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Thread: weird leg rash?

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    Question weird leg rash?

    I have recently had a bad case of what some people call "hiker's rash" on my lower legs. It starts just above the sock line. I stopped using liners and don't use wool any more - but it has gotten worse the past few day hikes. It goes away in about a week, but seems to be getting worse - yesterday I had day hikers and short socks and it happened? I worry it will get worse with back packing/consecutive day hikes. Any advice on this condition would be appreciated.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by tenderfoot2
    I have recently had a bad case of what some people call "hiker's rash" on my lower legs. It starts just above the sock line. I stopped using liners and don't use wool any more - but it has gotten worse the past few day hikes. It goes away in about a week, but seems to be getting worse - yesterday I had day hikers and short socks and it happened? I worry it will get worse with back packing/consecutive day hikes. Any advice on this condition would be appreciated.
    Go see an MD.
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    Registered User orangebug's Avatar
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    Ditto, go see a doctor about it. By your description, I have no clue about it. I wonder if you aren't sensitive to sunlight, and would expect the type of socks is a red herring.

    The "hiker's rash" I'm accustomed to is either poison ivy or chafing between the legs.

    Bill....

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    It is common for me to get a light rash at the top of my sock line. It has never been anything serious as a little cortaid has taken care of it for me. Don't know if it is heat related and or related to brush or trail debris making some repeative contact.

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    Default Rash concerns...

    Quote Originally Posted by tenderfoot2
    I have recently had a bad case of what some people call "hiker's rash" on my lower legs. It starts just above the sock line. ...........etc,etc,etc,..................Any advice on this condition would be appreciated.

    IF you've ruled out POISION IVY, POISON OAK, & SUMAC poisoning...which can be treated with OTC meds...then, as has been stated...SEE A DOCTOR!
    see ya'll UP the trail!

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  6. #6

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    YUP,

    sounds like you've developed a sensitivity to the sun. Get to a doctor and consider investing in some light hiking pants.
    Andrew "Iceman" Priestley
    AT'95, GA>ME

    Non nobis Domine, non nobis sed Nomini Tuo da Gloriam
    Not for us O Lord, not for us but in Your Name is the Glory

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    First Sergeant SGT Rock's Avatar
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    There is also the possibility of nettles, chiggers, buttercups, or some other plant/insect cause.
    SGT Rock
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    NO SNIVELING

  8. #8

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    In the summer we frequently get a sort of red rash on our legs - maybe from grasses, maybe just heat, maybe from the constriction of our socks. It doesn't hurt, doesn't itch, just looks bad for a day or so. I've had this happen every summer for 15 years. Never a problem - YMMV

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    Peakbagger Extraordinaire The Solemates's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tenderfoot2
    I have recently had a bad case of what some people call "hiker's rash" on my lower legs. It starts just above the sock line. I stopped using liners and don't use wool any more - but it has gotten worse the past few day hikes. It goes away in about a week, but seems to be getting worse - yesterday I had day hikers and short socks and it happened? I worry it will get worse with back packing/consecutive day hikes. Any advice on this condition would be appreciated.
    Oooo...be careful with that. It sounds to me like you have the Tropical Athabascan Xinipherous Odiferous Fungal Disease, caused by the underside of a rare breed of plants only found along the Appalchians called the Tropicalis Mentalicia. you must have rubbed up against it. yea, those are the symptoms all right.
    The only thing better than mountains, is mountains where you haven't been.

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    Registered User Stoker53's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Solemates
    Oooo...be careful with that. It sounds to me like you have the Tropical Athabascan Xinipherous Odiferous Fungal Disease, caused by the underside of a rare breed of plants only found along the Appalchians called the Tropicalis Mentalicia. you must have rubbed up against it. yea, those are the symptoms all right.
    WOW...suggest we form a WB support group for TAXOFD ( Tropical Athabascan Xinipherous Odiferous Fungal Disease ). Maybe a telethon is in order as well.
    "In the abundance of water the fool is thirsty."...Bob Marley

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    Musta notta gotta lotta sleep last night. Heater's Avatar
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    I am not allergic to many things but those sticky burrs that come off the weeds (I don't know what they are, I just avoid them now) irratate my skin.

    If it is a real big problem, I would suggest that you see an allergist. It is probably just some kind of plant you are rubbing up on that is an irratanant to your skin. Probably no big deal once they find out what it is.

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    I'm not a fan of gaiters, but they would certainly change the equation on the rash. If the rash didn't develop with gaiters on then I would guess it is brush or debris or chiggers. If the rash did about the same or worse with gaiters then I would guess it is a heat rash.

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    Default Go to the Doctor

    ...not sure why people with medical problems keep coming on here and trailforums asking for help. Aren't medical problems usually fixed by doctors?

    You probably just need a cream of some sort that a doctor can prescribe and you'll be good to go.
    <A HREF="http://www.jackielbolen.blogspot.com/"TARGET="Jackie's BLOG">http://www.jackielbolen.blogspot.com/</A>

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    What other kinds of symptoms are you talking about, Is there itching, a prickly sensation like tiny needles or splinters. a burning . no sensation at all. do these red marks show up in irregular patches , inside or outside or frontside or backside of the legs. is "it" red , same color.does it feel like chafing ,like skin has rubbed together too much. what makes it worse what makes it better . what makes it seem to come on.

    "when I walk through high grass (knee high or higher) I get lots of little cuts from the grass and when my sweat gets into them it feels a little like a zillion paper cuts dipped in salt. goes away by next day or if I cant shower or wash them I may get some residual red streaks and very minor swelling if they are bad . one or two may have some capillary bleeding if the grass was especially tough."

    thats something that somebody may be able to work with.

    All in all one of the reasons why there isn't a whole lot of specific advice here yet is that there isn't alot of specific info to go off of. try again and be a little more descriptive.

  15. #15

    Wink hikers rash

    OK, I have been actively hiking most of my life and in the last two years i began wearing mereno wool socks. I get a rash on my ankles where the sock touch my skin. The rash lasts up to a week after I take the socks off. I was hoping someone else has had this contact sensitivity to wool hiking socks and has found an alternative. I'm ready to hike the Rim-to-Rim of the Grand Canyon in 2 weeks and would love to NOT get this irritating rash. It doesn't itch but it is very sensitive.

  16. #16
    Registered User Hitch's Avatar
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    The same thing happens with me. Red rash right around the tops of my socks. I thought it was heat rash but whatever it is it goes away with cortisone cream.

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    have you tried changing your laundry detergent?
    "It was on the first of May, in the year 1769, that I resigned my domestic happiness for a time, and left my family and peaceable habitation on the Yadkin River, in North Carolina, to wander through the wilderness of America." - Daniel Boone

  18. #18
    Hiker Trash - Safety Squad! JokerJersey's Avatar
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    I ran into this for the first time this past hiking trip. Had just gotten a pair of Smartwool socks and wound up with an itchy rash that ran from the front of my shin around the inside of my leg to the heel. It's only on that portion too, not on the outer portion. It seemed strange to me that it would be the socks, since it is only on my ankles/lower calfs and only on the inboard side. It doesn't affect my feet or the outside of the leg, so a wool allergy doesn't seem to fit. Using a bit of itch cream takes care of the itching, but the redness persists for a few days, never longer than 72 hours. Its annoying, but not painful enough to cause me to have to stop hiking.

    Also, on the hike that I just took, it was on well marked, well maintained trails. I didn't rub up against any plant life at all during the entire trip since the trail is very wide and very clear, outside of two or three low hanging branches that brushed the top of my pack when I went under them.

    The only thing I could come up with was either heat rash from wearing high cut boots or chafing from the boots rubbing. I'm going to try to loosen the tops of my boots a bit to get some more air in there this next trip as well as to minimize contact with the boot cuffs and see if it reoccurs. I'll post after this weekend with results.
    Pyro - Bringin' the heat! '11 Safety Tribe firestarter


    2011 - Springer to Pearisburg

  19. #19
    Hiker Trash - Safety Squad! JokerJersey's Avatar
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    Update to above post -

    Went out again hiking this weekend, but this time picked up a pair of Thorlo Hiking Socks which are a blend of Acrylic, Nylon, and Spandex instead of the Smartwool socks I had been wearing previously.

    After a 6 hour hike session, I did not get a repeat of the leg rash that I had gotten on the previous trip. Seems like it may indeed be some sort of skin allergy to the Smartwool socks. Looks like those will be going back to REI so I can exchange them for another pair of the Thorlo Hiking Socks. Condition were similar to the last trip, using the same boots, on almost identical terrain.

    Might be something to look into for those who are suffering from a similar problem. Just changing from wool to this synthetic blend seems to have cured my problem. Strange though, since I have other wool clothing items which do not give me any problems whatsoever.
    Pyro - Bringin' the heat! '11 Safety Tribe firestarter


    2011 - Springer to Pearisburg

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    Registered User Engine's Avatar
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    Are you a heavy sweater? I get a rash that sound much like what you describe when I am sweating a lot and the salt in my sweat seems to irritate my skin when it sits for awhile.
    “He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.” –Socrates

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