How can I avoid or minimize foot/ankle swelling and lower leg rash?

by Susan
(FL)

In Spain we hiked 5 - 8 miles daily for 6 days over varied terrain.
The weather was a comfortable 80 degrees (there was intermittent shade).
There were a few strenuous areas, but mostly a moderate hike.
I wore sock liners, wool socks and good boots.
My ankles and feet were swollen every day and I developed this ugly red rash on my lower legs - bright red, splotchy, no itching, no pain though. It faded slightly overnight, as did the swelling, but both continued each day. I don't think anything has changed for me (laundry soap, socks, etc.) This has never happened before.

Comments for How can I avoid or minimize foot/ankle swelling and lower leg rash?

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Aug 30, 2017
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Thoughts from Hiking For Her
by: Diane

Well, that sounds unpleasant, Susan!
Because the rash faded a bit overnight, then came back, makes me think it could be contact dermatitis from unfamiliar plant oils or allergens in trail dust/dirt which you were encountering during the day.
If the rash cleared up quickly once you came off the trail, that makes this idea more likely.
One more idea: when that much fluid accumulates and there are bright red areas on your legs, it's possible that your double sock/boot combo is restricting blood and lymph flow & creating inflammation over the course of the day. Taking them off a few times each day (let those footsies breathe!) is a habit I adhere to when I'm on multi-day trips, and going forward you might want to try it.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Q&A.

Female hiker leaning on boulders with hiking poles and backpack

About the author

Diane is the founder of Hiking For Her.

She’s been on a hiking trail somewhere in the world for nearly five decades & loves to share her best hiking tips right here.



Disclosures

Privacy

Copyright

Media


All rights reserved. 


Photo credits: All photos on this website were taken by David Midkiff or Diane Spicer except where noted.


As an Amazon Associate, Hiking For Her earns from qualifying purchases.