ZocdocAnswersWhy does playing in the mud cause skin rashes?

Question

Why does playing in the mud cause skin rashes?

My son likes to play in the mud and he ends up getting different kinds of rash, I think he is allergic? Could this be right?

Answer

There is not anything in mud in particular that would cause an allergy for your son. Allergies are common to various types of grasses and plants that are found in the environment, but not to mud per se. One thing that is common, however, is irritation of the skin from the mechanical friction caused by the mud or from having the skin wet for a prolonged period of time. You might try to limit the period of time that he is out playing in the mud or make sure that he wears protective clothing. You could also make sure to clean and dry off the skin immediately after coming back inside and to apply a skin moisturizer to prevent irritation and breakdown. If this does not work, you could try applying a small amount of an over the counter steroid cream, such as hydrocortisone cream, for a few days to the most troublesome red areas. If this is redness or irritation from moisture or mechanical contact from the mud, the steroid cream should help a lot. Meanwhile, you should make an appointment to discuss this issues in more detail with your pediatrician. Good luck!

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