Hikers rash?

Not sure if this is the correct category to post under …

I tend to get a swollen red rash around my ankles after pretty much every hike. Does anyone else experience this?

I am doing a high altitude multiday hike in February 2022 and would not want this to be the reason for not being able to summit. Would appreciate some advise. Thanks!

I tend to get that on my shoulders with certain synthetic shirts. Since switching to merino t-shirts, it’s no longer a problem. Try hiking with wool socks.

A couple of other things you can try:

  • If you hike with boots, try hiking with low cut trail shoes - it might be a sort of heat rash caused by the boots ankle collar.
  • Put some anti-chafe cream on your ankle before you start hiking. Specifically ones with antibacterial properties.

Try one thing at a time so you can figure out what causes it by process of elimination.

Hope that helps.

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Thanks Arno - I am already using a cortisone ointment which I apply before putting my socks on.

Will most definitely invest in 80%+ merino wool socks.

I have high altitude boots, so they are naturally quite high up.

Chat soon!

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Hi Betsy, I also get such a rush sometimes. I could not figure out yet what the cause is, but because I wear gaiters, I think it is from all the sweat and poor air circulation, aspecially in warm weather. I wear 80% woolen socks. I would recommend that you apply pure aloe gel if it happens. Happy hiking!

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Have a look at changing soap powder to a baby one or “pure” maybe it might help.
“Pure” is a make you can buy at most Dischem’s.

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Hi Betsy,

I want to suggest that you visit your GP and ask them to check out the possibility of cellulitis.

The first time I got it was on a trip to Italy 10 years ago: the weather was VERY hot and we walked ALOT during our visit (I wore sandals with shorts - so no socks against my skin). I remember the swelling and itching of the inflamed area: it was quite uncomfortable. But after taking an anti-inflammatory, it disappeared after a day or two.

3 years later I had it again when we did the Naukluft hike in Namibia but luckily I was prepared and once again the anti-inflammatories did the trick.

Since then it hasn’t happened again, but I always make sure to take some meds with on a hike just in case.

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Thanks Derek. The gaiters definitely makes sense. I wore a shorter tights yesterday and had them directly on my bottom legs and it was worse than usual. Will definitely get some pure aloe gel, thanks.

Thanks Didi, will do.

Thanks Liezl. I will try an anti-inflammatory on Saturday’s hike. The problem is that I am preparing for a high altitude hike in February and don’t want to be taking additional medication with the Diamox as I am scared it might “hide” - for the life of me cannot think of the correct word here - any altitude sickness symptoms.

But will surely consider it for local hikes, starting Saturday. :slight_smile:

Some feedback based on what I have tried over the weekend - for those also struggling with hiker’s rash.

I wore long tights, so my legs were covered. I rolled my hiking socks over my hiking boots. I applied Mitchum anti-antiperspirant from my ankles up to slightly higher than where my boot would end. A good 40 minutes later I applied Advantan Fatty Ointment (as prescribed by a Dermatologist). And ta-da, hiking on both days and not a single mark! It is definitely not just the Advantan that worked, as I have been using that for months already and I still get the rash, however, the swelling is better on day two, compared to not using it, but it still take days, if not longer, for the rash marks to disappear completely.

Seems like the above combination is a winner! As mentioned, both days of hiking and not a single mark in sight!