About a month ago I started jogging/running. My problem is my legs start itching so bad that I have to stop. It starts at my ankles and then goes up my legs. My dh told me to start pushing through it and it will go away if I just keep going. So I did that today and it started going up my stomach, so I decided it was time to stop because it was just too much to handle, and I was afraid that my whole body would end up like that. I usually start out with a 5-10 min walk and then work my way up to running. After about 20 min of fast walking the itching starts. It doesn't matter if I'm outside or on my tredmill, wear shorts or loose pants. I have tried putting lotion w/ no purfume or anything in it before I exercise, but it's not working. I have also had my dh spray my legs with water to cool them off, but that isn't working either. I don't want to give this up, but I can't take this itching anymore. I walk and/or my tredmill everyday, sometimes several times a day, so I don't think just getting used to it is the problem. Does anybody have any idea how to make this stop? I will try anything!
I have the same problem, too. It started years ago that when I had hadn't walked or run in a few days, the first day back would be really bad. But now, it's all the time. It's definitely worse after a few days of inactivity, but my legs itch every time I walk or run. I find if I go really slowly, it's not as bad, but I find they still itch even if I'm walking at 3.0 mph! I'm a personal trainer, too, and it's driving me crazy that I can only tolerate 10-15 mintues of walking!!! I've been doing some research, and some think it's dermatological, and some think it's circulatory-related. I don't know, but I'm dying.... It's so frustrating!!!
The itchiness is related to a collapse of small capillaries from inactivity. When you start strenuous activity like running, the capillaries open up again but in the process it sends electrical impulses to the brain, which then reads the sensation as an "itch." It should subside as you continue your running. Topical lotions won't help.
One reason why it's important to STAY in shape, as opposed to stopping and starting a vigorous exercise program.
I have a similar problem (perhaps), but I don't feel like it's that easily solved. I played collegiate athletics as well as intramurals, and I continue to play in leagues now that I have graduated. I never work out outside of when I play. Sometimes that will be months apart. If I play a game (football, soccer, basketball) I NEVER have the itching problem and when I just go out an jog I always have it. So, I don't feel like it's related to being out of shape, since I experienced this problem in college when I was in shape. I suppose that sports just keeps my mind off of it, but I'd still like to know what "it" is. Other possibilities?
I've had this same problem since childhood. It has nothing to do with circultaion or being out of shape like some people say. The condition is called Exercise uticaria. It is caused by a rise in body temp. Check out the link below to learn more.
I know exactly what you mean Nalla and ChattyCush! I have always been an active individual and use to run a lot. I gave up running a number of years ago now but have remained active. Ever since I tried to start running again I suffer from intense itching to the point where I just cannot run any longer. I definately didn't start off with a "vigorous exercise program". I've tried to push myself thru this but only end up feeling overwhelmed by the itch, short of breath, head feels dizzy and faintish and I think I'm going to be sick. I'm no where near my physical limits either when this happens. I've even tried just walking at a fast pace but it still happens. I've tested every scenario I can think of and have concluded that weather, clothing, temperature, creams, dry skin, laundry detergent, medication, hydration...has nothing to do with it. I'm really frustrated by this and must say the symptoms scare me a little. I've read all sorts of stuff and the only thing that makes sense is a histamine response. As I'm typing this my husband has decided he's going for a run! How I would love to join him!!! I'd love some answers/possible solutions if anyone has one.
All I had to do was read on...thank you JulieP1981! This makes the most sense. Since I have no rash/hives and only systemic resposes, I'll be seeing my family physician for "classic exercise induced anaphylaxis".
Thank you for the link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exercise_urticaria. I visited the site and discovered that it was probably the pants I was wearing that day, to my body conditioning class. The most probable cause was that the sweat interacting with the chemicals in the fabric caused an allergic response. Maybe benadryl would help but just wearing plain cotton fleece I hope will solve the problem.
OK, I'm 36, and I've had the same itchy leg problem since I was in elementary school. It only comes up when I walk or jog in COOL weather, not in the heat of Summer. It happened again this morning and I hate it! It can definitely drive someone completely insane! I'm not sold on the 'rise in body temperature' theory b/c I'm able to exercise when it's hot - and we also have a hot tub that has never given me a problem... I'm so tired of not knowing why!
I have had this condition for years now, i am a 20 year old male and i am really suffering from this. I have never known what the heck this is so i have just called it itchy leg syndrome. I dont believe it has anything to do with the clothing i wear, it occurs when i wear shorts, pants, boxers, whatever. I generally get this when i start moving and heating up at work (im a valet), but it drives me crazy and nothing but time seems to help me. It can also appear under any heat circumstance but not in the shower. I hope we can find a solution to this because we really are suffering.
I have just found the Couch Potato to 5k site and am anxious to start if it weren't for the inevitable itching. I have been successful taking a small dose of benadryl 15-20 mins before I start my walk/run in the past. I wish there was a more permanent solution, though.
Wow. I thought I was the only one suffering from this! When I was a teenager I used to run a lot and never suffered from this. Now I'm in my 30's I suffer from itchy legs even when I walk briskly - forget about running! My doctor wasn't any help. I too have tried wearing different fabrics, but it doesn't help. It happens no matter what the weather/temperature is, and starts up after about 20 mins. Very frustrating because I want to get running again. Any help would be appreciated.
This is very common. The reason why you experiance this kind of itch is having to do with your muscels not being warmed up to the weather. You should try just being outside and stretching for a bit before you do your running and walking. Fabric has nothing to do with it. Body temp. is the main cause.
i've just started going on regular walks. i've been experiencing the same sort of thing, but it's more like sort of pins and needles feeling, like little tiny mini explosions in my leg muscles. not painful, but just a weird sort of popping feeling... is this what you mean by itchy legs?
i agree with barn babe, makes the most sense when you really think about it. i always thought I just had poor circulation, but really after years of high school and college running competition, even 3 or 4 days off would send my next run into itches. Usually mine goes away after one or two runs, and it's especially bad in the winter (im assuming because the temp outside shriks the capillaries even further, and i run less :) ). So maybe its a combo of the temp and shrunken capillaries, and thats why it gets soooo red with itching. I definitely dont have any allergies, diet issues or even dry skin. i just have to motivate myself not to take that long off....
OH my goodness! It's such a relief to know I'm not the only one perplexed and frustrated by this crazy, intense, itching madness that occurs ONLY when I'm running or jogging on a treadmill at the gym! I become so angry with the painful itching, because besides the terror of it physically speaking, it is also embarrassing to make the faces I'm making and to be scratching myself so much, that my skin looks like cat claws just tore me up ,in front of the entire gym. I have actually gotten tears in my eyes from the discomfort, frustration, pain and sadness of the situation. It can be hard enough just to drive to the gym and work out in overcrowded L.A., but to be tortured while doing it, is just excruciating! I have tried the cotton, no detergent challenge. I have hydrated myself and streched out before. I have started with lifting weights first. Doesn't matter. I still itch until I almost bleed. I considered it to be nerves but would breathe deeply, listen to relaxing music on an ipod, and meditate on being tranquil. Didn't work. I started wondering if I have some rare dysfunction of my circulatory or nervous system. I don't believe anything topical would help. Like stacy (from this forum) says, I feel like it comes from below the skin. The sensation could be equated to a cross between the tingling of pins and needles and the horror of having a thousand red ants wreaking havoc below your skin. The irony is that i was a cross country runner and track runner in high school and didn't have the problem. I'm in my mid thirties now and this just started a couple years ago. True, I did stop running for over a decade and then attempted walking fast, then jogging, and then running again, out of nowhere. But, I have not been inactive for ten years. I've taken consistent dance lessons since adolescence and do not experience the problem when bellydancing or tango dancing. I have done pilates for ten years and do not experience it then either. What the heck? I have stopped jogging and running and walking fast because of it....so sad to me! Does anyone have an educated solution to this awful condition? We need it! And thank you to Nalla who started this conversation. If only I had been running next to you at the gym...misery loves company!!!
I started itching as a teenager walking fast, i would have to stop. It is scary at times, i am now 41, and i've been walking and running on my treadmill, i thought it would only happen outside, because of the grass and pollen, but that's not the case, it doesn't matter where i exercise i still itch like crazy. My husband thinks that i just use that as an excuse to stop exercising, but it really irritates me so i have to stop and start scratching. I also thought it was because i had a hard time sweating, but that's not the case. I'm glad i'm not the only one with this problem. I'm not happy other people are going through the same thing, i'm just relieved that i'm not the only one. That way my husband can't say it's all in my mind. He's a health and fitness freak!!
Hi, I have experienced this for a very long time. I remember rushing to classes in college and when I got there, itching myself like a crazy person. I always thought it was the cold, but today I walked on the treadmill and couldn't go past 13 minutes. I was bright red in the locker room scratching like mad! Do we have no solution? Will nobody help us??
Hi all I am a senior at a University and I simply want to take a knife to my legs when they itch so bad. It happens when i get out of the shower sometimes, and it is only from the ankle to the knee, on both legs. the itching is so bad!!! Im sure you all feel me on this. I go tanning sometimes, and that seems to make it worse. Also I use creatine sometimes to enhance my workouts, and im not sure yet if that has a significant effect or not on the itching. Lotion only seems to make it worse though, and after awhile it seems to subside on its own. Are there any MD's on here or anything?? I need advice on how to prevent this itching on my legs from happening again!! Thanks guys. -itchy in oregon
I just returned from a brisk walk and couldn't go my full distance due to itchy thighs! It about makes me insane as all of you have said. I am 54 and it just started about two years ago and is getting worse. It does feel like needles pricking under the skin and tiny ants crawling all over as one poster mentioned. It is the worst kind of itching I have ever had.
I have the itching that makes me want to blast my face off. Wikipedia is not a good source for information as it can be altered by anyone that feels they are qualified, so I wouldn't take the information that is posted in Wikipedia seriously. I think that I have found the answer for us all!!!!
Believe it or not.. i have the same problem..and i know this sounds crazy but something that i tried really worked for me..is when i work out or run on treadmill i wear 3 pairs of socks..it reduces the shock... you will still feel the sensation but it wont be unbearable..try it...see if it work for u... :0)
Hi itch54, how are you doing? Hope you might have seen a physician to get checked yourself? Given your symptoms of needle ***** sensation, I feel this is more of paresthesia - "Paresthesia or paraesthesia (in British English) is a sensation of tingling, pricking, or numbness of a person's skin with no apparent long-term physical effect, more generally known as the feeling of pins and needles or of a limb being "asleep". You may go through this link for more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paresthesia
It is always better to get evaluated by a neurologist and also by a dermatologist to rule out a serious cause. Get checked your blood sugar and blood pressure? Take care and share your thoughts.
Hi Everyone, after reading everyones comments I felt the need to create a post. My mother had been suffering from the same symptoms everyone as explained. She would get itchy legs whenever she would exercise. It even caused her to refrain from exercising for 3 years. Myself having a B.S in Biology and certification with the American College of Sports Medicine knew alot about the human body. I knew it had to be an allergic symptom, so I urged her to see doctors about the issue. After a few doctors, one recommend that she try taking claritin before working out. This miraculously cured her from the symptoms she was expierencing! From that day on she has taken one claritin an hour before working out and everything has been back to normal. There is an allergy medication called AllerClear which is made my Kirkland and sold at costco. It has 300 tablets and sells for about $11. It is significantly cheaper than Claritin and works exactly the same. I urge everyone who is facing the same problems to try this and post their results. I hope I could help some people in here with this information. Take Care Everyone!
Hi,i also have the same problem. I dont know what causes it but think i have found a solution. For me it happens when i haven't been to gym for a few weeks. its like my body 'forgets' how to sweat. i get really itchy but then if i keep going as soon as i start sweating the itch goes thats why i think its worse for people in cold weather cos the body takes longer to sweat!
I can't believe how many suffer from this dibilitating condition. I have never known anyone else with this condition. I have had this since childhood. My thighs get hives and start to itch SO BAD after about 10 minutes of walking. Forget running. I'd love to do it but have this handicap of itchy leg that prevents me. I too have also said that I was allergic to exercise. I have tried talking to my Dr. who did not help much. Taking the Benedyl before walking does help, if you remember but it also makes me tired after my workout. I've also used the Bendryl cream which is okay. Can someone out there please get the word out about this and maybe someone could come up with a more permanent solution? This even happens to me if I try to walk in the mall on my lunch hour and I have to find a corner to dig at my legs due to the itching. Aarh! It is frustrating.
I have the same condition. As soon as I start walking fast or in cold weather for a long time I get incredibly itchy to the point where if I scratch it is gets worse. So I always need to stop and let it simmer down and then even the slowest of walking will allow it to continue. My doctor told me something interesting that might be a possible reason. One exercise that might serve better and does not cause the itching is riding a bike or swimming or anything that is NOT vertical. When you exercise walking or jogging you are vertical and the blood flows down to your legs quicker rising you temperature and irritating your legs. Maybe it is poor blood circulation and so it heats up too much and irritates the skin. But exercises such as riding a bike or swimming don't havev that rush of blood.
Hope that helps. I exercise that way and it never makes my legs itch like walking or running.
Hello! I had itchy legs since I was 8 years old. I am now 26. It comes and goes. If I keep working out it usually gets better but it is not a sure thing. I can be working out for days and all of a sudden I will get really itchy by working out. I usually walk and jog. I thought it has something to do with sweating and the pores being closed. I tried swimming and i get itchy as well. Just like all of you, the faster I go, walking, jogging or swimming I itch more. Some times it would go up to my stomach and back and I can't handle the itch on the stomach. I will try taking the allergy medicine before my work out and see how that works for me. I just do some weight lifting if the itching makes me stop my work out. Good luck
I have experienced the same thing and it is annoying!!! My brother who runs in the military often, told me to eat a banana at night and another in the morning before I run/walk. The potassium in the bananas helps to cut the sensation of the itch. I have tried it and it has worked. For all of you looking for a healthy alternative try this. Happy "free itch" workout!
To Everyone suffering the "itchy legs when exercising" problem- I followed kakos'' advice and she was absolutely right! You just have to take an antihistamine 30mins- 1hr before going for your run or walk and presto! No itchies!! I tried it the very next day after reading her suggestion in the forum and it was amazing! Yes, the condition we are suffering does have a name too- ' Exercise- induced Uticaria'. Thankyou so much to Kakos, who felt the need to suggest a solution to the problem- it was so thoughtful of you (since you yourself do not actually suffer from it). You are a gem!
I hope you all get the same relief as I have had (with no side effects)- my heart goes out to you all. Thankyou for sharing, Kind Regards, Elia
I have this problem, I didn't realise so many people suffered from it. It seems like when you talk to other people about it you're hard pressed to find someone who knows what it's like.
My mum and sister suffer from the problem, my daughter gets it as well, so I think it is hereditary.
I get the itch when walking in cold, damp, rain weather, if I walk too fast as well. Starts off as tingling around legs, then tends to move to back butt, mid section and is so unbearable. Skin feels cold on the outside and inside to me it feels like I'm on fire. Mind over matter doesn't work, if you try to scratch the itch it gets worse, if you stop and rest, once you start again it comes back with a vengeance immediately. Being slim or overweight, exercising or stagnant I always seem to have this problem. Not a problem in warm weather, swimming, weights at gym none of that, just walking and running.
Starting a new job in 2 weeks, that's a half mile walk from the train station to work and then back again, I want to walk because the exercise would do me good, also would save me £120 in travel, but don't know what to do.
Am gonna book an appointment to see the doc and get this sorted.
Hey Elia, I am really glad to hear that taking the antihistamine worked out for you! I know how much this aggrevated my mother, so I am happy you are now able to exercise comfortably. I hope others in here at least give it a shot to see how their bodies respond to the treatment. Take care and I'll check back to see if anyone else has success stories to share!
I am only 17, but I have had the this un-godly "itchy leg syndrom (syndrome)/vibration" in my legs since i was 7. My mom tells me that nothings wrong with me, that i just need to excercise more. I am not active in sports or anything but I do walk to and from work everyday, thats about a half a mile. For me it happens in any weather condition, warm, cold and damp, but it really bothers me during the winter if i walk for more than 10 minutes or too fast. I do not get hives or get sweaty legs, but just this burning/ vibration / tingling which makes my legs really hot and i have to stop and "rake" my legs with my nails until i break the skin. It usually starts with my thighs and moves up to my stomach butt and back. Once during the winter, I actually had to take my jeans off infront of a lot of people and walk home in the shorts that i had underneath because it bothered something terrible. It also happens to me during the summer if i walk long distances. I stopped going to my friends house because she lives a mile a way and the only way i can get to her is by walking. by the time i get to her house i am in tears. Today I decided to google "Itchy legs when walking" and i am glad i did. I had no idea that anyone else went through this until today. None of my friends or family have this issue. I read on a site that it may have to do with how hard you walk and poor circulation, but to my knowlege my circulation is fine and it happens when i walk carefully too. I was actually wondering if anyone knew whether it had something to do with the fact that i am anemic.
I first thought it was dry skin so i lotioned a lot and drank lots of water. That didnt stop the itch. When i told my doctor, he told my mom in a nice way that it was in my head and i think she believed him. For right now i just stopped wearing jeans whenever i walk in wet or cold weather. this has helped some but I will try the antihistamine solution and see if it works.
I agree with everyone who emphasizes that this has nothing to do with being in shape. For me, it feels like the itching starts with the "bouncing" of my body as I run. I could be on a stairmaster all day and it wouldn't happen. It goes away if I run every day, but even one day off and I'm itchy again. *****. So, I take Benadryl the night before my first run of the week (running 6 days a week so as to deal with the itch less.) I'm looking into food allergies though. It just doesn't make sense that antihistamines would work if histamine isn't involved in this. I'm eliminating soy and wheat right now and will post in a couple of weeks if I learn anything.
There is a condition called Exercise urticaria characterized by itching, or hives on the legs, arms, chest or neck during or after exercise. Sometimes the symptoms may be related to the ingestion of certain foods before exercise, in which case you should stop eating it for some duration and see if the hives stop. You should always exercise in the presence of a partner who is aware of your condition.
You may consult your doctor for some antihistamines for relief. Most symptoms can be controlled by taking certain antihistamines prior to exercise as prescribed by your doctor. Even then if symptoms start, you should either slow down or stop exercise. Very rarely your doctor may advise to avoid certain types of exercise.
Do write in if you need any other information.
In reply to kakos and Dr. Smita_S's messages about taking Claritin (or any antihistimine) and Exercise Uticaria--I first had itchy legs starting in college, but began medication for allergy symptoms and then didn't have a recurrence for about seven years. About a month ago, I went off all meds for my pregnancy, and the two times I've tried to walk since then, the itchy legs are back. This seems to prove that the itchiness is related to histamines and that allergy meds work!
WOW! I THOUGHT I WAS GOING CRAZY TO. I WOULD ASK MY DR AND HE WOULD LOOK AT ME LIKE I HAD 3 HEADS. THIS ITCH HAS BEEN GOING ON FOR A LONG TIME AND HAS STOP ME FROM WALKING. WHAT I DO AT THE GYM ONCE I FINISH THE TREADMILL I GO INTO THE LADIES LOCKER ROOM AND SLAP THE HELL OUT OF MY LEGS TO GET THE BLOOD FLOWING. IT'S CRAZY BUT IT WORKS. THERE WERE TIMES I WOULD HAVE TO LEAVE THE GYM BECAUSE I WAS SO UNCOMFORTABLE. I REALLY THINK IT IS POOR CIRCULATION
It is a relief to hear others suffer from this as well. I'm wondering if there are a few different things described here. In the past I was a state champion sprinter and a collegiate soccer player, but I suffer from this along with the rest of you. I have consulted several doctors who suggested the circulation bit as well as the antihistamine drill too. Those haven't worked for me as successfully as others out there. I am similar to "sarajeanne" where my symptoms are vibration/impact related. Now, I'll be debilitated on a tread mill, but not on an elliptical. Running yes; skate skiing no. I've even had it slightly (rarely) in my arms from my handlebars while mountain biking down a bumpy trail. Anyone else out there with any other cures for impact-related crazy-burning leg itch? Even short walks have made me stop.
I am so sorry this happens to other people, but it is nice to know it is not in my head.
I have allergies and I regularly take an antihistamine, but I stopped taking it for a few days. Yesterday I went for a hike (it is getting cooler here) and I had the same itchy thighs problems I've had since I was a teenager. On the way up the mountain, I was fine, but on the way down, my thighs starting itching and one calf. It is not really itching, it is an intense prickly sensation. It is so intense it makes me feel like I'm going to vomit. I tried to breathe deeply to help myself calm down (scratching definitely does not help). As soon as I got back to the car it stopped, but my throat felt kind of constricted (probably from the stress) and I still had to concentrate on my breathing to calm down. I know from experience it does not matter what type clothing I am wearing.
I have had uticaria before and the dr said basically I was allergic to myself. He recommended taking tepid baths instead of hot showers and that did the trick. But I also think there is a factor with the capillaries, because in the winter my shins would itch like crazy. I read something about how a heat source can cause the capillaries to expand and cause itching, so I stopped running the heat in my car on my feet and it went away.
I've also experienced this problem to the worst degree. It is an unbearable sensation but also it's quite an interesting topic. I doubt it will ever get investigated at the highest level because it doesn’t affect enough people. However, my opinion is that it DOES have something to do with the capillaries. I agree with Chattyccrush that it’s confusing. When I hadn't run for a while and started the "Itchiness" would cause me to stop, yet if I was playing a field sport (cricket, football it would never happen). Either way I found a way to stop it completely. ANTIHYSTIMINE TABLES WORK!!!!!!!!. I use a product in Australia called Telfast (active ingredient Fexofenadine Hydrochloride). For those of you who have tried such tables and had no luck it may be that the active ingredient does not work with your body. Try a different type. I could almost guarantee it will work. If I don't take my Telfast tablet before running the itchiness is unbearable. If I do take it, it does not come on at all. I would be interested to see a study on a link between hay fever sufferers and this itchy leg symptom. Hope this helps.
I was reading your experience of itchy legs and other members comments. It is true what you have is exercised inducec urticaria. It is caused by a rise n body temp and can happen in the heat or cold inside or out and the bottomline is if you don't treat it you feel like you want to vomit or jump out of your skin. I have the same thing and has worsened as I have goten older. It is like an allergen/antigen reaction. I have allergies anyway so I take a zyrtec daily. The zyrtec is a histamine blocker which helps block the antigen/allergen response. Zyrtec is over the counter. Benadryl is really not waranted because benadryl has a shorter half life. Unless you have health conditions that don't allow you to take Zyrtec, try it. Prevention is key. you do not want to let it get to the point of no return.
Itching on exercise may be due to a condition called Exercise Urticaria characterized by itching, or hives on the legs, arms, chest or neck during or after exercise. Sometimes the symptoms may be related to the ingestion of certain foods before exercise, in which case you should stop eating it for some duration and see if the hives stop. You should always exercise in the presence of a partner who is aware of your condition.
You may consult your doctor for some antihistamines for relief. Most symptoms can be controlled by taking certain antihistamines prior to exercise as prescribed by your doctor. Even then if symptoms start, you should either slow down or stop exercise. Very rarely your doctor may advise to avoid certain types of exercise.
Wow! I'm so glad I found this post - I, like many of you, thought I was the only one this happened to! I have found that running on a regular basis seems to eliminate the problem of itchy legs. It is really bad after taking some time off and then going for my first run back. I've actually given myself welts than last all day trying to quell the itch! I will try antihistamines the next time I stop for a while and then restart my routine.
I, too, am cursed with "itchy leg" )as I call it) for as long as I can remember. Whenever I walk or jog, my legs itch like crazy. Sometimes I'll scratch it until my legs are bleeding it gets so bad. I have found that if I take an anithistamine pill 1/2 hour or so before walking/jogging, I don't have a problem, or else it's very minimal. Try it.
I always get it when I walk through the cold weather with only jeans and then go to the gym, My legs will be very cold and then when I start running and they warm up it will itch like crazy, Once I am warmed up and i managed to take the stinging it will stop. I guess its different for every person, some might get it due to an allergic reaction or other reason, but what helped me is that every time i go to the gym now, i wear 2 pairs of pants underneath my jeans and that keeps my legs warm. I have been doing this for 2 weeks after trying everything else and I am itch free, Give it a try people, I guess it has to do with the vessels shrinking in the cold and then expanding to fast in the warm again. Before taking allergy meds try that first, it helped me, good luck .
I had the same problem on my legs and ankles for some time until a doctor asked me if it itched intensely when showering with hot water.
If so, he explained, it could be "mites"! Exercise will also raise the skin temp. and evidently the little buggers dont like it very much and secrete a substance that causes the itch. Some mites from animals do have the ability to "cross feed" on us two leggers. He had me make up a paste from vasiline and powdered sulfur and apply to the legs. I then wrapped them with kitchen plastic wrapping and went to sleep. Incredible difference the next day and I did it the next 2 days also.
One word.....cured! Im thrilled to have this behind me. Hopefully you just have some buggy hitch hikers like me and not a physical problem.
***Note if you use to much sulfur in your paste it burns!
Cant remember my "mix" but it wasnt very much.
I have the same problem. I've been enduring it for about 20 years..I'm 40. It usually happens when I haven't run for a few days. But if I make sure I run evey three or four days, there is no itching. But if I don't run for about five days, I will get the itching and burning. It get the burning from my feet to my stomach-depending on how many days I have not ran.
But the other thing I notice is that I become quite aggressive...I don't do anything to anyone. But I become extremely irritated, for instance, I'm a bit of a germ a phobe and when I'm going through this burning and itiching, I become really scornful. I don't want to touch anything (treadmill). Does anyone else notice a change in their mental state ?
everything about a rise in skin temp etc. is wrong, it is called exercise uticaria, it is caused by mast cell degeneration as your lateral extremeties (thighs, skin on the legs, etc.) pound on the floor or hard surface when walking or running. You will find that you will not get this while using an elliptical but only when using the treadmill or running on the ground. When mast cells react to the physical force and break open, they release a histamine, which is why taking an anithistamine like claritin, zyrtec-best, etc. will relieve all symptoms. I have asthma and I'm trying to see if there is any relation between this and allergy induced asthma...please email me at ***@**** if you have any more info.
Your comment has it dead on! I thought that i was just having problems since high school with running and i am in my twenties and it hasnt gone away. my heart can handle the runs, i am in shape and healthy but legs stop me never the cardio! i started doing the elliptical machine and i did not feel the itchy legs AT ALL! you i love your hypothesis about the pavement pounding and the mast cell release of histamine. definitely makes sense so i will be taking an antihistamine prior to any runs that i do for now on! i thought that i was the only one with these problems and whenever i explained it to other people, they never understood!
I feel like crying I am so relieved that someone understands. I have had this issue since high school but it has gotten significantly worse as an adult. I will not have even come close to my physical limit regadring exercise when my legs begin to itch so savagely I cannot take it anymore.
To know that professional athletes etc on this site have experienced the same thing is sad but helpful in that I know I am not crazy and it is not because I am a lazy person. I will try the antihistamines tomorrow and hour before I go and see if it works. I pray it does because the alternative seems grim.
I am glad that switching to an elliptical machine worked for you, but moving to a non-impact activity won't/hasn't worked for all people. You seem quite informed and open to constructive criticism so I would caution you when writing that 'everything written... is wrong' just because it doesn't apply to your particular situation. I cycle on an indoor trainer in the winter and have the symptoms. No impact there.
Lots of interesting suggestions to chase. Since I do exercise regularly, forcing myself to go through the 'itch baririer', I'm going to try the antihistamines.
My friends! What a relief to find this site. It was great to sit here and read all your comments to my husband... he joked "Did YOU post these yourself?" I have had this issue since college and it drives me crazy that I can't just push through it. The last time I tried, I was hell-bent on pushing through, ran until I was crying from how intense the itching was, and eventually just collapsed because my legs just went numb and gave out.
I have a strange theory and I would love all of your input on it... My whole childhood I slept with a heating blanket every night, and I have always wondered if this had something to do with my condition - like my legs didn't develop the circulation they should have because I was always heated at night? Sounds crazy, but if you have this you understand.... you just go out of your mind trying to fix it so you can go about your life! Did anyone else sleep with a heating blanket during childhood?
whenever i start jogging my legs start itching like crazy for the 1st 2 days. After that it subsides. So I thought it was a blood circulation problem.
However when I play tennis, or football I dont get the itch even after months of inactivity.
I cycle everyday and do spin classes where I build up a sweat but i dont get the itch.
My bike tyre got a puncture today so I had to briskly walked to a bike shop 2 miles today and my legs itched like crazy therefore that must eliminate blood circulation since i cylcle, play football and tennis most of the time.
My mum has a blood circulation machine that you stand on and what you stand on is not flat but is prikly and this machine vibrates rigouroulsy through the whole body, my feet cant take it after 5 minutes, my feet iches then my sides of stomach.
So what can i deduce from all of this.
Because when im playing tennis and football im starting and stopping running this doesnt have an effect.
Cycling my feet doesnt touch the ground so I have no problem there- no vibrations
But jogging and walking is a constant pounding to the ground and maybe the vibrations does something to the body??? my mums vibrating machine may prove this?
PS all this talk of itching is making me itch lol, its funny how the mind works.
im glad there are others out there like this, i wont list my symptoms because they are basically exactly what y'all have been saying. I use antihistamine and that helps, but for a short amount of time, and if i run or do a more vigorous workout it itches again. So while the antihistamine does work, that too is only temporary. Hopefully a permanent solution will become available for us.
I'm the same way. I ran track and field in H.S. and have had itchy legs AND hands since then and still today (in college).
I started using Benadryl pills this year and I 'think' they work (I'm a science major, and I haven't been able to really test this as I would like).
If you ever start getting itchy do the following:
Change from Hot to cold-
Some of you said you get itchy when your not working out but are in hot weather or when you are working out and in cold weather or when you are rested and your body temperature is less than your surrounding.
You need to realize it's the CHANGE in temperature. So if you workout in a cold gym, you're making yourself hot. I bet if you step outside in the warmth there is a chance it will subside and vice-versa.
My doctor told me that there are Rx solutions, but Benadryl was satisfactory for me. She didn't mention anything about a permanent fix.
Some people are allergic to certain fabrics-
most clothing is blended :( but cotton seems to be the way to go.. sort of.
by the way
my itching is worst and last 2x as long (I time my workouts, so I'm not kidding about this) when I'm sitting on a stationary bike and my heart rate is between 120 and 160.
now here's a good issue:
I worked out TWICE today and DIDN'T work out in the past 3 days.
My first work out was in a cold room, consisted of a 20 minute combination of running, shooting (double leg take downs), sprawling, jumping, push-ups, squats.... lots of stuff. I didn't itch and sweat alot.
I went to the gym a few hours after, I thought I was on fire after half a mile, so I stopped and it subsided after 4 minutes, started running again and finished another half mile but still had a lingering itch (maybe paranoia).
I was wearing a different type of fabric between the two workouts though.
All in all, I think the fabric your pores are exposed to when you sweat due to a temperature change might be a cause. I know this is very specific. But there has to be a way to make our bodies adapt to it and tolerate it.
everyone out there who suffers from this itchy leg syndrome
well i'm in the same boat as most of you, and i also thought i was the only one who went through the intense itching after my fifteen minute treadmill or jogging. I've also gone to a doctor and when he explained to change the soap i knew right there and then that he wasn't sure of what i was talking about. So i continued practically stayed unfit and pretty much gained what i really shouldn't have after my fouth baby. It was a hard pregnancy, so stayed unfit. I really thought it was the cold weather, or my sweat pants, that's why i joined a gym, ha was i wrong and upset. That's when it fond on me to look into the internet, I havn't tried the Benedryl, but looking forward to see if that works.
In all what I needed to add is I've read all of your stories and really thank you all for posting them. And secondly noticing that we are all in some kind of history of athletics pertaining to running, I ran track in my High School years and stopped for my various of reasons, being a full time mom plus my hard pregnancy and it started right after my pregnancy where I actuallly received the least of my work-outs. The stories just seem so similiar and Oh!! mid_ thirties??
It's just so interesting. Does it have to do anything with our capillaries?? I wish someone can investigate into this and take it serious. My family doesn't take it too serious because it sounds so harmless, "itch legs", doesn't sound serious to me if it weren't me, but anyhow its affected my activity to keep on moving, walking and stuff. Thanks for taking the time to read my posting good luck to you all.
Thank you all so much for sharing your experiences!
I didn't even know I had such a condition until I read there is actually an audience out there with similar experiences.
As a child the itching while walking was so unbearable I just never became walked much. This led to a dependence on cars and taxis until now. It caused me to be uncomfortable in my own skin and discouraged me from walking at all. Of course, nothing stops if I want to do something or go somewhere, but the level of discomfort is debilitating worsened by people who just think I'm lazy. I did exercise a fair amount to remain in shape, but the extra effort of overcoming the itching and to continue regardless takes far more energy than people who don't have this problem.
I try to exercise to lose weight but it is so disheartening to put in the effort and then having to stop as a result of excessive itchiness.
I'll go get the antihistamines tomorrow and hopefully this will go away.
this is so weird. i have had this problem my whole life.... i can't believe how many people have posted on this.
i get this itching/numbness feeling in my legs when i try to run or do any exercise with high impact; for example, i have never been able to do soccer or track and field, but i can ride my bike with no problems.
when i scratch my legs, it hurts so bad, like digging knives, and it doesn't really help the itchiness go away anyway. AND THEN, last year, i went mountain biking, and the ride was so bumpy, that the feeling happened in my arms.
i am not out of shape, i don't think by any standards. i am young, 21 years old, i eat healthy, haven't ever smoked, and i ride my bike regularly.
the only time i tried talking to my doctor about it, he said it could be something wrong with my spine, the impact of running causing my vertebrae to bounce on the nerves connecting to my legs... told me i could get an mri, and possibly back surgery... which in all honesty i think is crazy.
my mother and her long time boyfriend are both doctors, and anytime i complain about the itchiness, they just get annoyed and don't believe me, or tell me to walk it off... which i think everyone in this forum knows would be the last thing we would want to do, and it wouldn't help.
anyway... i will try the antihistamine thing when i plan to exercise, but the thing is, i can get the itchiness from walking quickly to try to get to class on time or something, so there would be no preparation for that.
Try antihistamines, and if it works then it is due to some allergy, also try some mild steroid like prednisolone after discussing with your Physician.
If your problem is not due to an allergy then you have to go to a neurologist and see why your nerves are causing this sensation. The neurologist will adivise you X-ray/MRI of back etc
Also see if some fish, sea food is causing this or what food consumption is causing this and is it related?
Take care and if it does not resolve go to a Neurophysican.
It is so relieving knowing that others understand what I'm going through! I'm 18 years old, and I also deal with the same thing. I noticed this when I was just a little kid, and I thought it was because I wasn't used to exercising. I am pretty fit, so I know it doesn't have to do with not being used to physical activity.
Every time I go for a walk or run, my legs itch like crazy. And when I play Dance Dance Revolution (which is really a great workout!) my entire body will start to itch. My legs, my chest, stomach, and back. It's terrible because I love doing physical activity, and it always stops me from exercising. I tried talking to my doctor about this, but she was not of any help.
I read what babynaf ^ said about the pounding and breaking open cells, and it totally makes sense because I start to itch whenever my exercise involves my pounding on the floor. (It definitely explains a lot about how my whole body gets itchy when I play DDR.)
For those of you who posted your theories and suggestions, thanks a lot! I will definitely try using antihistamines, and hopefully that will help out!
I wish the best of luck to everyone else who is dealing with this!
Allergy can only be one of the reason and if it does not help with anti histamines you should try diagnosing it near a neurologist. Sometimes it does not bother you and you slowly adjust to this, but sometimes this bothers and would be the main factor discouraging against exercise. Take care!
I've had this problem for as far back as I can remember, not every time I exercise, just the times there was high impact (therefore more vibration). I'll offer my experience after a particularly excruciating mountain bike ride yesterday where I almost tore the skin off my arms.
Vibration seems to be key. I've had this happen to me when I was on a bus going down a bumpy unpaved road. Vibrations were constant and about 15 mins into the ride I started getting the itching and burining feeling on my upper arms as well as itching across my back and sides. Exercise was not the cause as I was sitting in place not moving except for the vibrations. The pain was unbearable and embarassing to try to explain.
Yesterday, the bumpy mountain biking incident where my arms vibrated as I rode through an amazing woods trail. I really didn't want to stop so I pushed through about an hour of this excruciating pain and finally it went away. I thought I was going to go insane. In the past I've also had the running/jogging leg itch and have given up on ever being a runner.
My thought is that there is a combination of things happening here. Vibrations cause circulation to increase and the cells (which are not usually exposed to circulation to such an extent) are finally able to release toxins/histamines into the bloodstream causing the severe itch(thus the need for antihistamines). After a continued stint of exercise/vibrations the itching may stop because all of the toxins in those places have been released. I've heard of something that sounded similar while researching this problem, it seems Vitamin B supplements(supposed to increase circulation) used to have a similar effect on people, causing an extreme and intense itching - they made a form of the supplements that doesn't do this, wonder what the difference is?
I'll try the antihistamines next time and hope that it works, I hate this feeling!
It is good that you identified your symptoms pretty neatly and you should avoid vibrations till you find a cure for this problem. A neurologist can help you for proper diagnosis. symptomatic relief is only for short term. Take care!
Thanks for the suggestion to see a neurologist. I just finished a 15 minute walk during my lunch break and I almost passed out - not just the itching but nausea and my equilbrium felt off so I came back to the office. This is a terrible nuisance since I want to be able to walk for exercise. I will make an appointment to see a doctor. Thanks for all of your comments. I appreciate the fact that I am not alone and know this is a problem alot of us have.
I have not dealt with this condition for very long it is a new symptom to me. My problems do not start with exercise. I can just get up and stand in one spot and my legs turn red and they itch terribly. I do have cronic (chronic) back pain and nerve damage in my legs do to my back. I have had 3 surgeries on my back and have titanium brackets in 3 places. I wuz wondering if it had anything to do with my back? This is just one more depressing thing i have to deal with and it is driving me crazy.
Yes this may be due to your back problem. Ergonomics is very important, to reduce this use proper shoes, proper bed and proper positions while working, sitting and driving etc and continue your Orthopaedic consultancy. Take care!
This post makes me feel more sane as I have had this since I was a child and now in my 30s. I remember running around the track in HS and just dying with itchiness and scrathed up red legs. Yesterday I went swimming (swam laps) and after about 20 min my legs started itching, it got so bad I ended up tearing my skin up from the scratching.
A few months ago just walking it came on strong and I had to walk at the pace of a snail to not irritate it. I find if i can hold back on scratching it spread slower but once I start scratching I cannot stop and it just keeps going, it has gone all the way up from my thighs, to my buttocks to my stomach and I have been to scared to see if it would go further. I have read it can cause a bad enough reaction to close your throat?!
It always takes at least a couple of hours for swelling and redness to go away.
My sister has this as well, and she gets it even doing Tae Kwon Do, but she has started taking anithistamines and says they are working. Hers gets to bad she feels like vomiting.
Itching can be due to allergy or nerve tingling.
If the itching is due to allergy it is always good to identify the allergens and avoid them. If you cannot then taking anti histamines is a good idea than scratching.
If you have symptoms of itching without any cause you have to visit a neurologist for assessing the case. Take care!
Just to chime in... I have been dealing with this problem for over 10 years. I cannot run or even walk for more than 20 minutes without itching so bad I want to tear my skin off.
I've been researching the problem for years, and have entertained every possibility (capillary widening, allergies, body temp, weather, clothing, etc.) but nothing rings true as a cause.
The unique thing about my case is that I've narrowed the problem down to excercizes involving repeated impact. I can go on a bike or eliptical machine for as long as I want with no problems which rules out body temp and capillaries because I'm in decent shape. I've tried all kinds of OTC and prescription allergy medication. I've excercized in all kinds of weather in different climates and in different clothes, it makes no difference.
There are so many of us suffering! I wish that ANYBODY knew what the cause was or how to treat it. Even if it is "exercise urticaria" by name, what's the cause and/or the cure? Has anybody had any success?
Any sudden feeling of itching is due to nerves getting stimulated. The stimulant can be an allergen or any other factor like exercise. Identifying the factors which cause this and avoiding is a cure by itself. Wearing proper shoes, socks, clothes and adjusting to exercises which do not cause this is what you should look into.
Try consulting a neurologist.
Like everyone else I have had the itchy leg as well. I remember the first time was in high school during my swim season, and I was doing a cross training run- the itch started at my ankles. Ever since it seems that the itch would be random. I played soccer in college and only remember having the problem if I just straight ran long distances. But in the summer the itch was never as bad- but would randomly happen. Then two summers ago I started walking everyday- but the itch never started. So I thought I had just outgrown it. But not the case. It is back. I get it during all forms of exercise- walking, running (especially), swimming, and the other day I was doing the p 90x kenpo work out and my arms started itching ( the video starts with a bunch of punching). It has started in my claves, thighs, stomach...pretty much anywhere. The itch is like most of you describe- coming from inside the skin. I have tried to just continue working out- and it gets worse. I have tried slapping- no relief. Itching relieves it some what- but then it starts to burn. The other day I tried aveno skin relief lotion before a run and I didn't itch until my cool down walk- and it never itched- just went straight to the burning sensation.
I guess I just wanted to share my story- it is such a relief to know I am not alone! I can't believe I didn't look sooner. I am going to try clariton ASAP ( bendryl scares me considering it usually knocks me out).
I've had this problem for about 10 years and it is exactly as others have described it here. An intense itching under the skin when doing any kind of impact exercise. If I try to 'work through it' it gets so bad I want to vomit and feel faint.
Babynaf's post was the most helpful, although I will say that I have not always found anti-histamines to be reliable. They work most of the time, but not always!
Like a lot of you I was always very fit as a youngster and the onset of this condition only came on in my mid-twenties. I don't know what has caused it to start. I think one of the hardest things is that people don't understand and doctors seem to be completely clueless about this and how bad it is. I was just asked to do a triathalon as I am really into my fitness and am always in the gym. My colleagues just couldn't understand why I wont do it as I can't make them understand the itchy thing I have!
I can't help thinking that there must be some other factor at play here because this never happened to me when I was a teen, so why has it just started now?
I just got back from walking my daughter to preschool and decided that I couldn't stand it any more and I had to look this up. I usually get away with just not exercising, but since my kid's been in school, I have to deal with it twice a day. I've had "the itch" since high school, but it's always been gone during the few active periods of my life.
It's funny, but when I went to boot camp in December 08, itchy legs was one of my biggest fears. Like boot camp wouldn't be bad enough in and of itself. I don't know if temperature really makes any difference to my legs, though. When I was at Great Lakes, IL I had no itch problems. Maybe the wind chill of -20 made my legs so numb it wasn't a problem. Maybe the adrenaline from the pressure of performing well increased my circulation. Maybe I detoxed from all the bad foods I had been eating. I got a caffeine-withdrawl headache on day two, so maybe something in the pop I usually drink also affects my legs. I will definitely try the antihistamine thing, but I hate the idea of waking up and immediately taking a pill to get ready to walk my daughter to school every day. I want to see if giving up the pop will make a difference, but I may be a little addicted because it's hard to quit.
I am interested in the detox theory if anyone has found a food of some sort that may have been a cause. I know I would go organic if I could aford it.
THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!!! I have FINALLY found people who understand what I am going through!
I just got in from a tortuous brisk walk from which I rushed home, stripped off my pants, and commenced to scratching like a madwoman: and no, it absolutely did not help.
I have been experiencing the same problem as the majority of you. I have had this problem since I was a child; I'm now in my early 30s and it is still as horrible as ever. Even my mother remembers having to scratch my legs after a brief walks when I was a child. I have frequently used the analogy of a pile of ants moving furiously under my skin. And like most of you, I have been active my entire life and, I even spent four years in the military. Nothing has ever stopped this itching. I have consulted numerous doctors, although no neurologists, who have all treated me as if I were a complete moron!
I am going to try the antihisamin's as well as the banana trick-- one in the evening, one in the morning. I hope this helps. By the by, my mother told she experienced this intense problem during one period in her life--when she was pregnant with me. Anyone else?
I beleive the itching for some people can be candida as itching is a symptom. If you are not sure look up online a quiz to see if you have it. Usually happens after antibiotics as our normal flora a not able to fight.
Hello all itchy legs sufferers.
I am a controlled sufferer of all the symptoms mentioned in this forum. Antihistamine is the key to a normally active life for me right now but I hope to find a natural solution.
julesroolz wondered why the itch started as an adult and I have a question to pose. Did you have another allergy prior to the start of itchy legs?
My own experience was hayfever from an early age. The hayfever became less agressive as the itchy legs took over. I now find hayfever symptoms only affect me in extreme pollen conditions. A friend of mine, with a child that has a life threatening peanut allergy, has suggested consulting a professional in the field of allergies because she has learned that one allergy may morph into another. My 9 year old child has begun to suffer from itchy legs when running and walking (that is the age I started hayfever symptoms). Perhaps I have passed on a morphed allergy to her?
I will be consulting an allergy specialist in conjuction with my own GP (who is the one who recommended the antihistamine). There are sympathetic GP's out there. I will report back if I find a better solution to antihistamines - for now keep walking the best way you know how.
I also have the same symptoms as most of the people that have posted previously in this forum. I too have noticed that it seems to be worse if I have not exercised in a while and/or if it is cold outside. But there seems to be no rhyme or reason to this. I am a dog walker and can sometimes get these symptoms while walking with a client (doggy client) that I walk 3 times a week on the exact same route for the exact same duration. Other days I am just fine!
I have not tried an antihistamine because they normally make me very sleepy and spacey. Any suggestions to avoid this???
Also...many people have mentioned 'exercised induced urticaria' as the cause. This may be the case but I looked it up and the main symptom seems to be hives. I don't have any and the itching I feel really seems to be coming from the inside. There is no relief from scratching my legs and that makes it feel worse. Are we discussing 2 different problems?? My legs do itch, but they also feel like pins and needles (on the inside) and also a bit of a burning sensation (on the inside). It makes more sense to me that this has something to do with circulation or the capillaries, like some have mentioned, because it seems to be happening on the inside of my thighs and not on the skin. Aren't hives just on the outer skin?
i wish a docter would tell us whats the cause of this. I just tried running today and i gave up becaue i was itching like 500 mequitos bit me all over. i've had this for over 5years now. i itch everytime i run. maybe its just a jogging thing. I'm ok most of the time on a bike
1) Dry skin, dry weather and differences in humidity are the most common reasons you experience itching while exercising and I would suggest you to use a good moisturizer before you start.
2) Allergic reaction to a new or different soap, lotion, food or clothes. If you have itching after trying a new product, simply use trial and error to identify allergens. Anti histamines may be helpful if this is due to an allergy.
3) Urticaria can be triggered by sweating or extreme temperatures. Urticaria is a type of allergy. Exercising in a cooler, dryer climate, or lowering your exercise intensity may reduce symptoms.
4) If you are allergic to some medications including antibiotics you can suffer from itching and you need to review all the medications you are consuming.
5) Some people develop exercise induced anaphylaxis and for this there is nothing much you can do rather to avoid all forms of exercise which causes this.
Ketotifen stabilizes mast cells and prevents histamine release, and has been effective in treating exercise induced itching so discuss with your physician before taking this mast cell stabilizer.
Do you know of anyone who has this condition that has been to a nuerologist and if there was anything that was found out. I think the trouble is if I go to my doctor and ask him for a referal to a nuerologist because my legs itch when I walk, I am going to get laughed out of the office. My legs feel like they are bubbling under the surface, like the fat or muscles are bubbling and itching, anti- histamines dont work for me and the itching is mostly just on my thighs. Once I have stopped for 10 minutes I am as good as gold.
Is there anyone that could do a study on this
I've been having this problem since I was 13 and just recently in the last year figured out how to make it go away. TAKE AN ANTIHISTAMINE!!!!!!!! Seriously it works! I used to get itchy legs just from walking down the block. now, every single morning I take zyrtec or a target brand generic depending on the season, and I DO NOT have that problem anymore. The one time I do forget the burning and itching starts and I promptly remember why I MUST ALWAYS have an ANTIHISTAMINE!
I too have experienced this ichy leg experience for ten years, i am 28 now and it has made my life a misery for the past ten years. like most of your stories on here I have tried everything, different materials, looser clothes, different detergent and it makes no difference. doctors have been no use at all, suggesting it will get better the fitter you get, but like other peoples stories on here that really doesnt seem to be the case. I at the point where I just want to walk and run like other normal people, I am just glad that I googled like many others this complaint and found this forum, as I havent ever come across anyone else who understands what I mean. I will definately be trying all the tips and reccomendations i have found on here and wish everyone good luck with getting rid of this annoying itchy leg thing.
Sounding like a broken record here but... SWEETBABYJESUS I thought I was the only one!!! Needless to say I am really moved after finding all of your testimonials...
It's been years of embarrassment trying to explain to people why I can't go on that awesome hike, or that beautiful run along the sea wall... or why I'm late for class for the millionth time because I tried to walk across campus from the bus stop and had to stop a dozen times along the way lest I pass out or have a nervous breakdown from the insane itching.
My explanations have always been met with the confused, amused, faces of the unconvinced; telling me to suck it up, power through, stop inventing obstacles, or "hahaha good one, you're allergic to running, ya, right."
Defeating to say the least.
No doctor has been especially helpful either. Like one previous poster stated, had I had three heads, they probably would have appeared more comfortable. And so it goes.
So. After reading all of the posts, It feels as though we are all suffering from variations of the same problem.
There are those that are getting itchy reactions because of a rise temperature - they are getting reactions in hot tubs, bath tubs, and during any physical activity that raises their body temperature.
And then there are those (like me) who have narrowed it down to vibration - the impact of our feet hitting the pavement, or itchy arms from the vibration of our mountain bike down bumpy terrain, but we're fine in hot tubs etc. Symptoms are sporadic, they don't happen every time, but when they do they really impede activity and can have a major impact on our lives.
I'm reluctant to say it's exercise induced uticaria, since the symptom for that is raised hives, which I don't get. Also widening capillaries may hold some truth but I'm reluctant about that as well since I can go for years on the elliptical or stationary bike or rowing machine where I'm bright red and sweating and get no itchy reaction. It is definitely not the soap I'm using or the clothes I'm wearing since I've tested those too and the itching is coming from below the skin, not the surface (and honestly if I hear one more doctor casually suggest this is the problem I might scream)
I thought I’d list my personal symptoms and maybe we can start a common symptom checklist?
- Itching begins approximately 10 minutes into a walk, and 3 minutes (or less) into a run.
- The stronger/sharper the vibration or impact the more quickly and severely the reaction comes on. Eg: running on pavement will bring symptoms on much more quickly than running on grass or sand.
- Itching feels like a million fire-ants one to two inches under the skin
- begins in the legs usually, but can also get a reaction any place where there is friction - like a bag bouncing on the hip while walking, a strap rubbing on your shoulder, a belt around your waist, or the ankle straps of heels can start a reaction at your feet.
- If I try to push through the feeling I can become overwhelmed as the itching spreads all over my body and I get red splotches across my chest and neck (not raised hives).
- I can feel extremely lightheaded as though I’m about the faint and can become short of breath.
- I can easily spiral into a panic attack unless I stop moving and do deep breathing exercises in an effort to calm down.
- I become extremely irritable during a reaction. I feel as though I could snap at anyone or anything for any reason, (which is extremely uncharacteristic).
- I become very emotional – want to cry and scream, but don’t - at least not in public ;)
- If itchiness is in my thighs, itching for relief only makes it much worse and will make my thighs go bright red followed by a deep burning sensation under the skin or in the muscle.
- skin is clammy and extremely cold to the touch but is burning on the inside.
- symptoms seem to be exacerbated by chaotic surroundings like a busy city with a lot of people around, or by wet and rainy weather.
…Basically I go crazy!
But the most heartening thing is thanks to all of you I finally know that I’m not crazy. (right???) lol
I’m going to try the antihistamine thing and do a 2-week experiment, one week on, one week off and report back the results. But since the problem is so sporadic, my results probably won’t be the most definitive, but better than nothing.
Good luck to all my fellow sufferers! You are not alone!
* in a heartening note, my boyfriend (who has been the only person on the planet to take my problem seriously) is in medical school. Even better he is interested to study the problem further. In the near future he may just be the first practicing doctor to not roll his eyes at this strange problem. There is hope!
All - I am 45 years old and have been dealing with this since around 18. I have been to many doctors of all practices. However it took one Allergist to supply me with the answer; my body over produces Histimine which causes the severe itching.
The solution that works for me is Claritan ( I take the Walmart generic brand). One pill every two days and I am fine. I know this is hard for some to beleive but I can confidently say the antihistimine is the solution to our problem.
Hi itchy exercisers,
Same,same, same etc etc Wow etc!
Here is my organised summary of a bunch of peoples useful suggestions but which dont always cover everything or everybody. Im trying to base this on actual facts I know from various sciences, but dont quote me on it.
-I'm pretty sure it is caused by histamines (produced in allergic reactions in body).
-Different people produce these at different rates from different things and are different amounts sensitive to it.
-Some things which can release histamines (not same in everyone) include:
1. heat change. especially worse if sudden or extreme. (hence exercising in cold is worse, but any exercise can change temp)
2. Vibrations/ high impact trauma to cells
3. I think capillaries over dialating could cause it from causing heat change there (since blood brings heat)
-Note I dont have any info about neuro causes such as nerves etc so I wont write about it but it could be the case for some.
So if its histamine then an antihistamine should help. But different antihistamines work differently for different people.
-Normal antihistamines include zyrtec, claratyne and telfast and generic versions (smae but cheaper as no name brand) such as c-zyne etc. Sorry I cant remember more names. Anyway I think within these there are 2 different types of drug (??orr more). Eg. Zyrtec works for me but claratyne doesnt. also at this level 1 in 10 people will get sleepy from it.
-Then there are strnger antihistamines which are behind the counter. I think ?? these make everybody sleeps, or more likely to or something.
-Anyway the main point im getting at is there are heaps of different types of antihistamines at different levels with different mechanisms of working and different side effects on different people. Hence the person you need to talk to about this and get help trying them is your PHARMACIST. They are experts and c help ou and explain better than me.
-Heres my worry. You cant take antihistamines when you are pregnant so what am i going to do then!!!
I guess these are some possible natural solutions i think:
- Try warming up slowly and or keep legs at same temperature (ie dont start exercise when legs are cold, start when they are warm and try not to get too much hotter by keeping legs aired.
-Try to avoid high impact exercise and replace with cycling, exercise machines etc if vibration is your cause. (However do NOTE that high impact exercise is very important for building bone strength and preventing osteoporosis especially in women so you should still try to do some.)
-Eat bananas lots. I hadnt heard of this before but realise that when i do eat losts it prob is better and since I hadnt had them lately as expensive it was worse today (though also forgot antihistamine).
-Relaxation, stress reduction, visualising, deep breathing etc might also help i guess, i hope.
So why are we all effected and not everyone. My theory (note only theories based on what ive read and know, not facts so please feel free to input/ constructive criticism) is:
-We could have oversensitive immune systems which have a high response to triggers that are not really immune threats. I also have asthma (which is over reaction of airways to triggers like dust, pollens, cold air, viruses, sulphites etc) and hayfever which is also immune system overreacting to pollens.
So I was wondering how many other people on here have other allergies etc?
I think the increase in allergies and immune diseases in the modern world has to do with how clean our world is these days so when developing our immune system doesnt 'learn' to distinguish between real threats and other substances.---Im not totally usre of this but have kind of heard stuff like that on some shows and articles. For example coeliacs who were given tape worms had a reduced negative response to gluten.
Kind of ***** really that the more healthy we try to make ourselves the more illnesses were getting. At least the 'real threats' are less so less illness and death from them i spose. Anyway im not proposin that you go get tape worms or make your world more dirty, i think is too late for that. JUst throwing my thoughts out there for responses and input.
But the main thing is that I have learnt in so many different subjects, courses, places etc that exercise is the number one best thing to both prevent and treat pretty much every single disease of every single body system there is!!!! This is definately proven so dont give up on exercise as the consequenses could be worse.
If you cant be vigerously active, at leaset be active. Keep moving and using muscles in any way you can. Weights, conditioning, toning, core muscle exercies are a great option with tones of benefits and prob wont cause itching.
So sorry this is long but hope it helps someone. In summary try to find your triggers and avoid if possible, definately fine the antihistamine that works for you or seek more professional help, and keep exercising!
So I want to jump out of my chair right now out of relief to know that I am not the only one who starts to get itchy to the point of having an anxiety attack. I remember the first time it happened to me I was running with my dog and I had to turn around after 10 minutes and go home but in the process of getting back home I felt terrible because my dog wanted to do his usual smell everything and enjoy his run, but my legs had the most intense itchy sensation that I was yelling at him to stop and come on. I honestly thought I was going to faint right there. And the fainting feeling only comes because of the anxiety the itch causes. It's unbearable and dreadful and it has hoestly stopped me from running. I want to say I feel better knowing that I am not the only one but I really don't, I feel worse that many other ppl have to deal with this issue and there is NOTHING we can do about it. I love running and it's my escape from reality, just the trail me and my dog. But now that the itch has joined us, it's been nothing but misery and hell. I cry everytime.....
So Iv had this problem too! it would get sooo bad that i would break down in tears because they itched uncontrollably. The other day i talked to my personal trainer and he told me to make sure when im running or walking im going heal-toe, heal-toe.......he said that it was the impact on how i was running or walking that was irritating the circulation in my legs, well i did this and it still didnt work. He said to try insules for my shoes. Like the sport extra shock absorbancy insuls........IT WORKS!!! I feel like i have to go out and tell the world because iv been through A to Z to find a cure!! Give it a try!!!
I have the itchy leg syndrome too but I itch when I run long distance. I can sprint and it not bother me but long slower distance running tends to make me itch! I also itch when I've gone for therapy and the therapist use a "vibrator machine" on my back and legs so it's not just from sweating or temps. I used to be in great shape and ran suicides in high school and never had the itch but if we had to run a mile or marathon I couldn't do it! So it doesn't have to do with being "in shape" either! I've never tried using claritin but will next time I run.
Yes, the antihistimine does work. I took a pill a half hour prior to walking and no itching came. The only problem was I was extremely sleepy while walking. That's better than itching though. I used to hate not knowing why my hands itched when pushing a shopping cart after coming in the store from the cold weather or the itching on my feet from wearing strappy sandles. The one thing I haven't read was itchy scalp. If I would wash my hair and scrub it good to work up a lather with the soap, my scalp would itch like crazy. So, I figured it's the repeated friction on your skin. Running, material rubbing against your skin, walking, intercourse, cold to hot, hot to cold weather, etc...
HEALING ITCHY LOWER LEGS
*These are only my current suggestions and personal opinions (which have helped me). They may or may not help you. I take absolutely no personal blame if any of this information does not help.
1. Walk, Walk, Walk
-Improve circulation to your lower limbs by going on serveral 1/2 mile walks every day. If you just started an exercise routine, keep it up. Your circulation may be poor at the moment due to your previous inactivity. It should improve over time and with continued effort.
-Wear tall socks and closed-toed shoes if you walk near a bushy/forest/weedy area. You may be kicking up little unseen creatures into your pants when you walk. Try to keep your lower extremities clean, protected, and dry.
-Walk 1/2 Mile after dinner to help calm your digestive system and lower your blood sugar before eventually lying to rest.
2. Wash, Wash, Wash
-Wash your bed linens and pillow cases in HOT water at least once a week. Try to use an all-natural detergent (Trader Joe's sells a decent one).
-Go to bed in clean, freshly washed dry cotton or dry linen clothing.
-Wash your outdoor and personal clothing as often as you can afford.
3. Clean, Clean, Clean
-Vacuum if your bed is on carpet and/or sweep & mop if your bed is on a dry floor.
-Wipe away dust from the bed frame and all nearby window panes using damp clean hand towels.
-Let natural daylight into your rooms in the morning to radiate your room and naturally help clean the area where you rest.
*Keep window panes closed in areas where your bed lies (Try not to allow dust to again enter your resting area). Keep your indoor air clean by purchasing indoor plants that live outside the bedroom. Google: "10 Healthy Indoor Plants" or "NASA Indoor Plants". Open windows outside the bedroom and open your bedroom door to allow the fresh flow of clean outside air without the added dust.
*Purchase a new mattress and pillow if your current ones are no longer 'clean'.
4. Shower, Shower, Shower
-Take a shower before sunset and go to sleep clean.
-If you use a soap, try an all-natural plant-based formula.
-Gently exfoliate your entire body to remove dead/dirty/brittle skin (not just from your legs).
-Change your razor blade at least once a week.
-If available, pour an alcohol solution on your blade before each use. Allow the blade to dry in a clean and non-humid location near light (your bathroom counter perhaps).
-Allow your leg hair to soften before shaving. If taking a shower, shampoo your hair and clean your skin prior to shaving. If taking a bath (in a very clean tub), soak your legs for nearly ten minutes prior to shaving. (Try not to bathe or shower in very hot water. This may make it worse).
*Protect Your Legs:
-After shaving, apply apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar all over your legs with a clean towel.
-After the above has dried, apply a thin layer of extra virgin olive oil on your legs.
-Wear soft, clean, and dry cotton or linen clothing. Keep your feet clean and dry until climbing into your clean bed.
5. Drink, Drink, Drink
-Rehydrate and replenish your body and skin with pure water in the morning (Hot spearmint tea is good).
-If you wake in the middle of the night, drink a glass of cold water or brew some hot tea. Try to think positively about the morning and try to rest.
-Continue to drink clear water throughout the day (Crystal Geyser Water is good in my opionion. You can visit their website to read about their above-average filtration standards).
6. Herbs, Herbs, Herbs
-Temporarily, attach Spearmint Tea Bags to the ends of your bed to help ward off certain critters.
-Chamomile Tea is good to drink in the evening (organic, if possible).
-Ginger Tea is healing as well (organic, if possible).
7. Rest, Rest, Rest
-Remove stress and anxiety from your life. If an activity is harming you, stop doing it. If the thought of something is stressing you out and causing you to hurt yourself (i.e. resort to medication, overeat, abuse alcohol).. then stop thinking about or doing whatever it is that is causing you to hurt yourself. This is kind of like the oxygen mask that drop down in airplanes - you have to put your mask on first before helping your child, neighbor, etc.
-Ask for forgiveness from others, forgive them, and go to sleep worry free. Play nice music and/or read something of interest to you. Turn the television off earlier than usual (if you watch it).
-Try to get at least seven hours of sleep. Eight hours is ideal. Take a light rest during the day. Make it possible.
Be patient, this may take a few weeks.
If all else fails, go to the doctor.
Lastly, do not scratch. This only makes it worse! Try to get through it.
I also have this and think it is a histimine allergy my question to everyone is I am also allergic to Alcohol because it has histimine in it, does anyone else have this???? Itchy legs plus allergic reaction when drinking alcohol such as red face, itching on face and neck, hives, trouble breathing after drinking??
I have been suffering for a long time from the same itching that everyone here is describing - the kind that will terrorize you regardless of what you're wearing, the type of activity you're doing, the weather, etc. It can be debilitating and embarrassing, but I have found a semi-solution that has helped me.
I noticed that the itching happens when my body heats up but I'm not sweating. So, when I exercise, I start sweating as soon as possible. I wear sweatpants and a sweatshirt over my gym clothes and do a very intense start to my work out. I will feel the itch for a few minutes, but as soon as I start really sweating, I'm good to go for the rest of my work out. This obviously will only work for people who are fit and can work out hard enough that they will start sweating quickly.
This also doesn't apply to itchy situations outside of the gym - no one wants to walk to work and arrive profusely sweating!!! We definitely need a more permanent solution, but what I do in these types of situations is make sure I leave a lot of time to walk anywhere and walk slowly and leisurely.
I am also some what allergic to alcohol, I turn red and blotchy, especially on my chest, cheeks and ears. My chest usually looks like I've been attacked by rouge cats when I'm drinking. Then there is the walking/running allergies where my legs break out in hives and ich like there is no tomorrow.
I'm going to try Claritin like some have suggested and see if that works!
I'm pregnant and this just started for me. It is NIGHTMARE. It's like I'm allergic to the air when I start walking after about 10 minutes. I litteraly cannot exercise because of the need to scratch! It's just terrible. I can only hope and pray it goes away after the pregnancy! I might take up swimming or something/anything else to see if it's just walking (or running according to the posts).
I have had the same problem "itchy legs" for some years and played sports most of my teenage life. I'm going to try the antihistimine! I miss running as I want to start training for a marathon the near future! Thanks for the advice and I'll let you know how it works!
I just wanted to take the time to state my case for those of you who have decided that, for some of us, this itch may be related to "vibrations."
I am a 23 year old female. I have experienced this since I was 16 years old. I am active. I frequently bike, play tennis, kayak... A number of physical activities, and have no itching.
HOWEVER, for instance, yesterday, I went on a RUN. Five minutes into my run, my legs burned and itched - I will not describe it as all of you seemed to have done so quite adequately. The itch began especially on my thighs. Ten minutes into my run, it was up to my stomach. I had to stop running. Later in the day, I went on a walk. The walk was on pavement, I was wearing good sneakers, the pace was casual, and there was no itching.
Running on a treadmill, I will always get itchy. I thought for a long time that I was allergic to the rubber track... But, I'm not allergic to anything, so that was unlikely.
Okay, another note to add regarding vibrations. Has anyone ever tried those massage seat covers that go over the seat in your car? They're usually black... They plug into the cigarette lighter? Well, anyways, I acquired one of those things once. It ALWAYS made me itchy. It worked with small vibrations. I thought it was just cheap or something... But, it didn't make anyone else itchy, so that wasn't a very good theory.
So, to someone doing research out there, here is another case to add to the vibrations theory.
Some other things to know:
- I do have somewhat poor circulation - cold feet always, frequently cold hands. It is nothing severe.
- I have no allergies.
- I have extremely mild asthma.
- There is no apparent link to the clothing that I wear and the itching.
Thank you to all those who have posted suggestions. I had no ideas before this but will now try antihistamines. Maybe I will try insoles for my shoes too... But they are pretty expensive running shoes, so I'm not sure that will do the trick.
Best of luck everybody!
If a doctor or medical student could post on this it would be much appreciated...
I started running a couple months ago. In the beginning, my itchies would only come at night when I was trying to sleep, and mostly around my knees...probably because I would run in the evening before bedtime. I had had a recent knee injury and I believed that the cells around my knee were reacting to the impact during running and releasing histamine to help heal the "injury" I was causing to my muscles in that area. Histamine helps your body heal. It's my understanding that it's not bad for you...although it can be irritating. The itches only happen now sometimes when I run after about 10 minutes. It happens in various places. I always listen to music while I'm running. It keeps me distracted until the endorphines kick in about 5 minutes later. Then I don't feel the itchies anymore. The thing about the eating bananas is interesting. I have to say that I was never a banana eater before, but now I crave them and eat them everyday. So there must be something to it. I wish I could take an antihistamine, since that seems to be the solution here, but I have very bad reactions to them, and actually become so itchy and feel crazy when I take them, that I feel like tearing my skin off. I would love to hear about anyone else's experience with natural remedies, although the longer I've been running, the less this is becoming an issue for me.
I am so happy I googled "itchy legs when walking". The Claritin solution explains why I never have this problem in the spring and fall when I take claritin for allergies. I don't get hives. Just extreme itching and a breathless feeling. This has been going on for 30 years plus but was so hard to pin down I gave up.Thanks to the first poster a few years ago and all who responded!
I have been dealing with this for many years. A pharmacist at cvs recommended antihistamine years ago and it worked I could not believe the solution was so simple, I had been in agony for years.
Advice (I am not a doctor):
1)Most OTC allergy pills work. I have found that if I take Benadryl before going to bed, then I don't have the itch the next day. I take it every other day and it works fine. Always have allergy pills with you wherever you go to avoid an episode.
2)I also get the disgusted feeling, everything on the sidewalk disgusts me, especially puddles. Anything brown or wet sends me into a frenzy. I just want people to get out of my way so I can get to my destination without looking at anything.
What I suggest if this happens to you is go into the nearest store or building. The problem subsides as soon as I am indoors and standing still or just moving around slowly. I usually stay in the store or building for five to 10 minutes or till I am comfortable, then I look for water to take an allergy pill immediately. It starts working after 30 mins or so, then I continue my walk.
3)Make sure your skin is always moisturized. This will help keep the severity of the itching down.
4) Go on with your life.Allergy pills are your best friend. Always, always have them with you.
I am not an MD, but I don't believe, in my case, this is a circulatory, sweat, or any issue such as that. I think it's a vibration issue, and I saw other posts on here about extra socks, etc.
I've had this awful itching off and on for years (never with any rash/hives). I do go through sedentary periods but that seems to have no bearing. I can lift weights, ride a bike, play tennis, swim, water ski, snow ski, use the elliptical, or go running/hiking on dirt and have little or no problem.
But if I run or walk fast on concrete for more than 1/2 a mile, then it's an issue. I get the itch on my thighs, butt, and just above the love handles. Interestingly, these are all the places where I have a little flab and thus get a little "jiggle". My calves, feet, back, and arms (where I have no real flab to speak of at all) have no issue.
I think it's a sensation brought on by the extended repetitive jarring that comes with running that makes your "flabby" parts constantly shake/rub on your muscles.
Like I said, I can play 3 sets of singles tennis on hard court with no issue. I think because there's a slight pause / rest between points. I can hit the elliptical or bike for a solid 30 minutes with no issue, as there is no jarring.
This might also explain why some people on this site say they are 4x or 5x years old and this just started. Let's face it, as we age, gravity wins, and we get a few more "jiggly" places.
My advice, if you don't have the rashes, etc. is to experiment with lessening the jarring. Get better shoes, wear extra socks, go for a run in grass or on dirt.
If you can rule out these awful sounding circulatory issues by doing something that "gets your blood up" without running and you have no issue then the issue is running, not your blood/sweat/allergies.
Maybe you have to find something other than walking or running. That may be hard for some of you, but life is all about adapting. Any trainer would tell you that success with any fitness program starts with finding a routine that works for you. If running makes your legs itch like mad, then it does not work for you.
Glad to know that Im not nuts! I too have been suffering from the same condition since I was about 10 years old. I was always an active child. Im 29 now dealling with this every day and Im so frustrated. Im a female 5'5 125lbs in pretty good shape. It has nothing to do with the weather because I have had episodes any season any time of day. Im not effected by the eliptical machine either. However I do have the "dirt phobia" (thats what I call it!) If Im out while having an episode and it has been raining, OMG! I could freak out at the sight of everything. (mud, dirt, puddles, flocks of birds, everything is dirty yuck!!) But I have to keep my composure because people might think that I am insane. I always thought that was weird but apparently not because I have read the blogs of people with the same symptom. I will try the anithistamine, I really hope that it works at this point Im willing to try anything.
Needless to say I have the exact same problem on and off. It also affects my arms when biking on a bumpy road. When it is bad it seems to affect my brain too - I get very sad and extremely irritated.
Thanks everyone for the great discussion.
These points might help you:
1. I think that when I do muscle toning exercises immediately before going out for a walk it is better, eg stomach crunches and squats.
2. Also, lying too long in a warm bed after waking up may make it worse.
I have the same problem! But not only walking or exercising, but also vibrations cause this, what I mean is, riding a motorcycle, or lawnmower...there is something about the vibrations that will bring this awful itching on for me...and yes, drives me nuts !
Yes, please take nels192001's advice. But you will want to take one of the 'second generation'/non-drowsy antihistamines, which excludes Benadryl (you don't want to fall asleep while jogging do you? lol). These can be kind of expensive (sometimes a $1/tablet), but try your local drugstore's generic brand of loratadine. I found a loratadine children's syrup made by Rite Aid, and adults can take 2 doses. Guess what? My itching is gone. I was able to work out in chilly fall weather with NO ITCHING (I've been suffering since puberty, and I'm almost 30 now). So again, to echo nels192001, TAKE A NON-DROWSY ANTIHISTAMINE!!! Happy Jogging!
I have this problem as well, and after researching online, this is my theory:
- the body usually stores toxins in the fatty issues, and when you excercise these start to break down and release the toxins.
- when the bodies cells are under attack (e.g. when you get bitten by a mosquito) the body releases histamines to try to increase blood flow to these areas to carry away the poisons or toxins.
- in areas that tend to store more fat e.g. thighs, love handles etc, there are thinner capillaries and the blood is working overtime trying to carry away all the toxins and break down fat.
- the combination of the histamines and increased circulation makes you itchy
I tend to think even though i hate the itching, that its a good thing if the body is trying to increase circulation and carry away toxins and broken down fat....
I read on this this website that vitamin b3 can expand the capillaries which would assist in the transportation? Maybe this would reduce the amount of histamines released by the body?
Anyway, this is just my theory...it would be great if a doctor could read this page with all the posts and give feedback...
I have the same problem and have had for as long as I remember (Im 33). Anyway I just wanted to share what I have noticed about this condition. I would love to find an answer as I would love to jog regularly.
I get it when I jog or walk - It doesn't matter where, when, what the weather is like etc
I also get it when im boxing - my arms start to itch very quickly.
I get it when I use a power sander - I discoverd this while renovating -The palms of my hands get almost unbearably itchy.
I get it when I sit in a spa and am too close to a jet.
I don't get it when I ride bikes/spin classes/pilates/do weights/use non impact cardio equipment/swimming, or simply get hot.
Another interesting thing is I traveled around europe for 3 months one time and did a lot of walking, everyday. I remember before I left I was so scared I would get the itch as I would have no choice but to walk as it was our means of transport. I brought with me a packet of antihistamines, but for some strange reason I never got itchy. Not sure if it was to do with the fact that I walking everyday (as some people have suggested).
From my experience, it has something to do with impact/vibration that triggers it off. I would love to hear from anyone with any other suggestions/remedies or even a solid explanation for why it occurs.
I have the same symptons since I was in the 9th grade. I was skinny as a toothpick and active. So being inactive was not what caused this to occur. I don't take long walks so going to the grocery store from my car can sometimes be a challenge. I may start to itch before I am at the vegetable department. Slowing down doesn't stop it- I have to stop. Pushing through it is NOT an option. I might lose my mind and pass out.
My friends though I was crazy. Many people don't understand the issue because they have never experienced it. Also, we need to keep in mind the severity of this condition may go form moderate to extreme.
I can itch anywhere: feet only, ankles on up, my waist, my breast if doing jumping jacks, and anywhere jets from a tub would hit my body.
I did try the benedryl and zyrtec. They do work. I would take zyrtec the night before I wanted to exercise. I just needed to exercise before 1pm or it will start to wear off. When taking Benebryl, I would wait till I felt myself getting sleeping then went to the gym. It would only work for about 2 hours.
And also to add, this is hereditary. I have it, my mom, my aunt, my brother, and now I think my 10 year old son is having issues with this. It is not just being inactive.
One thing I did notice while in college, I could only do the stairmaster. I couldn't to treadmills or bikes. I started to put it together. I could walk up hills (or stairs) for a decent amount of time and not itch. So now I do squats till I feel the burn in my thighs (about 30 or so). I do this right before I leave the house to go to the grocery store. This has DRASTICALLY reduced the itcy feeling. Drastically. Give this a try the next time you go on a small walk to see if it helps you.
I have the same problem, I noticed it about 12 years ago and thought I could never run. I've discovered that i have to work my self up to running longer and longer every day. and that after inactivity of more than 3 days, i have to start the process all over again. i've also discovered that I have to "work in" every article of clothing, even including socks, shoes, underwear, bra and of course pants, capri's and shirts. I wont even run in shorts because for some reason, it is the worst. It does keep you motivated, but very frustrating when life gets too busy and you have to start all over again. My mom has it also and so does one of my cousins. It happens when I run and walk and even when I first start biking in the season. It's always worse running down hill, and the best running up hill. wierd.
I find that if I take allergy medicine before I go for a walk or a run it helps. The days I don't take it, without a doubt I have itchy legs. For me it's all over. Started right under my armpit today and then went down my legs. It got so bad within 10 mins of outdoor walk/run that I was going crazy. I had to clench my fists so I wouldn't itch and my skin literally felt as if it was crawling from the inside out. I even felt short of breath. Not sure if that was from the condition or my anxiety over feeling the way that I did. I came home as fast as I could, took a benadryl and jumped in a cold shower practically in tears. This is unbelievable and people don't understand me when this happens. It's very frustrating.
Hey everybody, I too am soooo relieved to have found this discussion, and to know I am not crazy! I used to be really active through college and this problem developed after college when I got less active. These are my symptoms:
-- when I run or walk to the point of getting warm, before I start sweating, my thighs start itching. If I keep going, it starts burning and spreading and I want to tear off my skin.
-- vibrations also make it happen
-- it doesn't matter what i'm wearing or what time of year it is
-- it doesn't matter if i've exercised the day before or not
I had tried anti-histamines before, it helped a little sometimes but not reliably. BUT after reading posts on here, I figured out what DOES work reliably: taking the 24-hour anti-histamines several hours in advance (this is key, it does NOT work just half an hour or even an hour beforehand) AND wearing shock-absorbing insoles designed for sports + padded socks. This week I ran until I was tired for the first time in years, I was so excited!!! THANK YOU to everyone who has posted on here. I hope this information is able to benefit someone else!
I think everyone is right though different causes can lead to the same symptom of itchy legs/limbs when doing impact exercises/jogging etc.
Today was my first run from my winter hibernation and the itchy feeling was definitely there. but i had been exercising hard on my eliptical indoors throughout the winter without adverse problems. So from my previous experience + once again today convinced me of impact exercises as a sure factor.
If i try to continue to push it after its really itchy I go short of breath and have symptoms similar to my childhood asthma. So something with histamines and mast cells probably makes good sense too. But mast cells also release serotonin, so perhaps the body is out of shape and is using whatever means possible to release more serotonin to dull the stress of strenuous exercise?
But the elliptical which isn't impact does give the same stress to skin and surface of body as does jogging. So the same capillaries not being activated by ellipticals doesn't seem surprising. I've gone through times when doing many squats which taxes the quads to the max would give me the same symptoms sometimes, not as predictably.
I think one more would be general stress. everyday stress does weird things to your immune system like eczema/asthma/allergies/hives etc. This would include mental and physical (posture, bad back). These stressors leading to leads up to a overflow of stress when exercise is added could also be another reason.
Antihistamines therefore would work if you have allergy symptoms but more or less the medical cop out (unless you're choking to death) and not the true solution.
Wow I thought it was just me. I have the same issue. I can do any other form of excersie but as soon as I start speed walking or running my legs start to itch it such a way that it almost drives in insane. Its horrible! Only if I walk casual the itch does not start! Its good to know that it is not just me.
Thank Goodness I found this thread. I have tried everything and have also come to the conclusion that this only happens when I power walk or run. It happens outside or on the treadmill. I can do any low impact cardio exercise and the itchiness does not occur. I used to run all the time in high school and never had a problem, the first time I started getting itchy when I ran or walked fast was a few years after graduating. Also, the only thing that changed for me during that time was that I started taking anti contraceptive. I asked my doctor and was told it was most likely a circulation problem. Maybe even a side effect of the birth control pills.
I don't know but it drives me INSANE! My husband looks at me like I'm crazy when we are at the gym and I attempt to use the treadmill. It is so frustrating and I felt so hopeless.
I am going to try to take an anti-histamines today a few hours before attempting to run. I have tried everything and this is my last resort. I will post tonight how it goes. I really hope it works!
Thanks to all your posts, it helps to know I'm not alone and not going crazy.
This issue was just published in Shape Magazine May 2011 issue.
"When you run your body increases blood flow to your leg muscles, which decreases blood flow to your skin and that can cause itching." Dr. Lewis G Maharam M.D.
another explanation was also that "Salt in perspiration can dry out your skin, which causes a tingly sensation..."
I've had this itchy feeling since I was in middle school. Now, I'm 31 years old and actually experienced this horrendous episode yesterday from power walking to a neighborhood restaurant to my house. I must say, I was doing alot of power walking when all of a sudden the itching started. I used to think that I was the only one who suffered with this, but thank God for this thread I now know that I'm not the only one. I've tried lotion and that doesn't work. It doesn't matter what the weather is I would experience this horrendous attack from my legs, buttocks, and stomache. I, also, have addressed this to a physician in the past and did not get any real help. However, I'm going to look up for a physician who specializes in these leg itching episodes and see what he/she recommends. I'll let you guys know when I actually speak with one.
I have this condition for almost ten years now. I read almost the all blogs, but I was looking for one word :zyrtec. Mysteriously, after taking zyrtec for allergy and running the next day; it seems to stop. I found this answer almost at the bottom of the blog list. I ,now, know that zyrtec rocks or any [anti-histamine] as the blogger said.
Yatata- I expereince the exact same symptoms- to a tee! Even the lightheaded anxiety/panic feeling. Please let me know how the antihistimines worked for you! Also, please encourage your boyfriend to take on this subject as a possible research project...Or at least bring it forward to his University professors. Would love to know the reason behind this.
I tried to join my husband for a brisk walk this morning (comfortable temps- high 60's) but had to turn around after 10 minutes as the 'itchy leg' was too unbearable :-(
I've had this problem for 20 years. When walking for exercise, I draw blood when scratching my legs. This spoils a lovely walk around a lake... HOWEVER, I joined a gym and do not have the problem AT ALL when I use the stairmaster or elliptical machines. When I get on the treadmill, I start to itch instantly. So, I have to conclude that the concussive force of the feet hitting a surface has something to do with the problem. I tell you, I am so relieved that I can finally do strenuous aerobic activity without drawing blood. Now, I take leisurely walks around the lake.
I thought I was the only one with this issue because no one but you all understand the pain I was going thru yesterday evening . I waled the beach with my boyfriend yesterday adn we walked until the sun was going down about 22 miles and twords the end my legs began to itch like crazy , I started to get anxious and irritable because the more I scratched the worse it got > Of course He couldn't relate and only wanted to walk faster which made t so hard because I was in soo much pain . this use to happen to me when I ran in college in the am so Im figuring it has something to do with my circulation and it happens when its cold alot . I need a solution because this is a painful situation
OMG!!! I thought their was something wrong with my brain. Because I was getting freaked out when I saw standing brown water or anything during the itching episode. It would drive me crazy. I was itching so bad by the time I got back to my destination I would have bruises on my thighs and they would be bleeding. I hated walking.
Kako comment on the claritin was a big help this morning. I didnt start itching until the end of my walk but it wasnt as bad.
I have this problem as well. It started when I was in high school. It happens no matter what type of bottoms im wearn~shorts, pants, It doesnt matter. Not only that, it happens during sex. I think it has something to do with the repetitive motion. I think im going to ask a doctor evn though they prollt cant help. Ive askd several peoplr I thought might kno, teachers, nurses, ect.
My goodness, I thought I was going crazy. Thank all of you for your information, because now I know that what Im going through is real. My problem unlike everyone else. Is that I don't have to be exercising for the itching to start. I can be walking through Wal-mart, taking a hot bath, having sex...Im embarrassed to say. It is so ferrous that I have actually had to pull my car off the road...because when it starts...in my feet moves to my legs, then to my butt, and then to my stomach, I am itching so bad that I literally get the shakes. I am scratching to the point of screaming. I have tried benedryl. But not until it starts and it last about 10min. It is debilitating. I find myself going or thinking Im going crazy. I am a diabetic, so can this have anything to do with it. I am not on insulin and do not take the pill. I have no insurance. I try to watch my diet and normally my insulin levels are between 110 and 155. I try to control it with diet. Because I cannot afford the strips or meds to take. Please if you can recommend something that will help. I literally can't take this itching. I do not have numbness. I am not very active. But when I just walk through wal-mart. There is not much I can do. I even tried to go to putt putt with my family and half way through it started. I thought I was going to die it was so bad. What to do.. I feel for all of my fellow suffers. Please help...in SC
I have the same crazy itching issues. My itching starts about 10min into my workout anywhere there is elastic, socks, waist band, sports bra, etc.and radiates throughout my entire body until I feel like I am going crazy. Now I take Butcher's Broom 15-30min prior to my workouts and I do not experience the itching. I hope this helps.
Thank you to whoever suggested taking a Zyrtec an hour before jogging! I've been on vacation all week in a region that didn't bother my allergies, so I stopped taking my daily Zyrtec. Today is my first day back at home, and I woke up and went for a jog before taking my allergy pill. Fifteen minutes in I was DYING--legs bright red and itchy...I had to collapse onto someone's lawn and scratch like crazy before continuing. I googled "itchy legs while running" and came across this thread, and I immediately popped a Zyrtec. One hour later I laced up my shoes and set out on a proper jog--this time, no itch! Just thought I'd share my success with others...taking Zyrtec really helped me!
My symptoms for what I thought of as 'pins and needles' in my thighs are different. They occur when lying down. I feel I should be able to stretch through them but can't because of partially fused ankle that is easily irritated.
Massaging my thighs (a chopping motion) helps but is difficult to do on myself. Anyone else?
Hey guys, I'm glad everyone here has had success one some form or another. I guess antihistamines seem to be key, but you don't "need" them to rid yourself of the itching. Here's how I tackled this problem on my own:
1. I had the same symptoms, itchy legs (thighs mostly) -- made worse in colder weather.
2. When I was playing sports, it didn't really bother me much (my mind was on the game, not myself).
3. I tried lotions, goldbond powder, rubbing my legs before hand, nothing helped
4. I tried running on grass and doing lunges to "warm up" my thighs, literally. Nothing really worked.
****5. Then, I started going to the gym. I would go 4 out of 7 days in the week MINIMUM. After 2 weeks, I tried running again, voila! No itching.
So an alternative solution to antihistamines (but use them if you like them, no harm done when used in moderation) is to start going to the gym regularly AND DON'T STOP GOING. Don't ever take a week off, because the itching WILL come back. If you go 4 out of 7 days, make sure 2 of those days are 'leg days'.
Here's a schedule: M - work all your muscles waist up, except back. Tu - work all your muscles waist down and back. Wed - day off. Thu - same as Monday. Fri - same as Tuesday. Saturday, do whatever the hell you want (GO RUNNING). Sunday, rest. For the first two weeks, you may be out of shape (imo, you're out of shape even after a week of no exercise), so don't kill yourself in the gym. By the end of two weeks, make sure you're really bringing the effort.
I guess it gives some credence to that "capillary" explanation people posted about. Actually, yayamc posted a comment on Mar 19, 2008 with a similar story to mine.
Just do what works, and enjoy running. Once you rid yourself of the itching, don't stop running. Running every other day should be OK (from my experiences), but make sure you keep going to the gym and working out (leg muscles especially: thigh, calves, etc. EVERYTHING).
Hmmm, it's probably better in the long run (no pun intended), to adopt the gym methodology and phase out the antihistamines. Just an opinion though, good luck!
After years of having itchy legs whilst walking...I found Claritin...it works well for me I pop a 25mg pill the night before ( I am no doctor) and this works well for me. This ofcourse comes handy especially if I have not walked for a few days. I notice that if I keep up the walking; like do it about 4 or 5 days in a week, I need the Claritin less and less...So technically when am actively walking I may only need to take a Claritin pill once or twice in a week...It's when I have not walked for a while that I need to take the Claritin every day....Good luck and good walking/running...I think taking the antihistamine's is a small price to pay to keep fit...the alternative is to do nothing and get out of shape :-)
I just wanted to add my observations to this huge list of testimonials on the dreaded "itchy leg syndrome".
Like many others who have posted, my experience with the horrible itching has been totally vibration induced. I can walk slowly for miles and miles without a problem. If I try to walk briskly (like you're running late for a school drop off for the kids) I start itching in the legs, thighs, buttocks and lower torso in less than five minutes. Running brings it on in even less time and is a nightmare, I simply don't run at all any more, although I really would like to be able to.
Thankfully I can cycle without any itching, with one exception, I get an unbelievable itch in my arms if I make a rapid descent down a bumpy trail. So vibration is the common factor in all my itching.
I haven't tried taking any antihistamines before running or brisk walking yet but will give that a go in the coming days. I'm just wondering if it is safe to take them regularly (i.e. daily)?
Let me add I don't have any allergies or hay fever and I'm not asthmatic. I never had this problem in my teens (used to run cross country in high school) and it only began in my late 20's early 30's. I'm 36 now and it seems to be getting worse as I get older. My doctor also didn't believe me and had no answer for this problem so I feel for the others who reported similar reactions from their doctors.
So glad to have found this forum. I also suffer from this itchiness, which used to be in the legs and is now worse than ever around my waist and stomach. I've had the same experiences as everyone else with regard to the sweat-induced itchiness, scratching not helping and lotions also doing no good I'm 21 and it does get worse with vertical exercise. When cycling I dont find there's a problem whatsoever, nor when I'm playing sport.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exercise_urticaria has helped a lot.
With regard to the taking antihistamines daily/regularly for treatment I haven't tried it yet but I will do. There's definitely no harm in taking them reguarly as I also have mild hayfever (which actually has gotten milder as the itching problem has gotten worse over the years). I would say though due to the intensity of the itching it's probably best to take them just before the exercise.
Thanks god am not the only one who have this problem.....Am 24 year old and not over weight but my legs get so itchy when i go to my everyday walk.....i wear loose clothes and don't put anything on my body lotion etc.... I feel so embarrassed when i have to stop after every 3-6 min due to itching get so out of control and people stares at u........ I tried nike leggings which i was told help in many way with sweat etc but trust me it didnt help either......Even when i walk faster my outer legs are cold but my innerskin feels so hot that when the itchy start.....I went to my doc they prescribe me a lotion called OILATUM ......It is really helpful when the itching get out of control.......You can buy it from many pharmacy or super store at a reasonable price.....Hope that hdlp
I am so glad I found this site. I just had an episode tonight after not running for a few weeks. I am 36 and have only experienced this a few other times in my life while running on the treadmill or walking fast/long distances in the wrong shoes. In the past, I attributed it to shock/impact from my flat feet.
The itchy/burning sensation that everyone has described can be so unbearable that I want to rip my skin off. Then I just get a yucky feeling all over. I just feel weird for lack of a better word. Then, the "dirt phobia" that mrslee81 calls it overwhelms me. I am normally a germaphobe, but when this happens I start to question my own sanity. Everything around me just becomes disgusting and I want to get as far away from it as I can. I do not want to touch anything. It is really frustrating and disturbing. I just talk myself out of it and close my eyes. Once the burning/itching sensation goes away then the phobia goes away. I was attributing it to some type of sensory overload or electrical misfire in the brain from the pain sensation/receptors. I even thought about a B vitamin deficiency being the cause because I hadn't taken my multi-vitamin in a few days.
I do have dog and cat allergies. Lately my sensitivity to my dogs has been heightened since I was out of town for a week and just returned. After reading this board, I think a mix of my inactivity and allergies might have triggered tonight's episode.
Whatever the case, I just want to thank you all for sharing your stories. This has provided some comfort and direction for further research.
Okay, I have been trying to lose weight by exercising for a few weeks now. This exact thing has happened to me too. But only a couple of times. I tried to remember what the difference was and I think I got it! You have to stay warm. At least that's true for me. Whenever I work out (run) in just shorts my legs get unbearably itchy. When I first start walking I'm fine but then it happens after half an hour or so. But that's only when I wear shorts. If I wear pants I feel fine and never get the feeling. I hope my story helps you. Next time you go walking, jogging or running try wearing warm clothing.
A couple of days ago, I went for a walk in very cold weather and my calfs started itching as they had done years ago. At that time and this time, at night, I wiped them with a towel soaked in white vinegar. For some reason, although it initially hurts, it stops being itchy. After a couple of days, my calfs feel a bit itchy but nothing compared before the vinegar wipe.
I have the same itching problem. No matter the temperature or how hot I am, my current physical fitness level, how fast I'm moving, or what fabric I'm wearing, I can't jog or walk fast for long without having to stop because of the itching. Every day of the week I get on the elliptical and go for an hour with no problem, but can't use the treadmill or run outside where there's impact involved. Some people surely have the allergic reaction, but if you're like me, your problem is jiggling. Whether it's fat or muscle, or just excess skin, the jiggling associated with impact exercise will ruin my workout every time. Although it doesn't make exercising with impact comfortable, wearing compression shorts that hold in as much as I can as tight as I can seems to make the workout bearable.
I used to get this when I first started training in the martial arts. I think that it's a temperature thing, since it only happened in class and I had to wear a full, heavy cotton uniform. I would start to itch like crazy, but once I started to actually sweat, the sensation went away. When I would work out in lighter clothing, I never had any issues.
I thought I was going to lose my mind today. I started back walking today after about 7 months and I was walking at a really good pace, after about 20 minutes my legs started itching like crazy I wanted to rip my clothes off. I hurried up trying to get home because it was unbearable. I ran the last leg of my walk and then my butt starting itching. Once I got back home it just stopped. I was so glad when I got on the internet later on today to find out I was not crazy and alone with this condition. I am going to try the antihistamine tomorrow and pray that works. Thanks to all of you for making me feel normal.
All you guys sound like me a little! I feel like I have been suffering with such intense itching from around 15 years old. One day one of the 1st times I remember this Hellish itching when trying to go on a bike ride with a few mates but had to stop and lie to cover why I didn't want to carry on! :(
I'm now 37 married last year and spend most of my life hoping it will all just stop & go away?! But after a lovely year with no suffering just thinking this is all to do with stress in life and our sensitive nearve endings Guess what?? It's started again in this cold weather?? I can't even wash the car or take our puppy for a walk without the lovely burning ankles & wrists head on fire itching! My wife asked me why was I scratching my head like a mental person yesterday? I said because I'm itching like crazy :( it's so depressing isn't it?
I even get so upset about it in my mind I feel suicidal :(
Why do we have to suffer with such rubbish in our lives? There might be one thing I may have worked out? I have been taking the big 600mg pink ibuprofen tablets 3 times a day for a bad back, and I have now stopped after reading the label It states they might have side effects like sensitive skin conditions head aches all the things I've started suffering with again?? I have Always been a pill popper probably from the age of 15? When ever I have a head ache rather than drinking lots of water or having an early night i'de pop two anadan extra's as the standard ones wouldn't work after eating them like sweets week after week :(
So I am going to try and start a new regime NO pills ever and lots of water every day ;)
I have/had the exact same problem. I have discovered through research that it is caused by the rapid/increased oxygen in your blood during excercise. When parts of the body with blood vessels that arent used to that high amout/concentration of oxygen receive it, it causes itchy skin in those areas. The body releases histamines in those vessels and you feel itch, just like when you have allergies and your nose itches. It also for me it happens on my thighs and buttocks, sometimes my lower legs. Like you said I tried to push through and it only spread and got worse. Rubbing it, giving in and scratching made it worse.. It wasnt affected by what I wore, shorts capris pants cotton spandex... didnt matter. The solution?? An antihistamine! Like childrens benadryl, claritin, or any of those work GREAT!. As you get used to working out and your blood vessels accustomed to the high concentration of oxygen, the itchyness will stop and you can stop taking the antihistimineit. Until then take an antihistamine (the smallest dose necessary) about 15-30 minutes before you excercise. I actually keep a bottle of Childrens Claritin in my glove box for this exact purpose. What Ive also learned.. if you stop excercising for an extended period of time, you'll have to do the same thing all over again. But at least you'll be able to stand running/working out long enough until you dont need the antihistamine anymore!
OMG I had the itchy episode today and it was unbearable...the power of the internet....i get itchy legs and thighs and i get the same germ phobia where the thought of the school restroom nauseates me.... i was searching my backpack for hand-sanitizer.... i really hope this antihistamine works for me...god bless
The reason why you people itch is because your not use to exercise. Once your body gets used to the exercise your body will adjust. Come on people! I have itchy ankles and legs also bu that is only when I stop exercising for awhile and start back. The thing is not to stop once you start.
Thanks so much for posting this! I thought I was crazy until I found this blog. No one would believe me that my legs itched so bad. It got to the point several times where I couldn't take it anymore and ending up scratching until I developed whelps or severe cases, drew blood. Ugh....I couldn't take it anymore! With that being said, I will attest 150% that taking Claritin (in my case, I take Zyrtec) helps out tremendously. I usually take it 30 minutes-1 hour before working out and never have had an issue. And to detract from any naysayers, I've done things from light walking to serious CrossFit when taking this medicine. It's such a relief to focus on the workout instead of the million ants that seem like they are crawling up my leg. Thanks again for the helpful info and hopefully, one day soon, there will be a cure for this so that we don't have to take medicine or anything else just to exercise. :)
OMG! the itchyness is unbearable, i just got back from walking my niece to the bustop wich is like a few blocks away and felt like i was going to pass out or go insane! at 1 moment i was actualy considering taking off my jeans just to see if it would feel better. And the walk back made me think i was seriuosly going to die..omg... i was brought to tears when i came home, after reading this article i realized that maybe it is due to my lack of activity for the past2months since thanks giving, and then all of a sudden walking fast out in the cold to make it to the bus wich might have caused this unbearable itch, and im 18 so age isnt a factor here. i just felt like cutting the skin off it felt soooo bad X(
Just curious - are you all European descent? Because I am of British Isles stock - fair as they come - and I definitely get this, too! I also blush/flush easily and have been prone to hives on and off throughout my life.
Thank you to those of you who have suggested anti-histimines, I will definitely try this! Anyone know if long-term use of these is safe? I want to work out 3-4 times a week indefinitely and am worried about taking pills so often.
I don't think this is just contained to European decent that suffer from this, I am mixed race (mother is Scottish and father from Barbados). I first noticed this in my early 20s, I am now 30. It started when I went to the gym and ran on the tread mill, my ankles would itch so bad that I would scratch them red raw and put cold wet cotton wool on them (made it worse).
I don't do much running now but I tend to get this unbearable itching in my legs when I walk and the weather is cold (Winter or Spring time in the UK is pretty rubbish). I spoke to a chemist and he suggested bad circulation and told me to try deep heat before I go out. I did try this and it seemed to help a little but not much especially as the itch is never contained to one area so I would have to cover the lower half of my body in deep heat! Also I read a few years ago that loritadine (antihistamine) also works and I do find that it does but I still get the itching minimally.
Today I went out and took the antihistamine just before I left the house (I forgot to take it an hour before) after about 20 minutes I felt the itching around the elasticated area of my socks, this just spread up my thighs and all over my legs to the point I was crying and tried to walk as fast as I could to get to a coffee shop to sit down. It then subsided but last a lot longer than usual. I've notices the last few times I have this that everything around me feels dirty and I don't want to touch anything, I also feel extremely frustrated and irritable. Today was particularly bad and this feeling didn't go away (even after the itching had stopped) until I had a bath and 'washed it away'.
I know I sound crazy and it's really good to hear that I'm not the only sufferer of this awful condition. Does anyone else get the irritable/dirty feeling?
When I explain to people to that I get 'itchy legs' they just laugh at me as though I'm mad. Nobody understands unless they've experienced it :(
I am a 25 year old male and I have suffered from this since I was 10. It would only happen during wrestling season, which is in the winter. However it only happened the next day after grappling and would stop once I got a good sweat going. I still practice jiu jitsu very regularly and the same thing happens every time. When I come in on Monday there is no itch, but Tuesday through Friday when I first start to sweat it is unbearable. I have read all these post and have tried the antihistamines an hour before but it still itches like crazy. After my first sweat of the day I will be fine for the rest of the day. If anyone has a similar situation and can help I would really appreciate it.
I hope this reaches you. I am so angry and frustrated with the EXACT same experience as you. Thank you SO much for sharing, and further, I am wondering if you've found a cure/relief/preventative.
Please let me know by emailing me at ***@****
I will be eternally grateful, and I'm not kidding. Eternally.
Thanks so much,
I've suffered from this same thing for years and the best solution I found in a magazine article years ago was to premedicate with benadryl prior to running/exercising. The itching is caused by a histamine release in the body and benadryl will block that. It really worked for me to the point that I could stop taking it after a while. I do not run any more (broken ankle) but find that if I now start any vigorous program it comes back and I have to start over for a bit. Give it a try and I hope this helps.
hello I have tried everything myself, when I exercise and or walk the itchy feeling comes and the more I exercise and or walk the worse it gets, I have been subscribed claritin and if I remember i will take it thirty minutes to an hour before walking, and the fact that I need to lose weight is stressful because i need to walk and exercise i guess anything that vibrates, whether its a foot message or horse back riding to treadmill to walking it causes the itching in my legs. But try claritin it works for me, I will definitely try the benedryl ... Exercise- induced Uticaria is what i heard its called... You just have to take an antihistamine 30mins- 1hr before going for your run or walk
I have been suffering this problem a couple of weeks even though I stay fit and active all the time running, cycling, running, spinning, swimming and kick boxing.
The first thing different I am doing is using a new jacuzzi at the gym but I dont think it is that as not used it since Sat and my itching is worse today even before I exercise.
The 2nd thing different I have been doing is taking Cod liver oil for my joints.
The other symptons I have found strange is my legs on the front of my shin are really shiney and look like I have oiled them. I also find that my leg muscles burn when im kick boxing and legs feel tired quicker and my feet feel really cold.
I am extremely fit and have other symptons such as dizzyness if I get up too quick or if I lay down my my head to the right and when i jump up and down vigourously in circuit training it feels like my lungs are bouncing around and struggle to breath.
I am training for a competition fighting constantly and I do around 10-20 hours training a week so I know I am far from unfit.
Im not sure if I agree with the overheating as not hot enough and my feet are cold. I wont be trying the banana option as trying to loose some weight before my fight.
I think I will be trying the antihistamine and if my itchiness doesnt go away I will be going to see a doctor.
Omg I have this problem I never thought to look it up till now n I'm so late on the post but me and my friends was just takin a night stroll in downtown and it was cold and i had skinny jeans on I was walking for twenty mins and my thighs started itching so bad to the bone where I wanted to pull my pants down to get to my thighs to sooth the pain of my itch its so irritating !!!!!!!! And non of my friends new what was wrong I felt so bad Bec he had to leave I couldn't keep walking Bec it hurted and the itch would come right back
I've been dealing with this problem since I was a kid. I ran track in high school and college and have been in excellent shape most of my life, so it wasn't until recently that I noticed it again. I would have to say that those that say that its an issue with blood flow and inactivity are right. I started running again last summer, and had the problem, but it went away after I kept after it for a week. I just started up again and had to stop the first time out on my run.
It is not a weather issue, or a body temperature issue. It happens to me no matter the temperature. I also did P90x a few years ago, which led to heightened levels of body temperature and never had the problem. Only when I run.....
I'm so glad other people have had to deal with this. I've tried explaining it to people in the past and they think I'm crazy.
This used to always happen to me when I was younger playing sport outside and I used to put it down to my circulation.
My latest attack happened as I STOOD watching my Daughter horse riding! - no exercise involved!? It was a cold day and as usual my legs started to itch really badly. In fact, worse than ever. When I got home my legs were the usual red and blotchy and I got in the shower to warm myself up.
The next day when I woke my legs were very painful. When I saw my legs I was shocked, they were covered in bruises! Obviously from me rubbing and scratching them - I hope!???
Can someone please help me understand why this is happening to me!
from what I have read, your body releases histamines when you exercise and some people are sensitive to them. It is not being out of shape. Try taking an antihistamine up to 2 hrs before any exercise like running and in your case horse back riding. It is the vibration that is causing it. I don't get itchy using an elliptical. You have to keep active, at least in my case. If I have a break in exercising I have to start using the antihistamine all over again. If I am consistent for days in a row, it is like the histamines are burned off or I am less sensitive to them. Never itch, if I do, I leave major marks on my legs. Just rubbing your finger on your leg will make marks. You need to stop the activity if it is unbearable and don't scratch. I understand it is hell and you feel as though you want a wire brush to just scratch, but you can't. Hope this works, this is more common and not very many doctors are knowledgeable about the cause of this. Good luck.
Hi all fellow itchers, I ran every day at least 6 miles, skated 4 times a week and trained very hard as was playing for my local roller hocky team. I also played football, but it all stopped at the age of 19, when I too for no known reason started after about 5 minutes of exercise, itching. The itching starts faintly in my upper legs and gets more and more intence until I have to slow down or even stop. The strange thing is that its only when I walk or run. If I cycle then I can ride hard for as long as I like without the itching. I am now 43 and still suffer. Someone must know why this happens.
It's caused by your body attempting to improve its circulation with the increased blood flow. If you alternate lifting weights with legs one day and running another it will boost blood flow with less itching.
This occurs when I walk or run but ONLY in cold weather. For me it is a circulation problem that I've inherited from my mum. We also have Reynauds (when it's cold our hands get very cold) and our blood vessels dilate much larger than normal when it's hot. I have to rub or scratch my legs like mad (thighs, calves, hamstrings). This natural reaction is actually serving to warm up the muscles in order to stop the itching. If I rub my legs for a few minutes to generate heat all over them, the itching goes away. If I rub my legs before jogging on a cold day, they do not itch when they normally would. It's exactly the same as when you've been out in throwing snowballs and then run your hands under warm water - they itch.
I live with asthma-based allergies and take a histamine blocker (Allegra) every single day...as well as several other daily allergy meds (Singulair -leukotriene blocker) so the antihistamine does not seem to make a difference; at least not for me. I'm in my mid-30's and have experienced this my whole life although it has worsened as I've aged. I am in moderate shape and work out 3-4 days a week pretty regularly. The itching will occur randomly...it can happen multiple days in a row or not happen for months. I can be on a casual nigh time stroll with the dogs or jogging for miles, hot/cold weather, inside on a treadmill or outside in any season...I've been unable to relate it to being situational other than it appears to be soley related to walking/running. I ran four miles this past Saturday and Sunday at pretty much the same time of day and same weather conditions. Saturday I experienced no issue, Sunday I did. I understand the itching creates emotional stress due to the pain and embarrassment but for me it has almost led me to panic attacks at times when the sensation is too intense and overwhelming. I would love to heard any other theories/ideas regarding this as doctor's on the whole don't seem to know anything about it.
I have had the exact same symptoms as Nalla had. Whenever I've been away from jogging or bike riding for a long time then go back to my routine, I experience itching that starts within a few minutes of exercising. It's been this way since my high school days back in the 70's. The itching begins in my groin, continues all the way down to my feet and up as far as my chest if I can stand it that long. So, after years of simply tuffing-out that dreaded "first week" of getting back into my exercise regimen, I finally figured out that if I applied over-the-counter 2% Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride cream to the affected areas before I run or bike (and I mean I slather it on good--groin included) I don't experience the problem. The more thorough I slather it on, the better protection from the itchies. I've also discovered that I only have to do this maybe four days before I don't have to use it anymore. After that my problem becomes staying committed to jogging or biking regularly and not stopping for a month, or two, or three . . . . Good luck to you if you suffer from "getting-back-into-the-exercise-routine itchies."
yup....been happening to me since i was 12, i am 36 now. No exercise is needed to start it. I have always exercised and have never quit. My itch thankfully is only on my thighs, an under the skin tingling, itching, heated feeling like ant under my skin. My method to relieve it is punching my legs. I look crazy but it helps!!!
The only way i can walk run or jog is by taking a zyrtec 1/2 hr to an hour before.otherwise the itch all over my body is so intense i could cry. I too tried walking in all temps, variety of fabricsof workout clothes. Only antihysthamine worked for me.
I have that same problem I play ball I always talk are work it only happens when I walk or jog and it's not all the time bit it's so freakin frustrating I cab even walk a half mike with my wife cause its so irritating.....
HI everyone! I have the same issue. It happens no matter what I am wearing, tight or loose. I haven't really watched what I eat prior to exercise but I don't think it makes a difference. I agree with others in that it happens with "bouncing" either walking fast, running, jumping, etc (also with change in pace and elevation). I used to think it was the circulation thing but it is not. I am 23 and it has been happening for the past five years but never before that. I can take benadryl which "cures" it but it does make you exhausted. So I switched to Claritin (generic). It definitely has to due with histamine. I did consult my physician who only seemed to know what the e-medicine told her. so that's that. So although it is managable when I remember to take the pill that day, I can't spontaneously go for a run, etc.
OMGosh! Hi all! I am truly sorry to hear that you are all experiencing the dreaded 'Itchy Legs' syndrome because as a VICTIM of this most profoundly annoying medical mystery I know how you all feel.
I have been SUFFERING with this condition for 30 years, since I was 17, and for me my symptoms rarely ever happens when it is hot, but mostly when it is cool. Within a minute of walking the itching starts at my ankles then spreads to the bottom of my feet and up my legs and buttocks. My skin feels cool to the touch but is actually burning underneath, turns a bright red and gets worst when I begin to scratch it.
My symptoms also comes with a feeling of abject disgust that starts in the pit of my stomach and spreads to my every thought and I have a strong urge to take a shower, which I do, and scrub from head to toe! I am so disgusted that I could snap at anyone for anything and a messy environment seems to intensify my feelings driving me to insanity's brink.
Once my itching got so intense that I have, without a care, stripped off my pants and shoes in PUBLIC and scratched from the bottom of my feet UP my legs and up and down my buttocks. My skin looked like I had an encounter with a cheetah when I was done; and I wouldn't have cared a fig if I was cited for indecent exposure because the itching was so maddening.....aaaaaarrrrrggggh
I will try the antihistamine and I pray it works but I am hoping that Doctors, with enough complaints, will take a closer look into and discover without supposition, what could possibly be causing this infuriating condition and find a natural and permanent solution as this 'burning itching' is driving me downright cookoo and it's not for coco puffs!
Exciting to see I'm not the only one with this issue!! For years nobody has known what the heck I was talking about. I take Zyrtec daily and do not suffer from this anymore. If I stop taking the Zyrtec, in 2-3 days running outdoors (especially) brings on that horrible intense painful itching. I am very active & in shape, so that is not the cause - though like previous commenters, I remember it bein worse when taking a vacation from fitness & starting back up.
Thank you whitelily7,
I truly appreciated your input on this forum. In all actuality, I don't know about an itchy leg cure, but I'm tempted to print your advice out and post it near by as a visual reminder for my daily/weekly discipline for a balanced, harmonized and stress free living environment :)... A million thank you's!!!
I thought I'd just comment with what I've discovered as being effective in eliminating the itchiness. If you haven't exercised in a while just go for a moderately brisk walk and set a distance or time for your route. As you go if you start to feel unbearably itchy, slow way down to a slow walk. The feeling goes away. Halfway through the route (this is why you need to determine the length) take a little break. Don't sit or anything but just walk like you would in a store (my halfway point is a store lol) walk a little, stand a little, lean a little, text a little, etc. After 5-10 min continue the rest if your route. When I did this, I had no itchiness at all on the way back and didnt need to slow down except for my cool down. It is perfect for walking/jogging outdoors, especially because you can stop at a store or go "smell the roses" or bird watch or something! Don't sit and don't stop, just pace yourself.
This is so me in the exact way that Nalla and SevenPlus explained and I've been dying to find something to help because I would love to jog or run. This intense itch even happens after just a brisk walk. If anyone finds anything that helps please let me know.
Have you found anything? I took an benadryl antihistamine before I jogged a little the other day and it helped some and I would just walk when I could feel the itch coming and tried to focus on something else but then I passed out as soon as I got back home and slept for a few ours lol. The next day I took a Zyrtec a little before we went on just a brisk walk and it did not help at all.
Also I don't think it's a circulatory thing or weather issue. It happens to me with high impact cardio workouts(jumping/bouncing) sometimes when I'm biking on a bumpy trail my forearms will itch from the vibrations and hot tubs from the jets against my skin vibrating. So I'm convinced it has something to do with the vibrations on the skin.
Hi, Like the rest of yous i thought iwas the only one that suffered from this, I have had most of the symptoms as the rest of yous but also wanted to add I live in a hot country now and it still happens in the warm weather no matter how slow I walk, I am 27 now this has been going on for about 10years, the doctors have almost laughed at me too and anyone I have tried to talk to about it, ihavent tried the antihistamine yet which I will do, only I am pregnant so will have to wait, the histamine cure seems to be right but I also think it is related to circularity problems too, my sister has Reynauds syndrome, and my temperature is different all over my body and hands go really hot, my thighs, where the itch iis, is really cold, I mean ice cold, It definitely has something to do with the capillaries I think, and god does it make you angry, if anybody crosses me wrong when I have this I have as much temper to kill someone, I mean it literally makes my blood boil till I'm so angry I could explode, and if I am with anybody they always seem to laugh at me, believe me I have stopped myself from pushing them out into the road, I am not usually and angry or bad tempered person but this is agonising, my advice as soon as you feel it coming on, stop, just stop where you are and stand still till you body regulates and do not itch, also try and get to a shop/ house or somewhere you can just stand for a minute and warm up, I'd be interested to find a cure, if anybody can help......
This is exactly what I have experienced since I was about five years old... now i'm 53. I thought I was alone... One of the hardest things to deal with on top of the awfullness of the condition ( whatever it might be) is the exasperation of friends and family who may be around when it happens. Also the complete lack of interest from any GPs I've tried to discuss this with...On a good day I love walking... have to walk the dog daily... on a bad day ... well obviously you all understand... I often turn down the invitations to walk with friends in case it happens...
Intense under the skin itch/burn... feels like my flesh and bones are under attack... want to rip off clothes to scratch but scratching doesn't help... the itch is below the skin and scratching hurts the skin... and cold skin going to hot as the itch subsides. Dizzyness, tightness acroos chest, wet nose, panic, muscles seem to become stiffened and painful... heightened sensitivity to smells... often notice the smell of leaves in autumn or exhaust but have ruled these out as a cause... got it when swimming a few times too... impossible to push through. Results in feeling of utter despair and total misery... Duration of attack increasing with age... experimenting with antihists and lotions thanks to this forum but sporadic nature of attacks makes it hard to tell if they are working yet... ruled out allergies to clothing or anything like cosmetics/soaps/shampoos/washing powders... have used very few and when I do I use unperfumed, dermatologically tested ones etc...
I have always been pretty fit and fairly active. I am not overweight. I have Raynauds. The itching stopped for a year or so after I had my daughter then came back with a vengeance.
Spent my life trying to make sense of it all... Yatata, reading your post in particular overwhelmed me... it was like reading something I have said to doctors, friends, family and been met with a range of reactions and responses, none of which have ever been helpful...
I know that your post is old, but I just saw it tonight. I am relieved to know that someone has approximately the same symptom pattern as I do. I went walking on Sunday in the wet damp weather. After 10 mins of walking, I started itching. What made it worse, I started having an emotional response to the mud and dirt on the trail. I think that I was becoming anxious. The only thing that helped temporarily was looking at the clean water in the bottom of a creek on the trail. I aborted the walk and ran into my apartment where the emotional symptoms subsided. Today, I asked my neurologist about the cause of my symptoms but she did not know what it was. To her credit, she wondered if it was exercise-induced anaphylaxis.
The exact same thing happens to me too! It makes it worse that, as with others, the cold weather and brisk or even regular-paced walking can bring it on. But when it comes, considering for me that it normally comes with colder weather when things are damp and quite icky looking anyway if you live in a crowded urban area, I too get very scornful. So much so I avoid looking at the street or on one occasion even walked in the road so that I could just focus on getting home quickly so I could itch my legs like crazy...
This is sooo not nice and so sporadic for me too, but I really am glad I'm not the only one. Because of the mental side of it too, I really was starting to think that I was crazy, lol! I just try to breathe deep and keep calm when it all comes on... I think the mental side probably comes from the fact that most times if you're itchy it's to do with something vulgar / dirt etc i.e. one associates an itch with something unclean, hence maybe our minds focus more on those things when the itch occurs, even though the itch has been induced by walking etc and not by anything which suggests a lack of hygiene, vermin or medical condition etc although this clearly IS some kind of medical condition with so many people around the globe experiencing it.
I totally get you and I'm in the UK too, lol and I'm Jamaican-British, to coin a phrase, so I totally get where you're coming from with this - I think it can affect anyone m,f, race, age, "ethnicity" etc. I also get the dirty / psychological feeling and literally have to force myself to not notice anything dirty-looking on the streets - e.g. overflowing litter bins etc etc It's worse in London - crowded & in England - rainy, dull when this itching sensation comes on - there normally is something pretty disgusting on the street anyway (even just damp paper) which worsens the psychological effect. I'm glad other people have this - makes me feel less weird, but it's a shame we all have to go through it. It's such a weird, uncomfortable sensation.
Well at least now I can let myself off the hook - I used to think it was part-psychological, part-laziness i.e. me being too lazy to start jogging / running properly... lol but then I used to do cross country as a kid and don't recall having any problems then... Hopefully, the condition will rectify itself and will gradually go away as it has gradually come on..! Take care.
It does not happen to me a cold weather only warm or hot and it can be unbearable. I literally scratch until I bleed. It stops after about 45 minutes of sitting still in the A/C. If I am walking in a Mall or Food store it doesn't occur.
I have struggled with this for years. I am so glad I found these posts, learn it was actually an allergic reaction. For the past week I took an Aerius 60 min before walking and I've had no itch at all! It is expensive, so went to Costco and got a bottle of allergy medication (180 doses for under $20). Took one today, walked at a brisk rate for an hour with no issues at all. I feel like I've got my life back.
20 years I've had this problem... In heat, cold, all or no fabrics, inside, outside, sweating or not, light strolls or vigorous activity... I am extremely active and exercise almost everyday and have for years. I "test" myself often without antihistamines hoping this might be the day. No such luck. Clearing it up is not a matter of "pushing through." If only it were that easy. Your body has a mind of its own. Biking is the only activity I can do without an antihistamine.
New studies have come out saying that ingesting wheat or other possible (undiagnosed) allergens within 6 hrs of activity may be the cause. They say that food is digested differently when we exercise. I think I will test this myself... emedicine.medscape.com/article/886641-overview and
It's not just a condition for those of European descent. I'm black in the United States and I just had to cut my walk short because of the itching (it's a cool November evening here). It has been happening for about a decade for me. I avoid running like the plague. Once, I tried to "push through" a slow jog outside and ended up collapsing in the grass, scratching my legs until I broke the skin. It's really bad. The worst is when the itch spreads to any part of skin where clothing is touching, especially around waistline, hem of your shorts, anything. There's no relief once the itching starts except to stop ALL movement. I've tried keeping my legs moisturized, wearing different clothing, warming up/stretch longer. It's not poor circulation. I even tried Benadryl once many years ago but I think I tried to work out too soon after taking it because it didn't work. I'm willing to try allergy meds again.
If there is a rash associated with this itching, I haven't observed it. My skin is chocolate brown though so it would be harder for me to diagnose a subtle rash. I wish some medical professionals would really research this. It's horrible to not be to do something as simple as walk or run!
you know I had the same problem when I was over weight and no tvery active it was bad it was itchy and very unconfortable but your doctor is right just got to fight through it I no longer have those issues anymore
The Beginning- "To: Everyone With Similar Problem
I found this on the web while doing research about ILS[Itchy Leg Syndrome], the cause is also the cure according to these. Guess I'll have to workout for a bit more. However I do believe this is a sign, that America does need to get active. I'm only 17 and yet have ILS however because I've always had a slim/lean body that most say looks like a model's and "appears" that I've worked out, I guess I skipped on actually working out. I suggest walking, but not a fast pace, at YOUR pace, try going for a simple walk around your neighborhood and in the first few weeks stick it and stay in neighborhood AKA "Your Comfort Zone" don't try venturing out unless you can feel the itching subsiding some. Hope this helps everyone.
Local 13 News Article On Fitness:
Some people will find any excuse not to exercise -- even saying they're allergic to it.
In fact, experts say that having itchy, irritated legs during exercise is fairly common. Certified personal trainer Max Hoyt said the symptoms are actually caused by inactivity.
"The capillaries in your legs, they contract and expand rather easily, but if you're inactive they lose elasticity, so they don't expand as readily as they used to," Hoyt said.
Hoyt said this is fine if you're sedentary because the additional blood flow doesn't reach those areas, but when you are working out, it is a different story.
"These areas get reached by the blood flow and these capillaries. Because they lost the elasticity, the nerve endings around the capillaries will transmit the sudden expansion of these capillaries to your brain and your brain perceives this as an itch," Hoyt said.
That's why no matter how much you scratch you can't relive it.
Hoyt said that the good news is that the sensation is temporary. If you stick with your exercise routine, the blood flow will force the capillaries to open and, with consistent expansion, the irritation will subside.
"If you can just stick with it and get used to being into exercise again it will go away," Hoyt said.
Hoyt said that if it doesn't go away in a few weeks, exercise is not the issue. He said some people prone to hives and exercise can make this condition worse. In this case, prevention, usually with antihistamines, is key.
"Once it's happened, you pretty much need to stop exercising and cool back down," Hoyt said. While there is a potentially fatal condition called exercise-induced anaphylaxis, it is rare and, as with the hives, exercise is the trigger, not the cause.
Hoyt said that if you have asthma, always keep your inhaler with you, even if you haven't had an attack in a while. "-
The END...I hope this blesses at least someone.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.