What is an ankle rash?

An ankle rash is an inflammatory reaction of the skin on the ankles. Rashes on the ankle can be caused by a wide variety of mild to serious diseases, disorders and conditions. Ankle rashes can affect a small to large area of one or both ankles at a time, and can occur in all age groups and populations. Ankle rashes are often part of larger areas of rash extending to the legs and feet.

Ankle rashes vary greatly in appearance, extent and severity depending on the underlying cause. Ankle rashes may or may not be itchy and can be red, white, purple or silver in color. The texture of an ankle rash can be flat, raised, bumpy or scaly and include flaking off or peeling of skin cells. Ankle rashes can also appear as dots, spots or patches, or they may appear to be solid and continuous.

An ankle rash can be a sign of a relatively minor condition, such as irritant contact dermatitis caused by exposure to poison ivy or poison oak. A rash on the ankles can also be caused by an allergic reaction to a variety of allergens (allergic contact dermatitis), such as grass. Other causes of ankle rashes include viral infections, autoimmune disorders, and varicose veins. Ankle rashes, along with leg and foot rashes, are also a complication of poorly managed diabetes and peripheral artery disease, which can cause skin changes due to poor blood flow to the extremities.

Ankle rashes can have several serious causes. A rash of purple spots on the ankles or other areas can be caused by a potentially serious condition, such as allergic purpura.Any rash that is associated with allergies combined with shortness of breath, wheezing, or swelling of the face, mouth or throat is a symptom of a serious, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have any of these symptoms.

Seek prompt medical care if you do not have life-threatening symptoms but your ankle rash is getting worse, the rash does not improve within a few days, or you develop other symptoms.

SYMPTOMS

What other symptoms might occur with an ankle rash?

An ankle rash can occur by itself or with other symptoms that affect the skin and possibly other areas of the body. Symptoms vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. For example, you may have flu-like symptoms if the ankle rash is due to infection or inflammation. Some coexisting symptoms, ... Read more about ankle rashsymptoms

CAUSES

What causes an ankle rash?

Ankle rashes can be caused by a wide variety of diseases, disorders and conditions, such as infection, inflammation, allergic reaction, parasite and insect bites, and autoimmune processes. For example, an acute ankle rash that appears suddenly may be caused by an allergic reaction or sensitivity to a particular substance, such as poison ivy, hair waxing or shaving, or an insect bite.

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Medical Reviewer: Cynthia Haines, MD Last Annual Review Date: Jul 29, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Skin, Hair and Nails


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