Search 59,165 Camino Questions

A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it


Advertisement
Camino Socks
Browse the Camino Socks collection on the forum shop
Pilgrim Pouch carry bags with different designs
A lightweight carry bag handy for walking, biking, traveling, & Caminos

Advice please rash lower legs after hiking!!!

LTfit

Veteran Member
Would really appreciate some advice on the following:

I bought a new pair of hiking boots and Falke TK2 Cool Trekking socks and went out for a 5 hr walk last week (without vaseline or liner). Got a tiny blister on one heel, otherwise uneventful and therefore pleased. I wore the socks straight from the store, therefore not washed.

So went for a 7 hr walk on Saturday with same combo (washed socks :D and when I returned home and took off socks I noticed a sort of bright red "rash" or burn on the back side of both my lower legs, especially where ankles hit the back of boot - UNDER THE SOCKS. It was not painful so decided to go out on Sunday and walk again. This time I pulled down the socks as much as possible but still covering the top of the boot. Walked again 7 hours and when returned home "rash/burn" extended up to mid-calf on one side and remained under the sock on the other side. Now 2 days later "rash/burn" still present but much improved - again not painful.

The only thing different between the first and second/third walk was that I washed the socks...I have never had an allergic reaction before with this detergent.

Have any of you experienced this???
Any advice - try other socks? vaseline under socks? I only bought 1 pair of these socks since they were quite expensive (19euros) but will need to buy 1 or 2 more pairs of socks before I leave in July.

Hope someone can help me out!
Cheers,
LT
 
Peaceable Projects Inc.
Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.
Pilgrim Pouch carry bags with different designs
A lightweight carry bag handy for walking, biking, traveling, & Caminos

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
Re: ADVICE PLS rash from socks!!!

LTfit said:
Would really appreciate some advice on the following:
.................
The only thing different between the first and second/third walk was that I washed the socks...I have never had an allergic reaction before with this detergent.

Have any of you experienced this???
Any advice - try other socks? vaseline under socks? I only bought 1 pair of these socks since they were quite expensive (19euros) but will need to buy 1 or 2 more pairs of socks before I leave in July.

Hope someone can help me out!
Cheers,
LT

Do you usually use the detergent in a washing machine, and did you hand wash the socks? If so it could be that they need extra rinsing. Also I was once told that when hand washing with soap the first rinse should be at the same temperature as the wash or the soap sets in the material. This may be true for detergent too. Worth a try maybe.
The other thought is that it is the socks themselves, even if they did not visibly affect you the first time.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
Re: ADVICE PLS rash from socks!!!

Hi Tia Valeria,
Washed socks in the machine and air dried - wanted to test if they would dry over night which they did...socks then? Just took a look and the rash is only on the backof my lower leg/ankle not on the front???
Any one else have a suggestion?
Cheers,
LT
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
Re: ADVICE PLS rash from socks!!!

Hi -

I'm sorry you have this problem. I did a search on this issue and there sure seem to be a lot of people that suffer from this "hiker's rash" or "golfer's rash". Many different types of advice, but mine is see your physician, preferably a dermatologist - I wouldn't start using a lot of different remedies before seeing your physician. Certainly the advice already given to wash and rinse your socks carefully is good.

Best of luck!

lynne

I just looked at my socks and I think they're the same ones - no wool and a mesh piece in the instep? So it's not a wool thing then.... and I do wear a thick layer of vaseline under them.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
Re: ADVICE PLS rash from socks!!!

Hi Lynne,

Thanks for your info. Did a search after your post and indeed came up with the same. Apparently many hikers "suffer" from the same rash. So it does not appear to be sock related thank goodness!

They call it "Golfer's Vasculitis" which is apparently quite harmless if not unsightly :( !

Who knows, maybe the following info plucked from internet will help others.
Cheers,
LT


Go to any multi-day walking event in the summer and you will see a red heat rash on the calves of many walkers. The heat rash often starts above the sock line and makes red patches and splotches up the calf. It usually doesn't itch and is believed to be heat-related, since these same walkers don't get it in cooler weather. What is it?
Golfer's Vasculitis

Ask most physicians about this common rash and they draw a blank. That is probably due to few people seeking medical help for it. The rash usually clears up in a couple of days, usually before they are able to get an doctor's appointment. At last, a paper in the Australasian Journal of Dermatology has described it and proposed naming it "golfer's vasculitis."

Causes of the Heat Leg Rash

Researchers interviewed several people with the rash and discovered that many underwent extensive allergy testing because they believed they must have been having a reaction to some chemical or plant. But it was simply an irritation of the blood vessels following prolonged exercise in the heat, such as walking for extended periods or playing 18 holes of golf.

The rash is more common in people over 50. Most walkers can't pinpoint anything new they have used that may be causing a reaction. And since so many walkers have it, they couldn't all have contacted the same irritant. The source is simply heat and age--your leg blood vessels getting irritated from the heat.

Prevention and Treatment of Golfer's Vasculitis

The research offered no treatment or prevention recommendations. It seems to occur in healthy, active people. The researchers suggest it should not be a health concern and recommend not getting allergy testing, etc.
t.
 
how to successfully prepare for your Camino
This book's focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared.
John Brierley 2022 Camino Guide
The most selling Camino Guide is shipping November 1st. Get your today and start planning.

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
It also could be an allergic reaction to the latex fibers used to hold up the socks on your ankles. That´s what my doc. said was giving me an ankle rash. "Crema Alergical" kicked it to the curb.

Reb
 

jl

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
Hi there, I too get this rash on every Camino. However I am not surprised, as I also get it on every Scout Jamboree that I attend and put it down to:- being on my feet continuously - both standing and walking, extreme heat, and finally dust. (My Caminos and Jamborees are both in mid summer) I have used different types of socks each time, both cotton, wool and coolmax, but they are the same socks that I use in the winter, For me the three factors that are different are the ones mentioned above. In 2007 when my legs were looking particularly bad (and had even got to the itchy point) I found a swim in a chlorinated pool seemed to clear things up, and in 2009 I tried an anti-histamine for 2 days which also seemed to stop things progressing. This time though I took photos and will show my doctor to see if he has any other suggestions.

In 2007 (and 2005) the rash started with a little mark on the sock line, but after each day it had crept up the leg so that it was near enough to knee level. Taking the anti histamine in 2009 stopped it from getting anywhere near that bad.

regards, Janet
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
Tks for replies Reb (congrats on yr recent walk!)and Janet.

It is apparently not an allergic reaction at least that is what I have come up with thus far. It does seem to be age related - most sufferers are over 50 and temperature and activity related, occuring when warm/humid while walking.

I recently participated in a 6 hour spinning marathon in my sport school and never experienced this...difference though is that I had anklet socks on and was of course biking. I never wear socks over or above my ankle - even in the winter.

I just hope that this won't happen during the walk...will disturb my tanning :wink:

Cheers,
LT
 

Logical

New Member
Hi - I have been getting this rash for about 4-8 years now. I get it only when my legs get too hot during exercise - hiking or golfing. Amazingly I get it even while snowshoeing during below zero temperatures if I am wearing gaiters and too much clothing on my calves. It isn't itchy at first but if I just leave it for a few days it will start to get itchy. The only thing that helps me is calamine lotion. I put it on even before it starts to get itchy and it fades and goes away after several days. I need to keep my feet and lower legs cool at all times when exercising. I have lived with this all these years (and know other hikers with the same problem) but no doctor I have seen has ever heard of it.

Most recently, I had something new happen - a different looking rash - again on the back of my calf after golfing - not itchy but very red and spreading widely - worse every day and calamine lotion did not help at all. This time when I went to the doctor, I was told I was having an auto-immune reaction and they put me on prednizone for a few days. We will see if that helps.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
Hi Logical,

Thanks for sharing your experience! This 'mystery rash' does seem to baffle doctors...sorry to hear that you are having to take prednisone. Let me know if it did the trick.

Your original symptoms sound slightly different in that I have (yet) to experience an itch...but you have years experience and I am a newbie :D Both times that I got the rash I had walked 5-7 hours without stopping. Next time I walk in the heat I am going to stop every 2-3 hrs and take off socks/shoes and see if that makes a difference. Would changing foot/sock wear be a solution (albeit expensive)? Using anklet socks instead of above the ankle? Or have you already tried that?

Would like to solve this problem before walking the meseta in July...

Cheers,
LT
 
A thought-provoking Camino memoir. This day-by-day account will inspire you.
Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
When I was 'training' before the Camino I used to get this kind of rash when I went out walking on hot days for an extended period. From experience I found that leaving it alone didn't fix it: it often seemed to get worse over a period of days. But a small amount of hydrocortisone based cream seemed to work wonders.

Interestingly, when I hit the hot weather in Spain I never suffered from it. But since I had started from Le Puy when it was still quite wintry, I had by then been walking many weeks. So, walking a lot seemed to cure me of the problem entirely. Now I have been home for a while and am much less fit, it will be interesting to see if I get it again when next summer rolls around.
Margaret
 

nellpilgrim

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
SDC-Fisterra 08/Camino Frances SJPP to SDC 09/Nuremburg-SDC 11- ongoing
When walking from Santiago to Fisterra in 2008 I got a rash just above my socks but on the CF last year I was rash free wearing the same socks-and the weather at the end of the CF was as warm as the previous years walk.
The only difference was that walking the CF we took regular 'foot breaks' with boots and socks off and feet up every couple of hours.
Thanks for bringing it up as I hadn't made the connection...now I have another solid reason to take lots of breaks :lol:
N
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
Thanks all for advice/tips...it would indeed seem that stopping and "airing out" feet and socks is the trick! I don't really like the idea of using cortisone cream on such a large area (had the rash at one point all the way up to the back of my knee) but I saw that someone had "zinc cream for heat rash" on their packing list...there is a thought! I remember using zinc cream on my kids' bums to avoid baby rash...
Cheers,
LT
 

Did not find what you were looking for? Search here

Popular Resources

“All” Albergues on the Camino Frances in one pdf ivar
  • Featured
“All” Albergues on the Camino Frances in one pdf
4.95 star(s) 102 ratings
Downloads
15,347
Updated
A selection of favorite albergues on the Camino Francés Ton van Tilburg
Favorite Albergues along the Camino Frances
4.83 star(s) 35 ratings
Downloads
8,008
Updated
Profile maps of all 34 stages of the Camino Frances ivar
Profile maps of all 34 stages of the Camino Frances
4.88 star(s) 24 ratings
Downloads
7,778
Updated

Similar threads

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Updates on YouTube

Camino Conversations

Most downloaded Resources

Top