Disney Rash: Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention

Disney rash is also known as exercise-induced vasculitis, golfer’s rash, hiker’s rash, or golfers’s vasculitis. Anyone can get these rashes, but it was found that women over 50 years of age were more prone to it.(1)

Disney rash is a combination of excessive sun exposure, hot weather, and sudden and prolonged walking or exercising outdoors. Those who spend long hours strolling at theme parks are more prone to it.

Dermatologists believe that Disney rash occurs when the temperature regulating mechanism within the calf muscle breakdown. This means the blood pumping mechanism around a person’s body does not make it to the lower extremities. This causes inflammation and other symptoms.

Symptoms of Disney Rash

In Disney rash, the small blood vessels of the leg get inflamed. There is swelling and discoloration on one and both ankles and legs. It is also seen occurring in calves, shin, and thighs.

There may be large red patches, purple and red dots, and raised welts. There may be itching, tingling or stinging sensation and in some, there is no physical sensation.

The symptoms of Disney rash are confined to the areas where the skin is exposed.

Disney rash is not a contagious or dangerous condition and resolves on its own. It is seen resolving on its own as a person is away from the condition due to which it occurred.

Treatment of Disney Rash

Disney rash usually goes away in some time, approximately a week.

If someone experiences Disney rash, below mentioned steps can be followed:

  • Stopping the activity causing it and resting
  • Elevating the leg
  • Using compression stockings
  • Using antihistamines, corticosteroids, and anti-inflammatory drugs.

Wet Cloth or Ice Packs: Someone who experiences a temporary form of vasculitis can use a wet covering such as a towel to treat it. Legs can be kept cool with an ice pack and washcloths as these can soothe irritation and also reduce swelling.

Anti-itch Creams: Itching on the rash can be relieved by applying antihistamines or topical corticosteroids.

Witch hazel towelettes or itch-relieving creams can also be used.

Keep Hydrated: Drinking plenty of water and keeping the body hydrated can be helpful in preventing Disney rash.

Elevate Feet: Elevating the feet can improve the blood circulation in the feet and lessen the appearance of rashes.

How to Prevent Disney Rashes?

Disney rash can be prevented by taking the following precautions.

Protect Skin from Sun

Keeping the hands and legs covered with clothing such as socks, stockings, and pants can help in preventing the Disney rash.(2) This reduces the skin exposure to both direct and reflected sunlight.

Compression Clothing

Research shows those who have already experienced an episode of exercise-induced vasculitis may find wearing compression socks and stocking useful in preventing it.(2) However, more research is needed to prove the effectiveness of compression clothing in this condition.

Leg Massage

Gentle massaging techniques aiming to drain lymph fluid out of the legs and increasing the blood flow in both deep and superficial leg veins can help in reducing the rashes.

Wear Moisture-Wicking Clothing

Covering skin with light-colored fabric or wearing sunscreen can be helpful in preventing Disney rash.

In humid conditions, wearing moisture-wicking socks can be comfortable. Covering skin can prevent further irritation.

Disney rash mostly clears up on its own, but severe cases might need a doctor’s advice.

A doctor can help manage Disney rash which is painful, lasts for more than 2 weeks, and return with exercise. Sometimes antihistamines and corticosteroid creams might be needed to manage rash.