When planning a trip to Disney, it seems there are so many things to worry about. How much money you’re spending, what to pack, making sure you have comfortable shoes for all the walking, and oh yeah, the Disney Rash! Now don’t get too worried about this! It’s something that you might want to keep in mind when headed to Disney, but it really isn’t all that bad.
People have started to notice a certain rash that will appear at the bottom of their legs and ankles while on their trip at Disney. Some people speculated it was bed bugs, some speculated it was certain chemicals Disney was using, and some people had no clue where it came from. The good thing is there are ways to prevent it and treat it!
We are here to tell you everything you need to know about the Disney Rash and how to be prepared. We will give you tips and tricks you can use to prevent it. If you do end up getting the rash at Disney, there are ways to help treat it!
There are a lot of resources online that can help answer some of your questions about the rash. You can also use the First Aid Centers at the Disney Parks if you need some help with your symptoms. So don’t fret! We are here to help!
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What Is the Disney Rash?
So, what exactly is the Disney Rash, and why does it happen? Exercise-Induced Vasculitis got nicknamed the Disney Rash because a lot of Disney goers were noticing this strange rash during their vacation, and they didn’t know what else to call it. It is also known as Golfer’s Vasculitis because golfers are prone to getting the rash as well.
The rash is caused by excessive exercise in the heat. An irritation of the blood vessels causes the leg to swell. This then leads to red bumps appearing on the skin, creating a rash. Some people say they don’t feel any pain due to the rash; it just has an unsightly look. Others say it can be painful and itchy and may even burn or sting.
The rash usually occurs near the bottom part of your legs, but above the sock line. The Disney Rash is not contagious, so you do not need to worry about getting it from or giving it to someone.
It makes sense that Disney guests will get this rash sometimes, especially during the hotter months. Guests do a lot of walking around the park, which would definitely be considered excessive exercise. And Florida is almost always hot.
Oddly enough, it is also more common in women and those over 50, so if you fall into those categories, make sure you follow our tips to prevent it!
Even though the rash can be bothersome and doesn’t look the best, it usually goes away in less than a week. It’s not really something that you would need to see a doctor for, unless it doesn’t go away after your vacation is over.
What Does Disney Rash Look Like?
Disney rash will appear on exposed skin on the legs, above the sock or shoe line, and typically looks like red and purples spots on the skin. It is splotchy and can cover a small or large area – depending on how bad it is. It does look a topical rash and may be accompanied by swelling of the area as well.
The area may stay red and irritated for up to 2 weeks, but will disappear for most people in 3-10 days, especially with treatment.
How To Prevent the Disney Rash/ Exercise-Induced Vasculitis
If you are really worried about getting the Disney Rash while on your vacation, or you are prone to the rash, we have some tips to help prevent the rash from even starting. Not everything will always work for each person, so try these out and see what works best for you!
Stay Out of the Sun
If you are able to, stay out of the sun as much as possible. Making sure you stay cool helps your body not overheat and swell. Taking frequent breaks to watch inside shows or ride inside attractions will help you stay away from that Florida heat. You could also head back to your hotel room during the hottest part of the day for a midday nap.
Staying hydrated helps reduce swelling. It will help keep your body temperature cool, so you don’t overheat. Drinking lots of water while walking around Disney is also great for preventing dehydration. If you don’t want to shell out the $4 for a water bottle (which is understandable), you can always go up to any quick service location that has a soda fountain, and they will give you a cup of ice water.
It is also a good idea to bring your own refillable water bottle, which you can fill with the complimentary ice water if you don’t want to use the water fountains.
Walk Before Your Vacation
If you aren’t used to walking long distances, it may help to go on frequent walks before your Disney trip. The Disney Rash is caused by excessive exercise. The more you exercise at home, the more your body is used to the amount of exercise you will be doing at Disney.
Elevate Your Feet Above Your Heart
Elevating your feet will help the blood flow from your feet up to your heart. This will help with any swelling you get from walking around the parks. If you are at the parks, you could lie down on a park bench and elevate your feet on the arm rest. If you are at your hotel, you can elevate your feet on some pillows or even rest your feet against the wall while laying on your bed. I like to do this before bed after each park day because it helps with any swelling, and it will sometimes help with feet soreness.
Make sure the commonly affected areas stay cool during your trip. It helps to go to the pool, take a cool shower, or even put ice around the bottom of your legs. This will help the areas from getting overheated.
Take Pain Medicine
Ibuprofen is great to take in the morning before you start your park day because it has anti-inflammatory properties. Taking pain medicine will also help with any pain you might get from swelling.
Wear Moisture Wicking Socks
Wearing socks can help keep your feet and ankles compressed to help with any swelling. Using moisture wicking socks will help your feet stay cool in the hot weather. If you are prone to sweating, dry out your feet often to prevent overheating. It can also help to change your socks often to really make sure they stay cool.
Use Prickly Heat Powder
Putting prickly heat powder around commonly affected areas will help prevent sweating. Dust it around your lower calves and ankles before you head to the parks, and you are good to go!
How To Treat the Disney Rash
We went over all the different ways you can prevent the Disney Rash, but what do you do if you are on your vacation and get the rash? We have some different things you can try to help treat it!
Some of the things you can do to prevent the rash can also help you treat it, such as:
- Stay out of the sun
- Drink water
- Elevate your feet
- Take pain medicine
- Stay cool
Cooling the affected areas with ice will help bring the temperature of your skin down, therefore reducing the symptoms. If you don’t want to use ice, you can always wrap a towel dampened with cool water around your legs.
Aloe Vera gel is great for sunburns, but it is also great for soothing your rash! Bringing Aloe Vera gel on your Disney trip is a smart idea because there are multiple uses for it. It will help soothe any burning sensation you might get from the Disney Rash.
If your rash is itchy, using some anti-itch ointment will help with the uncomfortable itchiness. You can always throw this in your bag before heading to the parks and apply when needed.
If you ever need a place to cool down away from the crowds of people, you can always head to the park’s First Aid Center. You can use this place to cool down and ice your rash. Check out the Disney Park Map or use My Disney Experience to find out where the First Aid Center is at each park.
We also have some great tips for what to do when you get sick at Disney too!
Other Rashes You May Get at Disney
Besides the Disney Rash, there are a couple other rashes some people experience while on their vacation. The two most common are the heat rash and the Polymorphous Light Eruption (PMLE). These aren’t something you should be too worried about, and there are ways to prevent and treat both of them.
Heat rash is very common for guests at Disney. Florida is hot pretty much year-round. A heat rash happens when sweat glands get clogged, and it usually occurs in the folds of the skin or where there is friction between skin and clothes. The affected skin will start to redden, and small bumps may appear.
A heat rash will usually go away once your body has time to cool down. It helps to stay hydrated and take frequent breaks so your body can stay cool.
Polymorphous Light Eruption (PMLE) is not caused by friction but is caused by exposure to the sun. For those of you who don’t know, Florida is known as the Sunshine State! So, it is sometimes hard to avoid the sun.
The symptoms of PMLE include redness, rough and patchy skin, and small red bumps that can become itchy. The rash usually occurs during the spring and early summer because it affects people who haven’t had a lot of exposure to the sun since the winter.
A way to help prevent this rash is to expose yourself to the sun before your Disney trip so your skin can get used to the sunshine. If you are prone to this rash, cover up your skin so it isn’t exposed to the sun and avoid direct sun exposure when possible. Wearing a hat and taking frequent indoor breaks can help as well.
We know talking about rashes is not the most pleasant or fun topic, but we want to make sure you are informed! Getting the Disney Rash while on your vacation can be annoying, so taking precautions to prevent it can help you avoid this unpleasantness.
Don’t be embarrassed if this rash is something that happens to you! It is very common, and besides, everyone is having way too much fun at Disney to pay any attention to your rash if you happen to get it! Just stay hydrated and enjoy your vacation!