Mysterious Rash Plagues Spartans
On a recent web search to see what's happening in the land of
poison ivy, oak, and sumac I stumbled upon an article about "mysterious rashes" Spartan race
participants experienced after an event on July 20th in
Marseilles, IL. Initially dozens, and now reportedly hundreds, are
suffering from a rash that surfaced post-run.
Spartan Races (race-to-win) and Mud Runs (race-to-finish), for
those who aren't familiar, are obstacle course races typically held
outdoors in muddy settings. The courses bolster mud pits, swampy
swims, and runs through wooded areas. These races have gained
momentum over the past couple of years, boast events throughout the
U.S., and have even made the international leap!
Runners that competed in the Marseilles race describe a
blistering, red, itchy rash that has appeared in patches, and
spread across their bodies, lasting 2 weeks or longer. Race
Officials have been investigating the cause of the "Spartan Rash,"
and say it could possibly be: poison ivy, swimmer's itch, or
Although we will not speculate, nor can we confirm what type of
rash these racers are experiencing, we can tell you what we know
about poison ivy (or, oak rashes) and itching caused by chigger
What does poison ivy rash look
The rash starts with itchiness and swelling, followed by a
reddish inflammation of tiny pimples. Blisters form and couple in a
chain-like reaction, and a clear fluid oozes from the blisters.
This fluid then hardens to a yellowish crust.
How long does poison ivy rash
On average, a poison oak or ivy rash will last approximately 2
weeks. In more severe cases, the rash (a typical histamine
response) can last up to 4 weeks or longer.
Can poison ivy spread?
The rash-causing oil, urushiol can spread from one area of the
body to another if it is not properly removed with a cleanser such
as Tecnu®. Once your
body has absorbed the oil, and a rash has developed, the liquid
that oozes from the blisters does NOT spread the rash. Also, if you
come into contact with urushiol that could have been transferred
onto items such as clothing, tools, even your pets, you can
potentially develop a rash due to secondary contamination. Tecnu
can also be used to clean urushiol from these items!
What about chigger bites?
Chigger bites cause pronounced itching, typically worsening 1-2
days after the bite. The area of the bite can either be flat, or
raised, and can also resemble a pustule or blister. Itching can
last for several days, and skin lesions can last up to two weeks.
here for more information on chigger bites.
Unfortunately, when we decide to trek through Mother Nature, we
put ourselves at risk of running into some unpleasant plants and
critters! The next time you venture out for a Spartan Race or Mud
Run, be sure to have your Tecnu handy in case you run into poison
ivy, oak, or sumac on the course, and use Calagel Medicated Anti-Itch
Gel for cooling itch-relief from: insect bites, sunburns, and
Live life. Get outdoors!
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