Friday, July 30, 2010

Disney Rash

I already mentioned that we do a lot of walking.

Apart from general touristy stuff, where we might typically wander gently for 6-7 hours in a day, we regularly indulge in organized hikes of 15-20km with a fair bit of up & down.

In the last couple of years, I have started to notice a sort of rash on my legs, after a lot of walking.
It looks like tiny blood vessels have burst under the skin.
No swelling, pain, irritation – just looks ugly.
Hardly visible immediately after walking, it peaks the next morning (I never checked during the night…) & then fades from red to brown to freckles within 3-4 days, leaving a faint brown coloration long-term.
It depends mainly on the length of time walking/standing & to some extent maybe on temperature & degree of exertion.
Not at all on clothing: trousers/shorts; boots/shoes/sandals/bare-feet; socks/no.
Nor on terrain (brushing through grass, as I first imagined) or insects (midges or sand-hoppers, as somebody suggested).

I showed it to my doctor, who did blood tests to eliminate diabetes & other nasty possibles, then said it was just one of lifes little trials I should get used to…
I prefer his approach, rather than being dosed with medicines I can do without!

Recently, we had a walking weekend in Austria with a bus-load (44) from our hiking group.
On the morning of the second day, after a hot 20km the first day, at least 10 of the 44 had my red rash – some quite a bit worse than me.
One or two said they got it regularly & for others they had never noticed it before.
Nobody had any explanation or cure.

I spent a long time Googling & eliminating lots of not-quite similar things, before concluding that it is a very common condition.
Known as "Disney Rash" or "Golfers Vasculitis".
Googling those will tell you as much as I know.
Still no real explanation or cure though.

Parting thot: "It is the chiefest point of happiness that a man is willing to be what he is." - Erasmus

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