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  1. #1
    Neil_B
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    OT: Rash from sunscreen?

    I'm not sure, but I think I'm having an allergic reaction to the sunscreen I used yesterday on my ride. I was in a hurry and applied a lot of it to my legs, starting with my left. This morning I awoke to:



    It doesn't hurt, but there's some heat there. Oddly enough it's largely on my left leg. There are only a couple of small spots on the right. It's not poison ivy, and it's not an abrasion. And it only appears on exposed skin - from the leg gripper of my shorts to the top of my wool socks.

    Other than changing the brand of sunscreen, what do you recommend? I was using a SPF 50 'sport' formula that resists water and sweat.

  2. #2
    Non sibi sed patriae thestoutdog's Avatar
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    Could it be a part that just didn't completely covered with sunscreen? Not much help, but worth asking.
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  3. #3
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    You arm is Ok?

    Heat rash from hot roads. I get every year or first time in the heat.
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  4. #4
    El Cheapo Vato Joe Bicycle's Avatar
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    I am having the same problem but it occurs on me on the undersides of my arms. I am using Coppertone Sport SPF 50. I thought about it and noticed that for some reason it is where I apply heaver layers of sunscreen than on the tops of my arms. I read where this is heat rash or sometimes called Prickly heat and can be caused buy the pores of the skin getting blocked and not being able to sweat naturally. It has similar symptoms on me to Poison Ivy and I have been treating it in the same manner. One thing I have been doing is only using a very light amount of sunscreen on my arms and after my rides I wipe them down with paper towels before showering. This has helped reduce the irritation and I have noticed the sores are starting to go down so for now, so far so good. Hope this helps.....

  5. #5
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
    You arm is Ok?

    Heat rash from hot roads. I get every year or first time in the heat.
    Arms are fine. I was in a hurry yesterday morning and was careless in applying the sunscreen. Chefisaac can attest I used far too much of it.

  6. #6
    Retired C.O. RandoneeRider's Avatar
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    I'm VERY prone to prickly heat (rash)! In fact, I'll be returning a XXL jersey today to REI because it's not loose fitting enough.... I hafta wear loose shirts or my sides, underarms, chest will rash out. I've also stumbled onto a Antiperspirant/deoderant that is less likely to give me a heat rash (Arm & Hammer).

    A rash like that pictured is what I got before they knew it was a full-tear rotator cuff/slipped bicep tendon.... The PT guy applied really REALLY liberal amounts of Hydrocortisone cream to my shoulder and massaged it with some kind of deep heating dealie. He cleaned it all off and I went home, only hours later to break out in a nasty bump filled red rash. For some reason, I believe it may not have been so much what he used, as the combination of what he used and how much....

    So I watch very carefully what I put on, avoiding scented products, and try a small amount gradually increasing what I use. After I posted here seeking advise on SUNBLOCKs, I was able to find something spoken of quite highly. I found and am having luck with:
    Neutrogena Ultra Sheer DRY-TOUCH SUNBLOCK SPF 70
    ("#1 Dermatologist recommended suncare")

  7. #7
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    Neil, Where was the first area you applied sunscreen to? Did you shake the bottle well beforehand? Maybe not washed that leg thoroughly? A lot of questions, I know, but something was different WRT your leg v. the rest of your body where the sunscreen was applied.

    Brad

  8. #8
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by bradtx View Post
    Neil, Where was the first area you applied sunscreen to? Did you shake the bottle well beforehand? Maybe not washed that leg thoroughly? A lot of questions, I know, but something was different WRT your leg v. the rest of your body where the sunscreen was applied.

    Brad
    I applied there first, and used too much. I didn't shower until hours after the ride - I had lunch and a trip to Valley Forge with Chefisaac, and then a trip to my bike shop to have the rear wheel trued and the bike inspected.

  9. #9
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    This won't answer your question 100%, but on http://breakingnews.ewg.org/2011sunscreen/ there's a breakdown of the ingredients of many of the sunscreens on the market, including health concerns. You can search by sunscreen, and under health concerns it will list the ingredients and known side effects. It's not perfect - many of the ingredients have limited data, but it does have good data on the active ingredients and most others. Look for the known allergens in your sunscreen, and then see if you can find another without those ingredients.

    FWIW, that rash does look a lot like prickly heat so it might not be your sunscreen at all.

    JB
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  10. #10
    Retired C.O. RandoneeRider's Avatar
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    I see your sunscreen rash, and raise you by a spider web rash......
    (By the way, listening to the radio today, mention was made of how old/out dated/expired cosmetic products can cause a rash.....)

    Mine below? I walked through a spider web where I had seen a black widow days prior. I was busy and didn't hasten to brush the web away from my arm... and it didn't brush away easily either! A couple hours later, red bumps and a slight rash. 36 hours later, it's inflamed, puffy, larger bumps, and itches.... the image below does it no justice.


  11. #11
    Senior Member jeneralist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil_B View Post
    I'm not sure, but I think I'm having an allergic reaction to the sunscreen I used yesterday on my ride. I was in a hurry and applied a lot of it to my legs, starting with my left. ...

    Are there little bumps in the middle of the redness? It looks like there may be, at the top of the picture. If so, put me down for another vote for prickly heat rash, aka miliaria. Consider changing brand of sunscreen; putting on less of it at a time (maybe try one of those spray-on brands?); and washing when done riding to keep pores from getting clogged.
    - Jeneralist

  12. #12
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeneralist View Post
    Are there little bumps in the middle of the redness? It looks like there may be, at the top of the picture. If so, put me down for another vote for prickly heat rash, aka miliaria. Consider changing brand of sunscreen; putting on less of it at a time (maybe try one of those spray-on brands?); and washing when done riding to keep pores from getting clogged.
    That last was the biggie. I ran errands after the ride and didn't get into the shower until hours later. Lesson learned.

  13. #13
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    I break out in a nasty rash with chemical sunscreens, but I seem to have a better luck with a physical barrier sunscreen such as those using zinc or titanium. However, there are times where I get an equally unpleasant rash from an over production of histamine from exercise that I get mostly in winter while on my trainer and only on bare skin.

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