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Reccuring red rash under socks while hiking

 
 
Reply Wed 28 Jul, 2004 06:45 am
Good day. I have been having problems with a recurring red rash on my lower legs while hiking in the summer months. I usually hike in pants or with leggings and shorts. I went to a dermatologist who said it was an allergic reaction of a sort but couldn't say what caused it. He prescribed Rx hydrocortisone cream which did help clear it up(i did not hike during the healing stage, about 1 week). The rash is an angry red color, it does not itch but rather burns especially when showering almost like a bad sunburn. I have been using "dreft" laundry soap and "dove" bar soap per the dermatologist but this seems to have no effect. On a hike in Virginia a few days ago i got a really bad case of this rash again. The temp was mid 80s and humid. I had not applied sunsceen or insect repellent to any parts of my body. I hiked for 6 hours and did sweat quite a bit. The rash began to appear within 3 hours and spread from achilles tendon area to almost at the lower kneecap on both legs. It has been 3 days since then and the rash is slowly going away and i have not been out hiking since then either. If anyone can offer any suggestions or has had this condition I would welcome your response. Could this be heat rash??
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Type: Discussion • Score: 9 • Views: 16,050 • Replies: 20
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NickFun
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Jul, 2004 07:19 am
I am also an avid hiker. It sounds like you are allergic to one of the various plants you encounter on your hike. The rash sounds similar to poison ivy but is probably not. Keeping the legs covered should help. Also, try Eucerin lotion. To find which plant you are allergic to, take a sample of the most common fauna you encounter and rub a sample of each on your legs at different intervals. I am sure one of the plants will give you the rash and you can make efforts to avoid that during your hike.
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Jul, 2004 09:27 am
Where do you hike? Have you tried wearing different socks? What do you wear while hiking that is different than what you normally wear?

My dad gets something exactly like this on occasion. He gets it after golfing and especially when he golfs at one particular club. He thinks it's the pesticides used on the grass.
0 Replies
 
Equus
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Jul, 2004 09:35 am
Probably not heat rash- yours sounds too severe. Your dermatologist knows more than me any of us. Could be any number of things. Could be something like poison ivy or insect bite, or perhaps even some foreign substance in your socks- residual laundry detergent could do it. Or it could be that the rash is a symptom of something else- maybe diabetes?
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ladyram
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Jul, 2004 04:22 pm
Probably is heat rash.
Sounds like it could be heat rash. Try a different detergent.
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TPS
 
  0  
Reply Fri 30 Jul, 2004 06:55 pm
The rash you describe suggests a reaction to something to which your legs were exposed as you walked - some sort of nettle - toxin from poison ivy - even, perhaps. an herbicide applied by park personnel to keep trails clear. The steroid cream was appropriate, I think. Best to avoid exposure, as with long trousers or knee-length hose. Get scientific and cut off the lower half of an old pair of trousers and see what happens - and laugh off some of the remarks of folks you meet on the trail.
0 Replies
 
TPS
 
  0  
Reply Fri 30 Jul, 2004 06:57 pm
The rash you describe suggests a reaction to something to which your legs were exposed as you walked - some sort of nettle - toxin from poison ivy - even, perhaps. an herbicide applied by park personnel to keep trails clear. The steroid cream was appropriate, I think. Best to avoid exposure, as with long trousers or knee-length hose. Get scientific and cut off the lower half of an old pair of trousers and see what happens - and laugh off some of the remarks of folks you meet on the trail.
0 Replies
 
TPS
 
  0  
Reply Fri 30 Jul, 2004 06:58 pm
The rash you describe suggests a reaction to something to which your legs were exposed as you walked - some sort of nettle - toxin from poison ivy - even, perhaps. an herbicide applied by park personnel to keep trails clear. The steroid cream was appropriate, I think. Best to avoid exposure, as with long trousers or knee-length hose. Get scientific and cut off the lower half of an old pair of trousers and see what happens - and laugh off some of the remarks of folks you meet on the trail.
0 Replies
 
TPS
 
  0  
Reply Fri 30 Jul, 2004 06:58 pm
The rash you describe suggests a reaction to something to which your legs were exposed as you walked - some sort of nettle - toxin from poison ivy - even, perhaps. an herbicide applied by park personnel to keep trails clear. The steroid cream was appropriate, I think. Best to avoid exposure, as with long trousers or knee-length hose. Get scientific and cut off the lower half of an old pair of trousers and see what happens - and laugh off some of the remarks of folks you meet on the trail.
0 Replies
 
TPS
 
  0  
Reply Fri 30 Jul, 2004 06:58 pm
The rash you describe suggests a reaction to something to which your legs were exposed as you walked - some sort of nettle - toxin from poison ivy - even, perhaps. an herbicide applied by park personnel to keep trails clear. The steroid cream was appropriate, I think. Best to avoid exposure, as with long trousers or knee-length hose. Get scientific and cut off the lower half of an old pair of trousers and see what happens - and laugh off some of the remarks of folks you meet on the trail.
0 Replies
 
Chuckster
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 Jul, 2004 07:59 am
Rash
Check out your symptoms on The Physicians Desktop Reference Manual. Laughing
0 Replies
 
Rainman40475
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 Mar, 2012 09:41 am
@fortran42,
I get the same rash, but only on the insides, right at the sock line. I've always used wool socks. I have a couple of hikes coming up, I think I'll experiment with different sock materials.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 Mar, 2012 11:11 am
@Rainman40475,
Could be, though wool, especially marino wool is supposed to be the best.

I think the original poster of several years would also have done well to look at the socks, and especially whatever they were washed and rinsed in.
0 Replies
 
daisygirl75
 
  1  
Reply Fri 31 Aug, 2012 12:17 pm
@fortran42,
I am 37 years old and I have been experiencing the SAME EXACT thing! I have been hiking for the last 3-4 years. I live in Baltimore and do most of my hiking in WV, VA, MD & recently in NY. The rash started subtle about 2 years ago and seem to be getting worse and worse with each trip (I go approx 6-10 (8+ miles) hikes a year). I wear sock liners under wool socks. Since the rash gets worse, I have been experimenting with a variety of sock materials, insect repellant, lotions, long pants vs shorts, and even cute the tubing of regular cotton socks to place around the place I get the rash. Nothing works and nothing changes the fact that I get the rashes. I haven't gone to the dermatologist yet. I would love to know what is causing these reactions! My guess is the sweat running down legs gets concentrated around the area and the elastic of the socks create a heat rash from the sweat and sensitive skin. It's just one of those things that I expect to live with and hope one day it gets better as I plan on hiking the AT one day!
0 Replies
 
Karyl Magee
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Mar, 2013 08:55 am
I also have been getting this rash in the past two years. I get it during the warm months, but all of my walking is done inside in concrete floors with no exposure to the plants or outdoor chemicals. I wear wool socks, good quality ones dyed black. When wearing the non-dyed ones (ie. heavy wool ragg socks) I have not had the rash form. I notice that it is most prominent when I wear any socks with rubberized elastics or spandex type materials, or those with dyes, or certain types of wool manufactured with certain chemicals used to process it. Some socks have recycled plastics in them, another source of chemical allergic reactions. I have spent quite a lot of money trying to find thick socks that are good for extensive walking that are made of all natural yarns and materials. I am still looking!
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Mar, 2013 10:09 am
@Karyl Magee,
Maybe try ragg socks. LL Bean sells them.
0 Replies
 
backpack45
 
  2  
Reply Sat 27 Jul, 2013 01:58 pm
@fortran42,
I've had this problem off and on over many years and haven't really gotten to the bottom of it, but I will say that it has not kept me from hiking thousands of miles (the Pacific Crest Trail, Camino trails in Europe, etc.). However, it is particularly bad right now--following a hike in town (not near any poison oak, etc.) on roadways. It doesn't itch, but I sometimes wonder if there is a possibility that it might become infected.
It's just on the inside of my lower legs--so I think it is the socks, on warm days, plus the friction of legs rubbing against each other. I, too, am going to experiment with wool or synthetic or various other compositions of my socks.
0 Replies
 
Miller
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Jul, 2013 02:25 pm
@fortran42,
You don't mention if you had a temperature or not.

It sounds like an allergy, but I also thought a yeast infection.

You might try powder from Gold Bond to coat your skin and keep it dry.

Did your MD mention the possibility of an infection, secondary to a herpes infection in either one of your toes, or your foot. I mention this because dancers who often perform in bare feet tend to have random herpes out breaks in their feet, which if not treated will lead to secondary bacterial foot infections, which have the appearance of inflamed and spreading rash-like appearance.
0 Replies
 
Miller
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Jul, 2013 02:26 pm
I just noticed the age of this thread...
0 Replies
 
Traveldipper
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Apr, 2016 12:54 am
@fortran42,
This could be exercise induced Vasculitis or Golfers rash. Caused by tiny blood vessels coming to the surface and sometimes bursting. Sounds worse than it is! Socks and heat can cause a redness above the ankle sock and can also develop up the calf in blotches. Taking your socks off when you stop for a break and raising your legs and changing socks during your hike can help as well as drinking plenty of water. If you are over 50 it is more likely. In my case I've been left with scarring but although unsightly, in the majority of cases it goes away once you stop doing a massive hike. Mine almost disappeared but as I said I've been left with a small darker coloured area of skin. An antihistamine tablet may help as well but creams do not help unless it's prickly heat but then that itches like crazy so you'd know.
0 Replies
 
 

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