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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So when we had ferrets, their nails irritated my skin - little red welts when I was scratched while playing or when they walked on me. That went away within a couple weeks of having them though. I thought it would be the same with rats, but thus far, I still look like I've been in a serious cat fight. Like my neck and shoulders where I'm walked on are so incredibly red and irritated, I look mangled. It doesn't itch, but it looks awful. I'm having to rethink what I wear to work the rest of the week, and I'm going to have to wear high neck long sleeve shirts when I have the rats out on me.

Will this ever stop? Anyone else have this problem?
 

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It probably won't stop. It's from their nails tearing away tiny layers of skin, just enough to irritate the skin and sometimes to leave a scab. I have it with all the rats whether I feel like they scratched me up or not they will still appear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I was wondering if it was an allergy as my daughter doesn't seem to have the same reaction. Actually her skin doesn't appear to react at all. So maybe she's the weird one? Lol.
 

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It's an allergy or sensitivity of sorts. My daughter has a friend who's skin swells up as soon as she touches our rats... it doesn't hurt but it looks awful. Before she goes home or her mom picks her up, she washes her arms and in a few minutes the swelling goes away...

Thankfully, so far her mom is none the wiser. First time I saw it I nearly freaked out, but with how quickly the "rash" washes off it's no big deal.

I suspect some folks may have worse allergies or sensitivities that don't just wash off. But washing after you handle your rats might help.

Just a thought.
 

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As rat daddy suggested, I'd wash directly after playing with your rats or even keep a damp cloth to wipe anywhere they scratch you immediately and then wash again afterwards. It sounds like you're having a reaction to something that is on their nails rather than just the scratch itself. A lot of times urine can be very irritating to skin and since they're walking in their own, that's likely what's causing your skin irritation.
 

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I wonder if the Avon product "Silicone Glove" would help? It's supposed to put a silicone layer on your skin to protect from skin irritants. It probably wouldn't hurt to try.
 

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Does it look something like this? (picture makes it look a bit less red than it actually is)
Hair Face Neck Shoulder Skin
That is what I look like after a play-session with our 4 girls... after I was done playing with them I just washed it with a cotton pad that was soaked in water disinfected the area and then put Bepanthen on it. I will tell you later if that works well because I have just done it for the first time :)

I'm not sure if the "Silicone Glove"-stuff is safe for the rats. Mine sometimes lick my skin. I would be scared that the product might harm them...
 

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i have very sensitive skin as well as very bad allergies to most types of animals. i break out in hives sometimes when i play with my rats, as well as gain the irritated, very red and inflamed scratches like you mentioned.
washing right after i see a cut or right after i put them away seems to help a ton with the irritation.
 

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Even if the "Silicone Glove" is safe and works against irritants on the skin, the moment a scratch breaks the skin it's going to be useless. Neat idea though; I'd probably use it for something like yard work since I'm pretty sensitive to some grasses and pollens.
 

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I have the same problem - it's allergies. The rats nails cut the skin and allows their dander, pee, and other irritants inside, causing the red welts. Mine itch something terrible. This is what has helped for me:
Keep their cage as clean as possible. The cleaner their feet are, the less irritants that will make their way into your skin.
Keep their nails trimmed. Sharp nails cut deeper and allow more irritants in your skin.
Wash ANY skin they touched with hot soapy water immediately after handling them. If they broke skin anywhere (like to the point of bleeding, it happens with those tiny little needles they have for nails) use peroxide to clean it out.
Handle them as often as possible. It sounds counter-intuitive, but I notice that if I haven't held them in a few days, the itchiness and welts are worse when I finally do hold them. When I hold them daily and do everything above, it rarely happens.
 

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I get that sometimes - it looks awful and it hurts too! As long as I keep my rats' nails trimmed it's not much of an issue. I have to trim about every two weeks. I can usually tell when it's time for a trim because my skin starts getting inflamed again.
 

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my best solution (my partner cannot have the rats on their skin or they turn beet red) is to wear tightly fitting clothing like underarmor, or in the summer, a light button down buttoned all the way up. they don't seem to want to be in such tight clothing.
 

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Update on my method from yesterday...
5 hours after my post my skin was back to normal. No marks left whatsoever.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I don't find that it itches too much, but my gosh do I get red and irritated. I usually look like one of them clawed me with the intent to harm me. I try not to let it bother me, but even after immediately wiping down with a cloth afterward, the next day I still look rough. It's not doing much for me trying to convince my coworkers that rats are awesome!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Wieju - What's Bepanthen? I'm glad it worked so well, I would love to try it!
 

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Bepanthen might be a German product. It's a cream that helps with scratches, cuts and small wounds in general.
 

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I get the same thing (thought it was just me to be honest) I just wash my hands/arms with a hand soap and it stops itching pretty quickly. Keeping nails trim seems to really help though
 

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I developed allergies to my boys after about 6 months to the point where I would wake up because I could not breathe, my throat closed up as I slept. I can no longer handle male rats or I itch for hours, get hives and my throat tightens. Washing does help. Also try to have someone help clean the cage and keep windows open.
 

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I get rashes too after I play with my rats. Normally just putting some lotion on will clear it away, or washing them off. If it is the claws that's causing the irritation, your rats might need some claw trimming.
 
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