Golfer’s heat rash or ankle heat rash is a common skin condition affecting sports persons, athletes and even school aged children. Many walkers participating in walk-a-thons or marathon-like events or those playing golf for long periods also develop a reddish rash around their ankles. In some cases, the splotchy red rash extends all the way up to the knees and is even seen on the calves.
Let us study rashes on ankles in details.
Ankle heat rashes: causes
Ankle heat rashes mainly occur in people aged 50 and over.
The rash typically arises in summer months when the weather is hot and humid. People with a tendency to sweat excessively (or those having to wear socks for extended periods of time) after walking or playing 18 holes of golf also develop heat rashes around their ankles. The rash is characterized by red pustules or tiny red bumps as well as pus filled blisters which can be extremely itchy and painful. Scratching the ankle rashes could also lead to secondary skin infections.
The main reason why ankle heat rashes develop in some people after strenuous physical exercise is sweat. Wearing warm woolen socks further aggravates the skin condition. The sweat glands get clogged as a result of which the perspiration remains trapped beneath the surface and irritates the blood vessels. As a result, the skin erupts in the form of boils and rashes.
Treating ankle heat rashes
Golfer’s Vasculitis, according to most dermatologists, needs no specific treatment since it tends to disappear on its own within a matter of few days. What one can do is apply some products that can soothe the inflammation caused by the rash.
- Aloe Vera gel is the best remedy for all kinds of skin diseases. Apply some gel directly from the plant on the rash to sooth the burning sensation.
- You could soak your ankles in some cool water to which Epsom salts have been added. Alternatively, wrap your feet in towels that have been soaked in cold water. Keep your feet up and elevated using pillows to soothe pain and inflammation.
- Liberally dust some prickly heat powder on the rash to ensure that the skin remains free off sweat.
That being said; the best way to treat ankle heat rash is prevent it.
Preventive measures for stopping ankle heat rashes
- If you are prone to sweating, avoid wearing confining pants or socks. Opt for quick drying synthetic clothing and footwear. Air out your feet and ankles from time to time.
- It is best to wear light cotton socks with loose weave and moisture-wicking properties. These will prevent chaffing in the ankle region. Change your socks multiple times in a day and wash the used pairs in hot water.
- Liberally dust your feet, ankles, calves and legs with some prickly heat powder. This will prevent excess sweating.
- Avoid the sun as far as possible and seek shade where you can. Prevent indulging in walking, running, jogging or playing golf in the peak sunny period from 10 am to 2 pm.
- When hiking or trekking in summers, opt for comfortable footwear such as sandals or light shoes with Velcro straps.
If your feet are excessively itchy, it could be due to exercise Urticaria- a condition that causes itchiness due to sweating and heat. Other causes of rashes in the ankle region could be Poison Ivy rashes, or even cholinergic urticaria (hives). If the rashes on ankles show no sign of healing, do get them evaluated by an expert.