is messy but boy does it work well - as generations of nappy/diaper rash sufferers with attest!
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
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 :)
Got a link for the Commando Brand underwear?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016, Mansill de las Mulas to Finisterre and Muxia 2017, Camino Aragones 2018
Presumably the reason John Wayne walked the way he did?

Zinc Oxide (Sudocrem is a popular brand in the UK). I've related before about buying a pair of shorts in Decathlon in Estella and within a day having an unbelievably painful rash on my inner thigh due to a poorly made up inseam. The cream is messy but boy does it work well - as generations of nappy/diaper rash sufferers with attest!
Jeff, perhaps not. I walked the same way as John Wayne after riding Pia the horse up to O Cebreiro.

Women can have these problems too in hot and humid climates. Zinc Oxide is a useful product.
 
Last edited:

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF2012,Le Puy/CF 2015 Portugues 2017 Norte 2018, CF 2019
I don't know if it was Monkey Butt, my first Camino during training and early on my camino I would get alot of irritation around my nipples. I started to use Body Glide and it seemed to work well for me. Haven't had that problem since.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
Yeah, the number of forum members who have great appreciation for Dave's efforts to inform us are going to dip some by the same number of people who go to their local sports shop asking for Commando Brand underwear.
Popular in Scotland I understand. Ask at any outlet that sells kilts.
 

bikerkvw

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Inglish, Camino de la Plata. Future Camino Francis
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 :)
In the Marines we called this "Croach Rot." I still get it. I use a cream you can get at any Pharmacy along the way. I bring a use tube with me. Cures it right up in a few days. I use the same for Athletic Feet.
 

Anthony18

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2019
Presumably the reason John Wayne walked the way he did?

Zinc Oxide (Sudocrem is a popular brand in the UK). I've related before about buying a pair of shorts in Decathlon in Estella and within a day having an unbelievably painful rash on my inner thigh due to a poorly made up inseam. The cream is messy but boy does it work well - as generations of nappy/diaper rash sufferers with attest!
I agree that Zinc Oxide is a miracle cream. Works well on pretty much any skin irritation anywhere.
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
In the Marines we called this "Croach Rot." I still get it. I use a cream you can get at any Pharmacy along the way. I bring a use tube with me. Cures it right up in a few days. I use the same for Athletic Feet.
I get you. As a medic in Vietnam, the issue of 'crotch rot' had a lot to do with fungal organisms and some cases looked like second degree burns. :eek:
 

malingerer

Active Member
Yeah, the number of forum members who have great appreciation for Dave's efforts to inform us are going to dip some by the same number of people who go to their local sports shop asking for Commando Brand underwear.
I thought going commando was the UK equivalent of US speak " nekkid as a jaybird" / meaning no drawers? :) I can see some linguistic fracas on the trail!
I have been so tickled by my discovery of this phraseology I tried it out on the nice young lady at my favourite betting shop who looked at me pokerfaced for a minute before having hysterics and telling me yes she knew what it meant! Sheesh!
The Malingerer.
 

Texas Walker

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte (2017 summer)
Portugues (2015)
Frances (2014)
One treatment possibility: stay in a private room and buy the really good skin cream from the farmacia for chafing, then air things out for a while before bed. (It would be helpful if the various language guides included the word for "chafing!" The discussion with the nice pharmacist in Fatima a few years back took a bit before she got the idea of where the wet fabric was causing problems.) Ladies, if you don't have "thigh gap" this thread is for you. The hiking shorts often have cotton blend thread in the inseams.
 

Texas Walker

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte (2017 summer)
Portugues (2015)
Frances (2014)
oops, that was supposed to be the crotch seams, sorry about that!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Roncesvalles to Sahagun Oct 2016
Sahagun to SDC April 2017
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. The term "landscaping" presents a whole variety of images :rolleyes:
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking.
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Often referred to in Canada as going "regimental" with a kilt. Oh, isn't this fun :D
Yes, it is fun! I've had a lot of chuckles...of course, I don't have to personally deal with this problem. Maybe others reading this thread are not so lucky, and not laughing at all.
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Roncesvalles to Sahagun Oct 2016
Sahagun to SDC April 2017
Yes, it is fun! I've had a lot of chuckles...of course, I don't have to personally deal with this problem. Maybe others reading this tbread are not so lucky, and not laughing at all.
Tis so true. Being forced to walk like a penguin is no way to spend your day
You can buy this stuff anywhere in the USA: https://www.antimonkeybutt.com/

Never needed it, myself....
Also very effective is the white cream used for baby diaper rash. Doesn't smell and adheres well
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking.
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Tis so true. Being forced to walk like a penguin is no way to spend your day


Also very effective is the white cream used for baby diaper rash. Doesn't smell and adheres well
Yes, but it is sticky and is rather horrible! I remember from using it on my babies!
 

LesR

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
Monkey Butt
Interesting topic indeed....

I prefer to wear 3/4 length cotton trunks to minimise chaffing and which normally work very well. However on CF 2018 I did get a case of Monkey Butt...

Bought some talc powder, which did little to assist.

Fortunately I remembered that I carried a small tin of Zambuk - recommended to me by a relative who rode horses for pleasure. Worked a treat - all symptoms gone in around 12 hours...

 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking.
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Ha! Any time anyone says "worked a treat" I'm quite sure they are Aussies! ...yep!
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Interesting topic indeed....

I prefer to wear 3/4 length cotton trunks to minimise chaffing and which normally work very well. However on CF 2018 I did get a case of Monkey Butt...

Bought some talc powder, which did little to assist.

Fortunately I remembered that I carried a small tin of Zambuk - recommended to me by a relative who rode horses for pleasure. Worked a treat - all symptoms gone in around 12 hours...

Talcum powder is useless to treat the consequences of chaffing but it works pretty well to prevent it ;)
 

amocatnerak

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances April 2018, Frances October 2019
I haven't had to suffer with this Monkey Butt problem, but I do keep some diaper rash ointment in my first aid kit just in case. I found some individually wrapped/single-use packets at the pharmacy 👍🏻
 

daesdaemar

Camino-holic
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles - twice
I have always used Body Glide in those areas along with compression synthetic underwear and never had a problem.
 

dbender49

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
None
I had a really painful case of chafing when hiking the Appalachian Trail years ago. The problem was sweat running down my back and into that region, which led to wet skin rubbing against wet skin. The solution I came up with was to absorb the moisture before it could enter my shorts. I used a piece of camp towel draped over my waistband, partly inside my shorts and partly hanging out. Worked great.

And another cream that works well is a German brand favored by cyclists called Gesäßcreme.
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Plan on walking the Camino Frances May 2019, God willing
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 :)
Yikes!!!! I am a month away from beginning my first Camino and stressing about things (weight, weather, what do I need, what can I leave behind) and now Monkey Butt. Can we possibly be prepared for everything and keep weight to 12 pounds???? Thanks for the warning - at least it won't come as a complete surprise.
 

K Turner

One step at a time
Camino(s) past & future
14 August 2019 (SJPdP 16 August)
I'm going to visit the farmacia tomorrow here in Puente la Reina. Zinc oxide it is! 🤫 I'm so glad for this thread!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, Madrid (2019) Portuges (2020)
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 :)


In addition to Mr Bugg’s words of wisdom:

If you're of a sensitive disposition, then I hope you’ve had the sense to go back to your Camino planning and leave this thread alone.

I write from a male perspective. My wife has assured me for the last 29 years that women don’t sweat (or perspire, or glow) and never break wind. I have long-since learned not to argue.

It’s not uncommon for gentlemen to transfer athlete’s foot (a fungal infection) from their feet to the area around their genetalia. This results less from the need to ascertain the condition of their feet and more from their constant desire to examine the size, shape and general condition of the latter. According to a friend. (Cough!)

If you suffer from a red and generally itchy set of gentleman’s parts, consider an anti-fungal cream.

Moving on:

If you’re just a fat bloke (like me) the prevention of ‘chub rub’ is better than cure.

Colloquially we who are built for comfort and not for speed may be politely known as ‘chubsters’. I’ll stop there as to offer more descriptions would be to invite a ban.

On the prevention front, clearly petroleum jelly is the bargain basement alternative. Vaseline, or similar.

The gold standard is probably body-glide.

Whenever body-glide is mentioned someone comes along and says that Gold Bond does the same, but it’s cheaper. It’s true - but if you’re in Europe the shipping doubles the cost. Use either - they work.

Of course, I know the answer is to skip the occasional meal and shed a few pounds, but when there’s a reality-defying lubricant as an alternative, I’ll take it.

Once all the above has failed and the contents of your shorts look like the aftermath of a fight in an abattoir (I do hope the sensitive souls have gone by now) then it’s time for damage-control measures.

Somewhere above are enumerated many ‘nappy rash’ relief products. Bear in mind that an infants affected area is likely to be smaller than yours. Buy a big bottle.

Sudacrem and similar zinc-based creams will generally help, as will the generic baby products - applied liberally.

I’ve recently been using a UK manufactured product called ‘Grizzly’ (we have no grizzlys, or indeed bears of any kind here, but if they branded it ‘squirrel’ or similar it probably wouldn’t convey the right message.)

It works as a soothing and lubricating ointment. It comes in single-use sachets. I have no commercial connections with them, but it works for me. It’s made near Harrogate and has some vague connection with the army based thereabouts.

I may tidy this up later.
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Via Francigena (2017), plus more than 2000 Km/year of trekking, hiking and minor caminos since 2000.
"Preparation H" works very well.
 

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