Travel Rash: Pictures, causes, treatment – most common – online dermatology

by | Mar 22, 2019 | Africa, Blog, Rash, Traveling

Travel Rash advice (business trips and holidays)

In regards to your skin, most creams can be bought locally. However a tube of hydrocortisone, sunscreen and moisturizing cream can be advised and can usually solve most skin infections quickly.

Sun block
To protect your skin from the sun, apply sunscreen and wear a sun hat or cap. Clothing is the best protection; dense fabrics protect better than thin ones. The sun’s radiation is the most intense, between ten and three o’clock in the day and it is recommended to stay in the shade at those hours. If you are not used to the sun. then for the first few days you should only be in the sun for short periods of time. Beware that some medicines can increase your skin’s sensitivity to sunlight. When you are on the beach you should be extra careful; sand and water reflect the sunlight and the solar radiation can reach half a meter below the water surface.

Small children should not be in the sun at all during the most intense sun hours.

Sunburn and sun eczema
If you are burned by the sun, it is good to avoid the sun for a few days to allow the skin to heal. It also applies if you get sun eczema, which usually appears as small itchy red spots or blisters.

If your skin burns, it can be cooled with cold water, aloe vera or a moisturizing skin lotion. Sweat and itching can also be alleviated with a hydrocortisone cream that you can buy without a prescription.

Do not bathe in fresh water
Do not swim in rivers or lakes in countries with subtropical or tropical climates as there is a risk of being infected by various parasites. The most common parasite is Schistosoma that can penetrate the skin and cause a severe fever. It is, however, harmless to swim in chlorinated water such as pools and to shower in tap water.

Light clothing prevents skin rashes
The heat can sometimes cause small itchy rashes under the armpits or red itchy spots on the skin, especially in the groin area. It is often because the sweat glands are clogged or that fungi that are naturally found on the skin get the chance to grow. To avoid it dress airy and avoid jeans.

If you still have problems, you can use a hydrocortisone cream around the armpits. In the groin where fungal problems are more common, it can help with a hydrocortisone cream and anti-fungal. 

Small wounds and insect bites
When it is hot and humid, an insect bite or wound can easily become infected. Wash with soap and water and temporarily protect the wound with an airy compress, it should be removed as soon as the wound is dry. If the wound is infected if it starts to hurt and the skin around the wound swells and turns red. You can try to clean the wound again a couple of times a day. If it still does not help, but the redness instead spreads and you get a fever you should consult a doctor.

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Seabather’s eruption (hypersensitivity reaction jellyfish larval-stage)

Locations: Maldives, Long Island – New York, Florida coast and in the Caribbean

Dermatologist travel rash question

I am a 44 year old female. I have a non-itchy and painless rash everywhere, but my lower legs, face, and genitals. It’s mainly concentrated on my torso. I sort of broke out or expanded over several days and has gotten better in some places and worse in others. I am taking prednisone (the 6,5,4…) pack, have taken both Benedryl and Atarax 25mg to little avail. I had cosmetic surgery planned and got sent home. It’s not really getting better and doesn’t seem to react to much. There are only a couple things that stand out. 1. Before the full breakout I had a weird dry, hard patch of skin on my tricep. (Still there) I scratched it once and I felt like I had stuck a needle in my arm or popped a pimple. 2. I used a wetsuit twice in one day and took it off as soon as I was out of the water (Galapagos). No one else has broken out from hotel sheets, and I am not normally sensitive at all. Like…normally, I would be the only one unaffected whilst others are covered. I have never had a rash before. Help! Thank you! 

Travel Rash_Seabather's eruption hypersensitivity jellyfish on the back

 

Dermatologist answer
Based on the images and information provided, this is most likely SEABATHERS’S ERUPTION: A rash caused by marine life larvae. This usually appears under covered areas such as the chest and swim trunk area. It is important not to rub the skin because that will cause the larvae to sting. You should wash the clothes that you were wearing when this developed in hot water and soap and dry it in a dryer before you wear those clothes again. An over-the-counter antihistamine such as Zyrtec or Allegra as well as over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream 1% used twice daily can be helpful. You can continue the prednisone course prescribed by your physician. If no improvement in 10 to 14 days, you should see a dermatologist for evaluation and prescription treatment.

Is this what you have? Try our FREE Skin Image Search today and get peace of mind 

Aquagenic wrinkling of the palms

Location: In the shower, swimming pools, hot-tub, in the bath.

Dermatologist travel rash question

The skin on my palms swells like the photos whenever my hand is in water, for not too long. Out of water for long enough then goes back to a relatively normal looking palm. It seems to go in unpredictable cycles, but generally is about 50% as severe as in the photo, then gets much worse for awhile, weeks months, then will peel (this soft spongy skin forms that just rubs off/gently scratches off leaving raw palm skin beneath that is sensitive but doesn’t swell as badly for awhile until the cycle starts again and it gets worse and peels). It’s very annoying. Happens in the shower, pool, anything water, or basically doesn’t fully go away because of sweaty hands during the summer. I’ve gone to two dermatologists about this, they didn’t know what it was and basically never got back to me. It started when I was 18 and hasn’t gone away except when I was pregnant! Came back after. Thank you for your help. I really hope you can help me!!

Travel rash Aquagenic wrinkling of the palms left hand

Dermatologist Answer
Thank you for submitting your question. Based on the information and images, this looks like aquagenic wrinkling of the palms. Aquagenic wrinkling of the palms is a rare condition. It may occur in people with cystic fibrosis or carriers of the gene. It can also occur in healthy individuals. Aquagenic wrinkling of the palms has previously been called transient reactive papulotranslucent acrokeratoderma, aquagenic palmoplantar keratoderma, aquagenic acrokeratoderma, aquagenic syringeal acrokeratoderma, and “the hand in the bucket” sign. Aquagenic wrinkling of the palms resembles the exaggerated transient wrinkling of the palms that is caused by spending a prolonged period in a bath or pool. Treatment options include: an antiperspirant such as 20% aluminium chloride hexahydrate applied to the palms at night, bathing in salt water, antihistamines to reduce itch or Botox injections. I recommend you see a dermatologist to confirm the diagnosis and discuss these treatment options. I hope this has been helpful.

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Cutaneous Larva Migrans

Location: Tropical and subtropical geographic areas and the southwestern United States. It has become an endemic in the Caribbean, Central America, South America, Southeast Asia, and Africa

Dermatologist travel rash question

I am a 36 year old woman. I first noticed some slightly itchy bumps on my ankles, I thought they were mosquito bites. They came and went – until last weekend when I noticed very long lines about 4-5 inches long and raised up my left leg. They are red and sometimes itchy, most of the time not so bad. I did an ink test to see if it could be scabies, but no ink remained. Some are skin colored, some are red, and some have a purple appearance. Some have blistered. No one else that I have been in contact with over the past few months has had this, including roommates and family. I noticed it after a trip to Mexico. My doctor prescribed me ivermectin though they were not sure what it was – and I followed all of the instructions to a-z and yet still wake up with new bumps every morning. The long lines were the first to appear and they are moving up my legs – I’ve heard that scabies burrows are usually difficult to spot but these long lines are the main symptom of my rash. Please help.

Travel rash CUTANEOUS LARVA MIGRANS parasite on leg

 

Dermatologist Answer
Thank you for sending your case. Based on the information and images, this is possibly Larva Migrans. Cutaneous larva migrans is a parasitic skin infection caused by hookworm larvae that usually infest cats, dogs and other animals. Humans can be infected with the larvae by walking barefoot on sandy beaches or contacting moist soft soil that have been contaminated with animal feces. It is also known as creeping eruption as once infected, the larvae migrate under the skin’s surface and cause itchy red lines or tracks. Many types of hookworm can cause cutaneous larva migrans. Effective treatment is available to shorten the course of the disease. Anthelmintics such as tiabendazole, albendazole, mebendazole and ivermectin are used. Topical thiabendazole is considered the treatment of choice for early, localised lesions. Oral treatment is given when the cutaneous larva migrans is widespread or topical treatment has failed. Itching is considerably reduced within 24-48 hours of starting antihelmintic treatment and within 1 week most lesions/tracts resolved. I suggest you see a dermatologist to verify the answer and get the right treatment. This may also represent a contact dermatitis or phytophotodermatitis. I hope I have been of some assistance.

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Leishmaniasis

Location: The majority of cases occur in six countries, Afghanistan, Algeria, Brazil, Colombia, Iran, and Syria. Poorer populations living in remote areas of over 80 countries across Asia, East Africa, South America, and the Mediterranean region are mostly affected.

Dermatologist travel rash question
Male four years old from Luanda, Angola. Skin irritation and sometimes pains a lot for about a year.

Travel rash Leishmaniasis on children leg Afghanistan, Syria, Africa

Dermatologist answer
Thank you for submitting your case. Based on the information that you have provided and the images this could be possible LEISHMANIASIS (cutaneous). Leishmaniasis is a parasitic disease caused by the Leishmania parasite. This parasite typically lives in infected sand flies. You can contract leishmaniasis from a bite of an infected sand fly.Your doctor may take a small amount of skin for a biopsy by scraping one of the ulcers. They’ll often look for the DNA, or genetic material, of the parasite. They can use a variety of methods to identify the species of parasite causing the infection. Antiparasitic drugs, such as amphotericin B (Ambisome), treat this condition. I hope this was to your help. Kind regards.

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Scabies

Location: Occur in the area of the finger webs, feet, ventral wrists, elbows, back, buttocks, and external genitals. Except in infants and the immunosuppressed, infection generally does not occur in the skin of the face or scalp.

Dermatologist travel rash question
We have a 4 month old crying baby with red skin spots that has been seen by 5 different dermatologists. 1st said Molluscum Contagiosum 2nd said Pyoderma, 3rd said streptodermia, and the 4th scabies, and the 5th Molluscum Contagiosum. At this point it has been 2 months and not sure what to do or who to believe , but my wife has some sores now and is itchy I do get also itchy after handling the baby. so we know that this does have some for of contagious symptoms when in contact with baby. 1 doctor says burn off with liquid nitrogen, another says keep dry and rub with vodka(have not tried yet , but considering). We are lost and don’t know what to do now or where to go to get an accurate idea of what this is or how to treat correctly for a baby.

Travel rash Scabies baby on arm

Dermatologist answer
Thank you for sending your case. Based on the information and images, this is possibly SCABIES. Scabies is an inflammatory infestation caused by a mite that digs or burrows into the skin. This mite is transmitted through direct physical contact with an object or another person with scabies. The lesions cause itching which can be severe and is typically worse at night. In adults, scabies does not affect the face or scalp but does involve areas from the neck to the toes. In infants and young children, it can affect from the scalp to the toes. It is recommended you revisit a dermatologist in person to confirm the assessment. A scraping or biopsy can be performed to help with the diagnosis. Prescription treatment with permethrin cream or oral ivermectin are commonly used treatments. Any other members of the household or close contacts should be treated as well. I hope this has been helpful.

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Pityriasis versicolor 

Location: Chest and back

Dermatologist travel rash question

I am a 46 years old man. I have white dry patches on the upper part of the back, as well as a pair on the clavicle. They arose suddenly during a holiday trip to Mallorca, Spain in late July and they are still there now about 1.5 months later. I have not had this before, but have since the spring I have had eczema like reddish spots (large as a nickel) between the breasts. I do not know if it can be related. No other skin problems. No known allergies. I have asthma.

Travel rash pityriasis versicolor on back sun

Dermatologist answer
From the submitted information and images, this is possibly PITYRIASIS VERSICOLOR: A yeast infection that gives white, light red, scaly patches of young pat that have been in the sun (warm countries or even as in your case solarium) Harmless, but sometimes lengthy Not Infectious. Treatment: Anti fungal shampoo – apply to the whole body 2* a week for 3 weeks, then 1-2 times in a few weeks as well as Daktacort cream morning and evening for 10 days (alternative propylene glycol 50% in water morning and evening for 2 weeks, then 2 times per week to avoid recurrence) It tend to appear more in the summer because you are in the sun and your skin tans.

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Mallorca-acne or Acne aestivalis

Location: face

Dermatologist question
I am a 22 years old woman from Stockholm, Sweden. The rash occur during the spring and summer especially while traveling. They are small, usually fluid-filled, they look similar to pimples. Usually they do not Itch. Occurs especially when I’ve been in the sun, getting worse if I’m hot and sweaty combined with sun. Get them on the temples, around the ears, neck, chest and sometimes back. Generally I do not have sensitive skin or light to burn me in the sun, haired. I have tested the hydrocortisone but it does not help very much, it relieves some redness only. Sunscreen does sometimes seem to have some effect for preventative purposes, but has also made it worse sometimes if used when I already got the dots.

Travel rash Mallorca-acne on face

 

Dermatologist answer
From The information and image, possibly Mallorca-acne or Acne aestivalis, this is not really acne but a reaction to the skin of the combination of fatty oils and heat – something that is unfortunately often found in sunscreen products, it is difficult to overcome and can keep long after you come home from holidays. Products with vitamin A may have some effect on Mallorca-acne, but the best thing is to prevent it before it arises. There are sunscreen products that are formulated for that very reason – to counteract Mallorca – acne. The acne is linked to greasy sunscreen/solar oils associated with heat and sweating. This type of acne consists of small papules on the face and/or on the chest, occurs very quickly and disappears just as easily. You can test Basiron cream (prescription free) if no improvement, seek medical help.

Is this what you have? Try our FREE Skin Image Search today and get peace of mind 

Phytophotodermatitis (berloque dermatitis or margarita photodermatitis)

Location: garden, hiking, bushes

Dermatologist travel rash question
I am an 18 years old female from Miami. While on vacation in Costa Rica, After doing some outdoor activities such as ATV riding and Swimming in hot springs, I felt a burning sensation over my eyebrow at night. It felt like a sunburn but more intense. The day after it began blistering. A doctor in Costa Rica prescribed quadriderm for the condition. It began 4 days ago, I’ve been applying quadriderm for 2 days. Right now, the blistering seems to have gone away and the mark has hardened. I haven’t felt pain since the first night.

Travel rash phytophotodermatitis on face sun costa rica

Dermatologist answer
Thank you for sending your case. Based on the information and images, this is possibly a PHYTOPHOTODERMATITIS. This is a phototoxic reaction that generally occurs during the spring or summer following some outdoor activity on a sunny day during which there has been contact with a particular plant. Its name has 3 components: phyto (plant), photo (light) and dermatitis (inflammatory rash). During the acute inflammatory stage, itchy blisters and reddened patches appear on exposed skin. These are often irregularly distributed and odd in shape. This is induced by the action of long wavelength ultraviolet radiation (UVA) on a plant chemical called furocoumarins (psoralens) on the skin surface. The reaction causes inflammation in the epidermis and activation of the pigment cells to produce melanin pigment. Contact with the plant, fruit or vegetable may have been brief and unnoticed. The plants normally responsible for this reaction are: parsley, parsnips, celery, carrot, fig, lime and several species of wild flowers (umbelliferae). You can treat the rash with a topical steroid cream (Hydrocortisone 1%, available over-the-counter without a prescription), applied twice daily for a week, then once daily for a week. The post-inflammatory pigmentation that follows responds poorly to treatment with bleaching creams. It fades gradually over weeks to months. The affected skin should be protected from further sun exposure, which may cause the pigmentation to darken. If there is no improvement or worsening see a dermatologist for evaluation. I hope this has been helpful.

Is this what you have? Try our FREE Skin Image Search today and get peace of mind 

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