Disney Rash: How to Treat and Prevent

You just got done with a long, magical day at Disney only to discover a rash on your legs! Is it the Disney Rash?

It very well could be the dreaded Disney Rash. But don’t worry! This rash is a very treatable, preventable rash.

Here’s what the the Disney Rash is along with some tips on preventing it and treating it to allow you to have the most magical trip ever!

Disney Rash - What It Is, How to Prevent It and How to Treat It

What is this rash everyone is talking about? We will tell you all about it – but keep in mind we are not doctors!

This information is to help you understand, prevent, and treat the rash. Speak to your healthcare provider if you have any medical conditions that concern you.

The Disney Rash (sometimes called the Epcot rash) is a red or purple rash that appears on your lower legs with red bumps appearing on the skin.

Why is it called Disney rash?

The medical name for Disney rash is exercise-induced vasculitis (EIV). Golfer’s rash, hiker’s rash, and golfer’s vasculitis are also names associated with this because the Disney Parks are not the only place you can get it.

It’s simply called a Disney rash because it so often occurs to people at Walt Disney World due to the high heat and excessive amount of walking that happens at the Disney parks! It is similar to a heat rash, although usually not quite as severe. 

During hot and humid weather your legs and ankles may start to swell from excess standing and walking in the heat. The swelling from excessive standing inflames small blood vessels in your legs and ankles and red bumps may appear on the surface of the skin. These bumps on your skin look like a rash – and that is what is called the Disney rash.

What the Disney Rash is NOT.

The rash is not dangerous or contagious. You don’t get it because of a chemical found at the parks (as some have hypothesized).

Chiggers, sand flies, bed bugs, poison ivy, and viruses are not to blame for it. The Disney Rash usually doesn’t itch or burn but your skin does look nasty. The rash usually goes away after a few days. 

How do you get the Disney rash?

Disney Rash

photo credit More Time to Travel

Basically, the Disney rash is a combination of the sunlight exposure, hot, humid weather, and prolonged walking. Hmmm, those are the conditions a day at the Disney Parks. Now you understand the name!  

You will be walking many, many miles at each of the Disney Parks. Some of the parks, such as EPCOT, have few shortcuts! Hollywood Studios is known for not much shade.

Animal Kingdom is simply huge, and you will find yourself criss-crossing in the Magic Kingdom. These factors all play into getting the rash.

You’re also more susceptible during the summer months (May, June, July, August, September) so be more cautious during those months. Months that are typically cooler (November, December, January, February, March, April) aren’t as bad as the other months but it’s still possible to get a rash!

How to prevent Disney Rash?

The rash can affect anyone (both healthy people and unhealthy people) but women over the age of 50 tend to be more susceptible to it.

There are some preventative measures you can consider implementing during your Disney vacation. Here are some tips to prevent getting the rash on your skin.

Cover Your Skin at Disney

Because direct sunlight is a big culprit, clothing covering the skin can help in the prevention. Long pants and socks that are longer can be a good idea to help limit sun exposure.

Some have even said that sunscreen has the same effect as long pants so apply it before you leave your resort. If you’re worried about the rash, we recommend fully covering your skin!

Consider Compression Socks

Yes, you will get a sock line from the sun, but wearing tall socks can help prevent the rash. Compression socks may help even more, as the socks help prevent the legs and ankles from swelling as much.

Drink Water

In order to diminish the swelling to the legs, drink plenty of water and try to avoid lots of salt. Remember that any quick service restaurant will give you free cold water or just keep a water bottle in your backpack.  

(This is one way way save money at the parks! See or other tips here.)

Elevate your Feet

When you rest at the parks, elevate your feet as much as you can and if at all possible, wrap cool towels around the skin on your legs. Definitely try to elevate your feet for a while when you get back to your hotel. 

I know, I know, where are you going to find “cool towels” while waiting in line for It’s a Small World?  Well, when you get on the ride, take your towel out of you pack and dip it in the water and wrap it around your legs…problem solved!  (Just kidding!

Another idea is simply taking ice cubes and massaging  your legs with them. Whenever you get a drink immediately take an ice cube out to use on your legs.

Disney Rash

photo credit More Time to Travel

Keep Out of the Sun at Disney

Another thing to do to prevent this rash is to limit how much you’re in the sun! You’ll really want to try to keep out of the sun as much as possible. Look for shade whenever possible.

Exercise Before You Go to Disney World!

Start a walking program and be sure to exercise well before you go to Disney. Exercise will help your legs, muscles, and cardiovascular system get prepared for all the walking you’ll be doing while at Disney.

Head to this post for tips on how to increase your steps before you go!

This will help prevent you from getting a rash! If you are thinking of getting new shoes before our trip we recommend getting them early so you can start your walking program in the shoes you will be wearing to Walt Disney World.

We have recommended shoes for the whole family here.

Take Ibuprofen

One final thing you can do is consider taking Ibuprofen before you start the day as it has anti-inflammatory properties.

How to treat the Disney rash?

First, you are not alone. Many people get it so there is nothing to be embarrassed about. Many of the prevention ideas should be done if you get it. 

Ice and elevate your legs (keep them cool), keep out of the sun and also drink plenty of water. In addition to these steps, you can use a topical anti-itch cream or aloe vera gel for burning. Prickly heat powder can be used and keep the area free from sweating.

The good news is that most people do not need to seek medical attention from a medical provider for their Disney rash. It will eventually go away on its own.

That being said, if you have any concerns about your rash be sure to stop by a first aid station in Walt Disney World. If the rash does not go away on its own in a week or so you will want to get medical help.

Is the rash contagious?

No, it isn’t contagious! You don’t need to worry about passing it on to anyone else.

To sum it all up, a rash might put a fashion damper on your Disney vacation but won’t prevent you from doing anything you had planned!

Starting a walking program before your vacation is so important, we have it mentioned on our list of 7 things not to do before going to Disney (don’t be out of shape!). You can see the other 6 here!

Finally, we can’t do a post about the Disney Rash from walking without mentioning our favorite Disney themed shoes. Check them out here!

About disneywithdavesdaughters

Dave and his daughters have been going to Disney for 30+ years, all on a teacher's budget . They love helping families have the most magical Disney vacation ever by sharing all their expert family secrets. Feel free to send them a message or follow along on Instagram!

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