Monday, October 20, 2014
Tuesday, October 21, 2008 hakiss, Community Member, asks

Q: why does my body itch during running exercise?

when am working out, especially running exercise, my body itchs so bad that i'd be forced to stop. mostly the abs and thighs itch so bad and when i start scratching, it becomes worst...please help. thanks in advance.
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Answers (122)
Lisa Gulley, Health Guide
6/11/14 10:38pm

The itching is most likely caused by histamine in your body. Histamine increases the blood flow to injured areas to help the immune system get to the problem area. One Japanese study showed that histamine might be released during exercise to help protect the body against exhaustion. Unfortunately histamine also sends itch signals to the brain, so this might be why you feel itchy while running.

Jessica, Community Member
10/23/08 3:08pm

Sounds like prickly heat to me. Try losing some layers during your workouts.

memememe, Community Member
12/ 2/08 10:20pm

I have the same exact problem - and I can't find the answer either!  my skin turns red and seems to swell a tad, then i can't stop itching and it sucks.  It seems to be worse if it's cold outside.  Plus, it happens to my arms sometimes when riding a bike outside on a bumpy road.  I used to think it was because I was 10 pounds overweight, but then I went through a period when I was extremely thin and it still happened. 

star, Community Member
7/ 3/09 4:34am

i just googled jogging and itching, cos i hv similar probs. i rily want to knw the reason y, cos it has kind of cancelled runnin/joggin from my exercise list.

itchy, Community Member
9/ 3/09 8:33pm

I just read on another website that the itching assosiated with running, especially in people who are not fit or just starting exercising, is caused by the capillaries in your skin that supply blood to your skin. The capillaries contract (or dilate, I forget) and the nerves near them sense it and send a signal to your brain that is interpreted as an itch.

Brown Bear, Community Member
1/ 1/11 8:03am

You can be in good shape and start something new like running versus using an elliptical or stationary bike.  As I understand your condition has nothing to do with it.

craszh, Community Member
2/19/11 12:24am

i have the exact problem when i running into about 5-10 mins into my exercise i start to itches. i think it's because i am not fit, because i just start to get into exercise again. i am not over weight or anything just out of shape. i will give myself a few months to see if i am still itch by then i should be fairly back in shape by then hopefully. i remember when i was in the army i didn't have this kind of problem i think it's because i was young and in good shape back then. we see how this itch come along in a few months. :)

Dragnfly57, Community Member
10/ 1/11 2:21am

I have this same problem, I will even start itching all over when I am out walking.  I mentioned this to my doctor and her response was that I am out of shape and the reaction is due to the blood circulating.  Well, that is all good and fine but it still happens when I am in better shape.  To make a long story short, I am a nurse and I was talking about it one day to a co-worker when one of the physicians came up to me (he had overheard our conversation) and he told me I was having a histamine reaction and that some people experience this for unknown reasons.  He said if I took an anti-histamine before I walk or work out then I shouldn't have this problem or it will lessen it's severity.  Well, he was right, it worked for me.  Now I just take an anti-histamine prior to working out and I am fine.  It is a strange phenomenom but one I have learned to live with. Hope the info helps you. 



Trish, Community Member
7/30/12 9:15pm
Thank you for sharing your story. I planned to try a antihistamine after realizing I was experiencing some form of an allergic reaction. I hope the lethargic feeling from taking these Meds does not drain my energy. Trish Reply
mimyo, Community Member
6/24/14 12:31pm

oh. thank you so much. all my life.i have suffered and wondered about this matter and now I know it. 


WD, Community Member
1/27/10 5:53pm

Itching and skin irritation during exercise can be caused by a a variety of reasons. Most are minor, but some can be related to a more serious condition.

Dry skin, dry weather and low humidity are the most common reason people experience itching while exercising. Dry, cold winter air is responsible for most of this seasonal skin irritation. This is also the eaiest irritation to treat, by using a good moisturizer before exercising.

Another common cause of itching is an allergic reaction to a new or different soap, lotion or detergent. If you have itching after trying a new product, simply change products to see if that solves the problem.

Other causes of exercise itching can include reactions between exercise, some food allergies or certain medications. Antibiotics, some pain medications, and diuretics all have been known to cause itching during exercise for some people. If you experience this, tell your doctor or pharmacist about your symptoms and what medication you are taking. Sometimes they will recommend a cream or an over-the-counter anti-histamine before exercise.

Another cause may include urticaria, an allergic reaction that causes the release of histamines that dilate blood vessels and result in swelling and skin irritation. Urticaria is recognized by red, itchy welts or hives on the chest. Urticaria can be triggered by sweating or extreme temperatures. Exercising in a cooler, dryer climate, or lowering your exercise intensity may reduce symptoms.

In rare cases some people devlop exercise-induced anaphylaxis, which can be serious. The symptoms are hives and itching that progresses to shortness of breath, and low blood pressure. This is a serious reaction and if not treated this may lead to shock. If you have such symptoms it is important to tell your doctor before exercising. Symptoms are often treated with antihistamines. Read more about Exercise-induced anaphylaxis

Latysha Moore, Community Member
8/18/10 7:21pm

I have that exact problem where, I would be pwr walking/walking and/or jogging... i would have a itch around my inner thighs and calves so bad. It would make get dizzy,sob, everything starts to get black. I really think that I will be about to pass out and I feel weak. And if I start to scratch my itch it just intensify bad! I feel like I just want to spit... I start to get irratated really bad, epecially when I am sweating, my body break out with little hives, a bit of swelling, itching, and redness. It's crazy... I talked to my doctor about it, and he said with me having Sickle Cell Trait that could play a big pt. in my episodes. How true is that, can anyone relate to me w/wo Sickle Cell Trait?

Kay, Community Member
9/29/11 3:35pm

i have the same problem. my bf thinks I am just lazy and so does my doctor. My dr never mentioned anything about sickle cell. he said my blood is fine and am just lazy but they are very very wrong. not lazy, serious problem...

Dee Spain, Community Member
10/26/11 6:20am

Just read your comments re itching and exercise, and I have exactly the same symptoms, inparticular the sobbing!! you feel completely at the mercy of the itching and just have to scratch and scratch which as you say makes a burning sensation and soesn't help.  I am of African origin and have been tested for sickle cell but do not have any traits of it.  I take 1-2 antihistamine tablets before exercise and make sure skin is well moisturised (more to do with massaging skin helping blood circulation).

I.F, Community Member
12/10/11 8:57am

I'm an ex athlete and suffered from this through my whole career, was one of the reasons i gave it up. Used to sprint, which was actually fine, but my training sessions used to be pure hell, itching from inbetween my toes to my feet, ankles (were especially bad), calves, thighs (especially inner), waist, torso and arms.

it could be skin urticaria or dysautonomia. I found the my GP had no clue what was happening so I researched it myself. It can be a histamine reaction also. Taking anti-histamines can help alleviate it some times. I'm looking for a more permanent solution though. Definitely see a dermatologist for a more accurate assessment.

Dee, Community Member
2/21/12 11:17am

I love working out as a teen but I have stopped as an adult because I can't take the itchy. I have tried anti-histamines and they did not work. I have tried usually lotion before working out but that does not work out either. I use to be able to get past it after 15 minutes but lately the itching is so bad I have to stop after 10. I have also tried coating my skin with vaseline and it actually takes 80% of the itching away.  My sister tells me vaseline is very bad for your skin.  I just want a good work out. Does anyone no if vaseline is bad for yoour skin? Im very desperate to getting back in shape!


Ravenlocke, Community Member
11/19/12 12:46pm

I can't say you've described me exect. It's since last winter and only happens during winter. Moisturing does help but only for a while and then it itches back as hell all over. Walking a little faster as i do even during night with no sun breaks the hell loose. If you've got some solution do let me know. Thanks in advance.

Cindy Meow, Community Member
2/20/12 5:16pm

Wow... that isnt what we are talking about. That seems really bad, we just get itchy and its hard to not itch, but we can get through it without being dizzy... sort of like having poison ivy. I don't get any bumps or hives.

runnergirl, Community Member
6/ 5/11 1:21am

I know I do not have any of the above problems. I am very healthy, fit and exercise regularly. I have no medical conditions and use the same moisturizing and cleaning products consistently and have no problems ever.

It really is an INSANE itch only brought on with exercise. It seems to worsen as I increase my pace, until finally I have to secumb to the itch. It gets so itchy, and scratching only seems to heighten it (despite how good it initially feels). I will actually scratch until I bleed or leave dark red scratch marks all over. I get it the worst on my legs and glutes, but it does itch on my back and sides too. Rarely the itch will go as high as my shoulders. I wish I knew how to stop this because it tortures me and prevents me from exercising often.


n_ebel, Community Member
7/ 6/11 5:17am

Sounds like exercise induced "urticaria".  Although they don't know the exact cause, I would try taking an antihistamine at least 30 min to 1 hour before working out.  I would suggest a 2nd generation antihistamine (less drowsiness) like zyrtec or claritin.


Although we think of histamine as an "allergy" chemical, it is the main player in dilating blood vessels and causing the classic "inflammation" signs like swelling, itching, redness and warmth.


I am a 3rd year medical student with a similar problem.. only mine causes anaphylactic-like symptoms too so I was put on an inhaler to help with the "exercise induced asthma" but still didn't solve the other problems! ...  I have looked into a lot of medical review articles and diagonstic manuals and this is what I have come across:


1. Exercise induced urticaria (hives): many reports have a food associated with the exercise (ie: wheat, shellfish, etc) but only has a reaction if eaten up to 4 hours before or right after working out...


2. Cholinergic urticaria: itching and hives/redness with heat/cold temperatures, stress, etc... not usually just exercise..


3.  Exercise induced anaphylaxis: itching/hives with swelling (especially the face/neck), difficulty breathing, low blood pressure, and dizziness / fainting.... Gotta be extra careful with this one... definitely try the antihistamines if you have these symptoms!!


4. reduced oxygen delivery due to inactivity of the muscle (which will get better with exercise but you can also try an antihistamine for that one too)

Kay, Community Member
9/29/11 3:42pm

Thank u so much. i cldnt stop crying when I was reading this becuz this has been a real struggle for me and no one cld relate my boyfriend and dr both says am just lazy they dont understand. Thank u so much for a solution that was long overdue. I wish all that money I spent on dr visits and blood tests cld have been given to u becuz my dr never even suggested a solution other than ur lazy. Thanx a million

Kim, Community Member
10/12/11 10:33am
Consider switching your doctor. If he or she is dismissing your concerns you must find one who takes you seriously! I had an experience with a dr who dismissed my concerns about an issue with the same statement that I was lazy when in fact I had a serious illness! Please find someone show will take the time to and effort to investigate your concerns!! Namaste Reply
movintoloseit, Community Member
7/ 6/11 6:46am

I am so glad you wrote about this because the exact same thing happens to me.  It is so frustrating because like this morning, I was walking for time and the itch was so bad I shortened my walk.  I have been doing some reading about this and a few things make enough sense that I am going to try them.  I work out first thing in the morning as it just gets too hot in the summer to workout after work.  Taking an antihistamine does not work for me since I already take allegra before i go to bed at night for allergy symptoms, but I read about taking a quick rinsing shower and applying a good cream before exercising.  This I am going to try tomorrow.  Also, I read the better hydrated you are the less symtoms you may have.  Getting out of bed after 8 hours of sleep, getting into running clothes and going does not sound too hydrating to me, so I am going to  try drinking a glass of water when I first get up and then getting dressed to go.  Maybe that will be just enough to lessen the itch.  The only thing so far that stops the itch is to stop the intensity of my exercise which is not an option for me since I really want to loose these last 10 pounds.  Hope this helps!  Best of luck!

Baximus, Community Member
7/13/12 10:20am

If you've been taking your Allegra for a couple years, you might need to change your prescription.  That happened to me and my allergy symptoms became debilitating.  Once I changed allergy medicines, all my reactions went away.  Your body will develop an immunity to allergy mediations over time.  Thanks for the tip on better hydration, I will try that, too.


gogo, Community Member
8/14/11 1:23pm

I used to describe this all the time and no one understood it, so thankful for the internet.  This used to happen to me when I would get to a higher pace in my exercise.  When I would go from walking to running etc.  When exercise became a very regular part of my week it stoped happening.  When i exercise I drink a lot of water too, i think hydration also helps.  Saying that I have been overseas to warmer climates and stopped regularly exercising for almost a year and it didn't occur.  However I stopped my exercise routine (and drinking water) one and a half weeks ago and I have already got it back.  It is winter, heaters blaring, lots of blankets and I think this may also have something to do with it.  Circulation, how the body warms up etc.  Hope I could help?!


Kay, Community Member
9/29/11 3:49pm

OMG. I can relate so very much. I was just reading another post that suggested zyrtec or claritin 30 min to 1 hr before xcercise. am gonna try it becuz am tired of itching and crying and having to secumb to my itching before i get halfway thru my intended xcersice. Am just happy to kno that am not alone becuz everyone around me that I asked for many years told me they have no clue what i am talking about. telling me about dry skin and all kinda stuff that wasnt it has more to do with the blood vessels I think, than dry skin or allergy.

Michael, Community Member
10/28/11 1:15pm

You should really try an anti-histamine as suggested by the nurse above.  I have the same problem and it was severe this morning.  I haven't worked out in any way for the past 7 months.  I walked and jogged this morning.  It came on (my entire body, back, chest, abdomin, butt, legs, groin) with a vengence!  I must have looked like a fool out there scratching.  My clothes were coming off during the scratch frenzy.  I had to compose myself and suck it up.  I couldn't wait to get home.  I do have a little medical training as a laboratory tech.  I determined a year ago or so that it was a histamine reaction. When I was a child, I'd get the same reaction when playing in the grass.  You have to find the anti-histamine that works for you. 


I won't forget my anti-histamine the next time.  You may have to take it 30 to 45 minutes before you exercise.  That will allow it time to get into your system and be effective.  That timimg depends on how fast your particular anti-histamine takes to work.  I use Claritin and it takes 30 to 45 minutes to work.  I hear that Zertex doesn't take that long to work.


I hope this helps you!

I.F, Community Member
12/11/11 6:24pm

I really feel for you! I'm in exactly the same situation :(. Definitely take an anti histamine before training, clarytin is good but you can get medical grade anti histamines from your GP. I've found that they work sometimes but aren't fool proof, they may completely erase the itching for you, it's different for every one :)


I have had exactly the same experience whilst running and wanted to offer some advice. I gave up running because of the itching (usually worse on legs, ankles and even my damned feet n toes) and rode a racing bike for 4 years, kept me in great shape but, being a sprinter, I really missed running. Before I knew about anti histamines (and after) I would reach the point where all I could think about was the unbelievable intensity of that itching. One trick I've found, whilst screaming with rage, (and still use) is that combining my anger with a visualisation of the itching as as points of light coming towards me has helped to beat it. It sounds crazy, but so is this freaking itching!! And with the itching being a partially idisomatic symptom, it would make a kind of sense to use your mind to cope.


So, the first point of light coming towards you represents 'the wall' you hit when your body can't respire aerobically or anerobically any more, in this case the itching takes on the role of 'the wall'. I've found that if I'm angry enough lol I can drive past it and keep on going (usually with my face contorted with rage) until it starts to feel hot instead of itchy. This usually takes about 10-15 mins of pure agony until the itching subsides, sometimes less. It feels great when you beat it but the knowledge that you have to go through it all again in two days is very daunting..


Music helps sometimes, try and find a track with a consistent rhythmic beat, like house, something to concentrate on when your world is occupied by that bloody itching, that along with the rage induced visualisations helps a lot..

Seeing as it is partially idiosomatic, using your mind to manage it is something that could potentially help you even if the anti histamines don't work 100%, definitely go see your GP though, you can get a gree prescription if you live in the UK, good luck! :)

steven, Community Member
1/19/12 1:36am

wow..., my 1st thoughts...i considered i was experiancing my bodies  over active immune system which is as dangerous as an underactive immune system...


i base this on breaking out in intense hives and itiching around every 7 years...this has not happened in 20 or so years


i once had an extreme reaction to amoxicillon....went to er and got prednisone...although i suffered for 3 or 4 days....glad my throat did not close


could be the clothes detergent


could be overdose of a particular vitiman


could be a food allergy


could be stress


could be a natural detox symptom


could be in your head


could be any combo of the above


i am very job involves 40 to 60 hours weekly of intense aerobic activity...


my first  guess is it is a result of intense oxygen and co2 metabolism...


just a guess...thank you



HoneyB, Community Member
1/ 3/11 11:59pm

I have the EXACT problem too... all my life.  I'm not overweight and it happens mostly when there is any kind of vibration... (which there is a lot of vibration happening when you run)... I used to think I was allergic to exercise.  Most people think I'm faking or exaggerating... like I'm making up excuses as to why I cant finish.  I still exercise... with the itchy pain though... it never goes away no matter how consistent I am.  I notice the areas that are the most itchy turn red... obviously the blood is coming up to the skin... maybe a circulatory issue? I'm not sure if there is anything that can be done about it. :(  I know this doesn't help... but, you are not alone.  Strange question though... what is your heritage... I'm developing a theory based on what others with the same problem have told me... so far we all have something in common.

maggi, Community Member
2/ 2/11 10:30pm

I have had the itch for a couple of decades and it is only when I walk super fast or jog/run. It is so bad that I have to stop. Fo me it does go away after a few minutes of stopping. It feels like I have hives--all over rmy butt and thights but there is nothing there.  I believe it is an allergic reaction because now I just take a short term antihistamine-like Chlortimetron- prior to my workouts  and I don't get the itch. I have no itch on the eliptical-I wish I new why. Maybe it means it is not as intense of a workout?  I wish I new.  I thought I read once that it was an allery to lactic acid or something. Will have to look that up again.  basically it is an allergy to exercise!! We have a great excuse!!  lol  We just have to take a pill before working out.  That is better to do than to get the"itch".  ml

kemper michigan, Community Member
5/15/11 8:16pm

i also have this issue going to allergy dr. in the am hope i can u all some info what i do know is its called chronic urticaria look it up its me to a T. i cant walk a full block outside without itch hives crying it sucks Cry


Kristen MacKaye, Community Member
4/10/11 2:35pm

Mine sounds the same as you. Only with vibration! Running, jets on hot tubs, what someone else said re: bumpy roads while bike riding...mine goes away with the running if I do it every day for about 1-2 weeks. If I stop for more than 2 weeks (even if I'm exercising another way) it comes back. It is NOT allergies to clothing, soaps, etc. It is not due to being out of shape. It is something to do with the pounding/vibration. Must be circulatory. Has happened since I was 14. My brother has it, too, but not as bad! Butt, thighs, waist, and arms...

enjay, Community Member
5/ 1/11 3:20am

i totally agree with your comments. it has to do with vibration/pounding of the body (as a result of bouncing up and down) during running or outdoor jogging as opposed to using a treadmill.  I also notice that when you use some of these machines for vibrating the abdominals, you have the same itching expirience. Also when you expirience any undue vibration in a bumpy ride, you get the same itching in your abdomen and tighs. Why i tend to agree more with this is that when you jog or run on a treadmill you do not have this itching even if you burn more calories or do more intensive running on the treadmill.

THE BASIC DIFFERENCE IN JOGGING ON A TREADMILL AND jogging outside is the body as a result of bouncing up and down during outdoor jogging 


It may be circularory yes. But i once read sometime ago that it has to do with production of a certian kind of acid during quick metablosim when you engage in such activities.


whatever , i am sure it has to do with body vibrations no matter how it is generated.

Sung, Community Member
11/15/11 4:40pm

I get this also due to walking out in the cold weather or from jet stream of hot tub.

I generally get the itch on the thighs, buttocks, and even the waist line where my briefs are pressing against the skin. My theory is that the cause is a combination of dry skin being irritated by skin vibrating and exacerbated by rubbing against the clothing. I generally only get it during cold weather...but not in hot weather. Hence the dry skin issue. 


What has helped so far is to put on lots of lotion to my entire body before doing any exercise. I recommend Aveeno as it works very well. Also next week I am going to try wearing spandex while jogging to minimize any rubbing of the legs with the pants. 

Kathryn E., Community Member
5/18/11 9:19am

It is totally vibration-related because I get it in hot tubs too.

n_ebel, Community Member
7/ 6/11 5:29am

Sounds like allergy to me..(which is a circulatory "problem")

Physical Urticaria:

Physical urticaria: Hives caused by direct physical stimulation of the skin -- for example, cold, heat, sun exposure, vibration, pressure, sweating, and exercise. The hives usually occur right where the skin was stimulated and rarely appear elsewhere. Most of the hives appear within one hour after exposure.

(per Web MD)


Treat with second generation antihistamines (see my earlier post)..

ddful, Community Member
7/19/11 2:33pm

I have the exact same problem.  I work out on the eliptical 3-4/ a week, have a lot of muscle mass from years of power yoga and biking.  I feel that I am in pretty good shape and that my body is used to exercise.  The itching comes from biking off trail (bumpy surfaces, or running, and even walking sometimes.) It also comes from jets in hot tubs, vibration...


Doctors have never had a clue about what to do, and they have suggested claratin, but I don't take meds uncessarily.  There is something here undiagnosed that is clearly affecting more people than we know.

Rocky, Community Member
11/13/11 8:22pm

I have the exact issue.  Itching caused/brought on by:





swimming to long in a pool


I am only just rcently concerned as this time after a run in +4 degree weather (Canada) the itching was crazy - I couldnt stop, and well now I am totally bruised where I was scratching!


Have you experienced this?

MeToo, Community Member
1/19/12 12:20am

I don't like the idea of taking meds everytime I go exercising. There is a great product I use for seasonal allergies called Quercitin ; it is Vitamin C with a bioflavanoid called "Quercitin". I take two of these 2-3 times a day as needed and my histaminic responses to the allergens disappear. I feel great because I'm not taking manufactured, synthetic medicine. It's from food. Get at any nutrition place.


I think I will try this before running. Mine only occurs *outside* as well ~ this is an even stranger thought to me. It does seem to come out upon strong strides when I am pounding the pavement with a good intensity. Almost like the itch and the pounding are happening at the same time. So the theory about the vibrating/pounding rings a bell with me. Could it also be allergens in the air, like pollutants, pollen, etc. attributing to the urticaria?

alixandrea, Community Member
8/ 6/11 10:17pm

Hi! I have the same same problem! I think it is circulatory to because it happens in tubs with the jets to! How do you get rid of it? I really want to run and I cant handle this itching it makes me crazy in the head ! Do you just push through it and try and run everyday and it goes away? tell me your secret!



maggieo, Community Member
8/27/11 8:00am

I stopped running for 3 months, went out for a run today and it was worse than ever!! my legs are beat red, only got a about a quarter mile and had to stop. I hear if your consistent it will go away. How long does it usually take to stoP?

Kay, Community Member
9/29/11 4:06pm

Thank u very much. this is head on.

Peanut, Community Member
12/ 8/11 3:07pm

Same here!!! I notice this happens to me with vibration as well!!! It's worse during extreme temps, such as jets pounding on my skin in a HOT tub and the pounding/vibration of my legs while running in COLD weather. I wouldn't say this has anything to do with not being physically fit as I am a competitive road/mtb cyclist and long distance swimmer. I wonder why this happens???

Samantha, Community Member
5/23/13 12:20am

how long did you run for each day to get over it? I get the symptoms about 5 min after running.  Should I continue to try and push through it? Is 15 min a day enough from your experiences?


Thanks for sharing!

Chrissy, Community Member
4/18/11 5:05pm

I also have the same EXACT thing!  I can't stand it...everytime I exercise or try to walk my legs get so itchy and then I get so nauseated I have to stop ;-(  My husband has a harley and it also happens when I ride with him.  I have asked my family doctor and I think he thinks I am crazy.  I was diagnosed years ago with cyclic nutropenia which is a blood disorder but I don't know if this has anything to do with it or not.  Doctors seem so frustrating! 

It makes me feel better that I'm not alone ;-)

Ednutjay, Community Member
5/10/11 5:04am

I have it and have had it since i was in my early teens.

itching around the calves, thighs, waiste or where you have contact with clothing, also when cyclying, or under situtation where you feel vibrations over a period of time.


I am quite healthy, I coach an under eleven football team, run 5k in under 27min and reguarly cycle over 60miles a week. 


it's not to do with being unfit.


to resolve.


1. Take anthistimes 3-4 hours before you run/jog

2. Ensure you run/cycle with no more than a day's break in-between each run or you'll have to take the antihistimes again.

Sharunda, Community Member
9/13/11 9:54am

Wow. This is really crazy. I'm not over weight not that out of shape and i itch so bad.  I don't think any creams can do the trick because it's something within your inner body skin.. I had to stop walking cause it was really bad. My husband thinks i just be putting on.. Glad i looked into this and see it just not me having this problem. Help any one if you can..

nitab, Community Member
1/11/14 4:42pm

I have had this itching condition for at least 6 years now.  I have talked to 3 different doctors and they do not know why I only itch when i walk.  I heard on a talk show once that there is such a thing as being allerge to exercise.  The itching starts in my feet and if I continue to walk, it moves up my legs, buttocks and waist.  It never go past my waist. Sometimes I feel nausea.  I recently found out that I was pre diabetic, and some of the smytoms of diabetes is dry skin,itching and poor blood circulation. This got me to thinking, this might be the reason for this itching condition.  Maybe check to see if you are pre diabetic.  If so, it in the blood.  If the blood is not circulating, this will cause you to itch.  I have decided to investigate and i will post my finding, once I finish my investigation.


Kathryn E., Community Member
5/18/11 9:16am

Absolutely everything you said applies to me.  Especially people (my husband) thinking it is all in my head.  It is bad enough to make me want to cry honestly.  I just returned from a 30-minute no-big-deal walk around the neighborhood with my dog and the itching has reduced to a warm all over burning feeling and now it is subsiding all together.  But my legs are still red.  I am VERY interested to hear what you find out about this.  I have a very athletic husband and three acitve kids and I want to exercise with them!  I tried taking allergy meds before exercise and it doesn't help.

Steph, Community Member
6/27/11 10:14am

I would think that I wrote your message.  Everything you wrote is 100% what I think and how I feel.  I'm very curious about your theory.  Please respond personally.

clacla, Community Member
10/21/12 6:11pm

Hi! I have the exact same problem. Running and any kind of vibration, and I'm not overweight as well but I'm not good at sports. I'm half Jewish (Sephardic from Algeria) and half French, and the only person that I know with this issue.

kct, Community Member
11/ 5/13 4:48pm

I am an African American female and these symptoms ring true with me. The overwhelming itching, the fact that no matter how much I scratch it just makes it hotter and almost angrier, the fact that it feels like it's in my blood, the urge to spit or vomit, and just give up and cry. I lost 50 lbs through diet and exercise and I finally have a healthy bmi and I found that no matter what size I am or how often I work out...if I am outside and the weather is moderately cool to cold...this happens. It totally feels like my thighs and behind (I am a bit bodacious) hate me.

itchyme, Community Member
1/ 7/11 11:08am

Okay, I know the answer! I have it to and have been searching for years. If you do the doesn't itch indoors. Right? Only running right?? Riding the bike- on bumpy surfaces?? the reason being is that the vibrations are causing you to itch. Even if you ever sit in a vibrating chair, or a jet stream in the hot tub. You start to itch. The solution- taking an antihistamine 30 min before running. After a few weeks you'll get in shape and be fine. :)

Mat, Community Member
2/ 6/11 10:58pm

Yeah I have this problem too, found this page googling it trying to find a cure.  This doesn't always happen to me when I run, but when it does it is HELL!  I have found the only thing that works is to get your mind off of it (much easier said then done I know).  When running alone I tend to take a break and let it go away, and let myself forget about it.  Back in high school when I wrestled and played football, I couldn't do that.  So I just ran through it, but it was awful.  I am going to try the antihistamine 30 min. prior to running, hopefully it works...  Good luck to anyone dealing with this, I know it sucks.

ap927, Community Member
4/29/11 2:15pm

It's definitely not soap or the other allergies mentioned above. My sister and I have been dealing with this for many years. I remember once in our early 20s (we are mid and late 30s now) we went for a jog and it got so bad at one point we both sat on the curb and scratched like crazy. Everytime we tried to head home the itching would start again and we'd have to pour our cold bottled water on our thighs to get some relief. When we got back to our apartment, instead of heading inside we went straight to the pool to put our legs in to get some relief. She and I have both dealt with it ever since, but I remembered that day being the worst, the itching was so bad we could hardly get back home. Oh, and I had scratch streaks on my thighs for the next week. We have since found that non-drowsy benadryl (or generic brand) before running helps. We too have always wondered what causes it.

msobama, Community Member
7/ 1/11 10:43pm

ohhhhh my gosh, I just finished doing the Beyonce "Work your body" song and my whole body is itchinggggggggg. I'm not even wearing a lot of clothing! Now I remember why i don't exercise!

Poukie155, Community Member
9/ 5/11 4:40am
I finally found the answer!!!! I last only like 5 minutes Exercising, and I have to stop. Check out this Like for hopefully our answer!!! Plz tell others Cause I know this is the fist time I ever found one That I am hopeful for... I am going to the doctor Tomorrow about it. Plz let me know if this helps!!!! I have had this my whole life! Reply
Kay, Community Member
9/29/11 3:27pm

OMG I weigh 118lb. This is a perfect weight for my body. I have had this for so many years. I hate it. I dont understand it becuase I felt like I was the only one with it. My boyfriend dont understand. He thinks I am just lazy and dont like excersizing becuase one we start walking fast or for long I cant stop itching. its so bad to the point where I scratch my skin and i cry. When i stop i can feel the blood running thru my veins so I thought it was probaly a circulation problem but when I told my doctor about it, he did blood test and told me nothing is wrong with my blood. I asked him if it was "just that i was lazy?" and he said "Yes". so I tried to ignore it and push on but it just gets worse to the point where i cut my skin from scratching. I am so happy to find that there is someone else out there with this problem... so what is it?


rocky, Community Member
12/ 3/11 5:38pm
when u do any type of exorcize and a part of ur body starts to itch it is because you are losing fat or calories in that paticular part of ur body like I just got done dancing and now my stomach itches so meens I'm losing calories or fat in that region of my body :) yay lol and it could also be because of the clothes you wear sometimes and the cold doesn't make it better ps don't scratch it or try not to cause I will get more irritating haha an to help it I'd say u could stop and let it breath for a second so that part of ur bodie could cool down or put cold water on it because that "rash" is heated so it's sort I like a heat rash hope this helps!!!! sincerely -the awsome 12 yr old rocky- Reply
kellie, Community Member
12/25/08 2:26am

OMG!!!!!!!!!!!  I love you people and I love the internet!  Thank you so much for letting me know that it's not just me.  I have a life-long history of running.  I ran very competetively in high school, college and professionally.  In those days I worked out 6 days a week and the longest break I ever took from age 16-24 was about 3 weeks.  I remember experiencing the itching maybe twice in high school and about 3 times in college.  It was EXCRUCIATING and had me wondering whether this was some bizarre psycho-somatic response deeply rooted in the repressed trauma of all of the extreme training I had endured since adolescence (even though I always loved running with a passion)!  Or maybe an undiagnosed allergic response.  I really had no clue.


I stopped competing about a decade ago and nowadays, it happens just about every time I attempt to walk or run outside for a prolonged period.  And, yes, it get worse if you scratch or even just bearly graze your skin.  It's unbearable.  I must say, it does seem to happen more often in winter but doesn't happen when I run on the treadmill indoors.  Go figure!

Alice, Community Member
8/ 9/09 6:15pm

OMG I am so glad to find this! I thought I, my sister, and my mother were the only ones! People laugh and think it is funny but when I am in the throes of an itching session I just want to cut my legs off so they will stop itching. This morning it happened while walking to work and I was crying by the time I got there. I went to the bathroom, ripped my tights off, and scratched until I broke the skin - it feels like the itch is right on your bones!

Kayguidi, Community Member
5/ 4/10 10:51am

Everyone thinks i'm crazy for my "itchy leg syndrome"... but it's really true!! People make fun of me because i hit rub my legs together when I walk to try and Itch them. If I try to run, I will end up on the side of the road crying and scratching. It doesnt happen to me when im on the elliptical though.. just when I walk (even for 20 seconds) and when I attemp to run.

dkettle1971, Community Member
9/30/10 10:00am

OMG! I have the same situation!  I can't walk more then a block or jog but I can work out on the elliptical with no problem!  It's so frustrating- especially when the weather is beautiful and everyone else is outside running and walking!  People laugh at me and my Dr looked at me like I was CRAZY!  and so I thought maybe I was- haha!  One thing that I read is that alpha one can be a factor....I am an alpha one carrier. 


rungurl, Community Member
10/19/09 9:06pm

I am thrilled to know that after at least 10 years of experiencing this excruciating itchiness during any cardio. workouts and 10 years of doctors telling me over and over that it was my laundry soap or stress or dry skin and me knowing that it wasn't any of those things, that finally I have an answer and know that I am not alone.

If you check on Wikipedia, and do a search for 'extreme itchiness during exercise', that it should come up with a known condition, the treatment for which is the use of anithistamines. However, it notes that this condition, untreated, could lead to shock, anaphalaxes and possibly death so I will be going back to, another, doctor with the information in my hands to get more information.

I have noticed that slowly building up my running time, vs. walking time, results in my being able to run longer without the itchiness until eventually it goes away, except in the winter. I run indoors in the winter to avoid the extreme temperature changes.

Answersplease30, Community Member
3/29/10 12:33am

Today after three days of no exercise due to a swollen foot, i went out to take a light 30 minute walk only to return home after 10 minutes in agonising pain due to itchiness all over my legs, torso and upper arms. I have been suffering with this for more than 10 years myself, no matter what level of fitness i'm at. It does as you say, over time with regular exercise take longer to start itching and sometimes doesn't return for sometime. But then, if i get slack even for a couple of days it comes raging back with no mercy.

I identify so much with all these stories, especially yours and thank you for posting this. I'm going to present this and the information i have found to prove to them it's more serious than laundry soap, dry skin or stress.

When i got home, i jumped straight into a freezing cold shower as it's the only thing (aside from stopping the exercise) that eases the itching. I was crying like a 3 year old about it as it feels like there is no solution, but reading this has made me feel better and determined to do something about it instead of just punishing myself thinking it's my fault.

Thank you :)

jinyeatworld, Community Member
5/10/10 9:12pm

This whole itching when sweating thing sucks right! ive found that using thinglike after sun cream and aloe vera gel help! they soothe s and cool the skin! i also try to drink lots of water and eat lots of Brazil nuts as they have lots of essential oils and try to eat as much oily fish as i can :-)

maria, Community Member
5/25/10 3:48pm

kellie... i know what you mean.. especailly before, with my ex boyfriend, a walk in the park... and it will be like, i got to go home..because it is really itchy!!! i cant take it... sooo hard. and i need to lose weight too.. so i cant do the walking... what a life!!!!

T-Lady, Community Member
1/ 6/11 11:01am

I have this problem also after about a month or two into my running and exercise I noticed that it seems to subside. I just kind of sike my self out and just keep going boy I tell you it is tough to the point were I am crying tears. But I tell myself I have to keep going.

I found the answer!, Community Member
1/ 6/09 12:43am

I found the answer on another website.  I'm so excited!  This condition has prevented me from working out for so long - it's terrible. 


You have to take an antihistimine... It stops your skin from itching when you have an allergic reaction.  You know how you get extra itchy when you have an allergic reaction to something.  I'm assuming something like a non-drowsy Benedryl or something equal would work.   


My itching/scratching episodes would begin as early as 1/4 of a mile and I am in my 30s.  It has been terrible but since I've been taking hydroxizine (for itching) I haven't had an episode yet!  My doctor prescribed hydroxizone for me some time ago and when I saw the advice to take it on a website...I thought  - I have some allergy pills left and decided to try it and it's working!  The itching when walking or running definitely isn't an allergy but it the allergy medication does cure the itching.  I guess its because you do itch like crazy when having an allergic reaction to something and the antihistimine stops the itching.  I've tried everything else so I thought I'd try it and it worked the very first time. 


I have been dealing with this condition for some years now.  I can't believe it.    I was actually back on line looking for the site where I found the info to let everyone know it worked.  I found this in my search for the site and wanted to let you all know.  It really works!  You have to try it... believe me.

Brownshugga, Community Member
4/29/09 2:42pm

Thank you, thank you!!  What is the name of the website??  I dont mind taking the Benadryl..but I want to work out twice a day..this can't be good!  So you've been using cremes and its worked just as well..this is fantastic!!  But how about when you sweat..this doesnt become sticky by using the creme?

FL954, Community Member
10/21/09 8:37am


runnergirl, Community Member
6/ 5/11 1:43am


raebans, Community Member
12/ 3/09 9:15pm

I literally start itching, then crying and swearing at myself. Eventually I have to stop, pull my clothes away from the skin and scratch all over. I will try the antihistamine and be consistent with the exercise. I hate exercise because of this and it is good to know that there are other people who suffer from this.

jbenjimac, Community Member
7/19/10 3:30pm

Thank you!!! I cannot believe that this works. I have struggled with this for years- people assume it is a skin surface itch - when it is a deep tissue itch and SO painful!!! I used to love to run but haven't been able to for years because of the pain. I once scratched so hard I bruised myself.  Thank you all for your replies. I finally feel like less of a freak!  Thank you!!!

jbenjimac, Community Member
7/19/10 3:30pm

Thank you!!! I cannot believe that this works. I have struggled with this for years- people assume it is a skin surface itch - when it is a deep tissue itch and SO painful!!! I used to love to run but haven't been able to for years because of the pain. I once scratched so hard I bruised myself.  Thank you all for your replies. I finally feel like less of a freak!  Thank you!!!

MeToo, Community Member
1/19/12 12:25am

You said it sooo right - it is like a deep tissue itch....that's exactly how it feels. I have left purple scratch marks on the inside of my thighs many times.


It's been awhile since I've run and went again yesterday and the itch wasn't on my thighs this time but upper body! Interesting because it has ALWAYS been on my thighs.



NancyDonahue, Community Member
8/19/10 12:35am

I am so happy to see some of you describe my exact symptoms! It's not laundry soap, lotions, being unfit, or being too fit... it's none of those things. It's not releated to the weather either.

I'm 37 years old and this started happening to me in highschool! I was a track runner and a cheerleader in excellent shape. When I would run laps in PE I would come back with bloody legs from scratching. I would run with my brother and half way through our run I would be crying and sprinting back to the house to rip my clothes off to get into a cold shower. It didnt get better EVER.

I tried using lotions before, not using lotions.. using aloe, and hydrocortizon creams before I left thinking I had to be allergic to something.. wearing shorts thinking it was the heat or cold, wearing pants for the same reasons. I've lived in every climate from the northwest , southwest, north east and southern states and it happens no matter what the heat or humidity factor is.


I was teaching aerobics in my late 20's when someone suggested it was a hystimine issue. She said histimine builds up in your body and when you walk or run outside there is much more impact than inside, and this causes the histimine to break loose in your body causing itching. I dont know how scientific that explination sounded but it was my only possible hope. It did make sense, because if I was consistant and went every single day for a walk or run outside then the reaction would ease up a little bit, but if I slack, I'm right back to crying and sprinting home. I came on here tonight because I just got home from an excruciating walk! the itch came on about a mile and half in, it was so bad I felt like screaming. I sat on a bench for a min, mainly to scratch myself raw... but it slowed down and eased up enough for me to be on my way again... then another block later it built back up to horrifying painful itch.


I think I"m going to try taking a swig of benedryll before I leave the house. I would rather not put that poison in my body daily, but maybe after a few days the histimine build up in my system will subside.  I hope my story helps some of you, because I know your pain!


ps23, Community Member
1/18/11 9:41pm

wow!!! i feel the same as you!!!

this is crazy! I thought it was my imagination but I will try it too.Laughing

qttpie2002, Community Member
11/ 2/10 8:46pm

OMG! Thank you so much. You are the only person that posted a solution to the itching problem, durin excerise It is profound how many just want to babble about the problem and forget to post solution.  thanks so much. I take benodryl before I excercise

lilbresh, Community Member
1/ 8/09 10:04am

Here is another possible cause . The cure, consistancy. Wink



"Itchy skin usually occurs during exercise performed after a long period of inactivity. The itching is not on the skin, it's inside the actual limbs. There are millions of tiny capillaries and arteries inside our muscles which expand rapidly due to the demand for more blood that is brought on by exercise. When fit, these capillaries remain open allowing maximum blood passage, but when unfit and inactive they tend to collapse, allowing only minimal blood passage (which is sufficient for a sedentary person however). The rapid expansion of these vessels causes adjacent nerves to send impulses back to the brain which are interpreted as an itch. That's why after a few sessions the sensation tends to go away. Just another indication of increasing fitness levels."

me, Community Member
5/ 8/09 4:23pm

I agree %100. I have the same problem everytime I start working out ( especiall running or walking fast) after I have stopped. It takes 2 or 3 times of running to get over it. So I prefer treadmill at home to start instead of itching like crazy in the middle of the street.

Apothecarian, Community Member
11/ 8/09 1:58pm

I hate to say this but, Wow! Finally, other people who experience the same thing! Mine goes away after two or three consecutive workouts. I think it's the accumulation of fragile mast cells after a period of inactivity. Mast cells release histamine when lysed (broken/dissolved), for example, during an allergic reaction, and histamines make you itch. 

jbrown, Community Member
1/ 2/12 12:03am

This happened to me this evening and has happened a few times before. I thought it mighgt have had something to do with blood flow. I literally was using my key card to scratch my thighs while walking then I got home and jumped in the shower super fast. So glad i'm not the only one!!!


JCG, Community Member
1/11/13 11:31am

i am a 40's male...i have not worked out for 3 months due to a scheduling conflict...i started back this month and got the itchy red bumps on my thighs, neck, upper chest, and inside my arms...looks terrible...people at the gym probably think i am contagious...previously i had worked out vigorously for more than a year and never experienced it...on some occasions i can leave my warm office and walk into the cold air and break out and start itching...this always goes away after 20- 30 minutes...the shower after the workout seems to alleviate it some until it goes away...sounding familiar?

Errol, Community Member
8/ 7/12 9:51am

Its amazing that you could think of something so absurd, look it up and other people experience it as well. I agree with the answers about the cells. I am pretty routine with exercise, but there are times when I wont run or do cardio for as little as two weeks when I will experience the itching. I feel it in my stomach and love handle area, so i think that is where fat stores up a little which is where those cells are most effected. In my experience, after 1 to 2 times running on the treadmill the itch goes away.

pandjos, Community Member
11/12/13 8:30pm

This is amazing! I cant believe so many other people are going through the same thing as me. This itching is so intense that I almost feel like I'm going to stop breathing. I will contniue to run at least 3 days a week consistently to avoid this craziness!!! I went running about 3 hours ago and my body still itches. The shower helped some. I just took some benadryl to help the rest.

Apothecarian, Community Member
11/ 8/09 2:01pm

I hate to say this but, Wow! Finally, other people who experience the same thing! Mine goes away after two or three consecutive workouts. I think it's the accumulation of fragile mast cells after a period of inactivity. Mast cells release histamine when lysed (broken/dissolved), for example, during an allergic reaction, and histamines make you itch. 

Leigh, Community Member
8/21/12 8:54am

I have the same problem. I walk 3 mph on the treadmill and my thighs itch like crazy. I just got done on the treadmill and I have scrathed my thighs to My thighs are so red I just put lotion on them and I am strecthing my legs out which makes them feel somewhat better. I am glad to hear I am not the only one.

scoobydee, Community Member
7/ 4/09 3:46pm

I have had this problem most of my adult life.  I am former college track athlete who worked out or  competed 6 days a week.  It only happened and happens when I walk or run outside.  I can run walk and jump rope indoors with no problem. 


Consistancy has not been a problem. 

parisfrance, Community Member
1/31/10 1:15am

I can't tell you all how happy and hopeful I am to find these posts. I ran Track in high school and college. I was once ranked in the US in my event. I remember suffering the itching on an off during my younger years, but I didn't seem to be that bad. The itching would go away after about a mile. By then, I'd warmed up and started to sweat. It is true but for some reason if you can withstand the discomfort it does ease up. I have also had periods of inactivity. The itching is always more intense when I am out of shape. My friends don't understand my problem. It's plagued me for so long I thought I was a freak. I've tried to explain this to my doctor's and have not had any help. I thought I'd give the internet another try. Reading these posts make me feel so much better. I know I'm not alone. I want to run again and hopefully train for Masters Track. I'm going to try using the antihistmine. I have hope!

Creeper, Community Member
7/28/09 5:37pm

BAM. That sounds about right. Inactivity. I just recently started doing cardio and it itches, and its true, its not on the OUTSIDE of the skin, its on the inside, cos no matter how much i scratch it, it doesnt go away and i dont feel like im even getting to that itch even if im scratching that part of my body.

Kp-lovesjb, Community Member
1/18/12 5:51pm

Hi im kristina the same exact things happen to me during basketball my stomach itches during runnning and i have been playing 3 years this year it started happening im in 8th  grade and i always scratch but it never goes away what do i do??

dcerv, Community Member
4/11/12 12:16pm

I have had this problem as well since I was in junior high and never knew why it happened.  I have always wanted to run a half marathon (and eventually a full marathon), but the itching impeded me from doing so.  I finally consulted my doctor and she recommended that I take an antihistamine for two weeks before I started training.  The first few days, I would itch a little bit, but it wasn't as bad as before. Now I barely notice it.  For me, the antihistamine worked wonders. 

NR, Community Member
2/19/13 8:02am

What kind of antihistamine did you take? Some people tells me to take it 30 minutes before running...There are many choices of antihistamine...Please help me....

Funcurlyreds, Community Member
8/18/09 2:56pm

This is the best and most logical response yet for my case. It makes perfect sense except it usually just happens to my hands - often at night I lose circulation in my hands while sleeping. I wonder if this is related?

pallamalady, Community Member
8/31/09 10:55am

If it's just inconsistency, wonder why it doesn't happen for some of us when we exercize indoors? Seems like the capillaries would have the same reaction no matter where the activity occurs.

datgal, Community Member
5/18/10 1:11pm

I am also surprised that so many people have this issue.  It happens to me with running also but only after periods of inactivity it is the worst feeling and it makes me want to stop.  But I notice when I am consistent with activity it stops.  But it also confuses me because it happens with outside running or walking.  When I do aerobic classes or indoor exercise it does not happen.

shorty500448, Community Member
6/26/12 4:37pm

The difference between indoors and outdoors may just be temperature....normally someone would go for a run outside when it was hot and indoors might be cooler....I found this on another website. it may be helpful


if you only notice itchy legs while running in cooler temperatures, you might have a condition known as "cold urticaria," or an allergy to cold temperatures. The symptoms of cold urticaria are quite similar to those of exercise-induced urticaria, including red, itchy hives that spread across the skin. If your hands are uncovered, you might also notice swelling in the hands. People with severe cases of urticaria might develop more serious symptoms, such as chills, racing heartbeat, swelling of the limbs and fainting. According to the Mayo Clinic, the exact cause of cold urticaria is still unclear, as of 2010. Some people simply have allergic reactions to cold temperatures.

Funky, Community Member
12/27/12 5:02pm
It happens to me mainly when I cycle in cooler weather. Then when I get home and start to relax it hits me after a few min. I go crazy. My stomach, feet, arms all start to itch. It takes about 20min to dissapear. Never happens indoors and never when I go swimming. I mainly swim , walk and cycle. It also does not happen if I cycle in warmer weather. I think it has something to do with the difference in external temperature and internal body temperature. Some form of reaction due to shock to the system. Reply
lcampbellsc, Community Member
7/ 2/13 8:45pm

I have only just recently started having this problem.  tonight, since it was so cloudy, I decided to walk (thinkiing it was sun or heat related). it was about 75 degrees and very breezy.  I did happen to take my nightly dose of Zyrtec about 10 mintues before I went out to walk.  Coincidentally, the itching wasn't nearly as bad as it was this past Saturday, in about 85 degrees, mostly in the shade for 10 minutes when it started then.  I was only sweeping the driveway, so I just decided to stop after about 10 minutes of feeling the itching wasn't worth the trouble.  Will try to monitor when it comes on, and under what conditions.  

BetterMustCome, Community Member
7/29/13 11:21pm

I am relieved to find that this is a widespread phenomenon.  It took me to grow up to graduate school age when this first happened to me.  From then, every time I go long without jogging/running or walking fast (doing other types of excercise don't seem to be deterent), the first time I do any such excercise I itch (actually I get an "irritation") so bad that it is torturous.  It starts from inner thighs, goes down the legs and up the glut (no one wants to mention this, but I will) and then on the sides just below the ribs.  Everytime it happens I think "those who like to torture people would be delighted to study and simulate this".  


I have learned that the bes thing is to start exercising gently.  Do a little walk one day, a little more the next day, some jump rope, and then finally get into jogging.  But even with this knowledge I always find that I want to just get back into excercise, and boom .. . it happens!


You cannot be sure that your Zyrtec has anything to do with the reduced itch.  The second exercise being so close to the first could just mean reduced irritation as your body gets back to form - I am embarrassed to learn that I have been often so unfit, but its good to know!

Carol, Community Member
11/20/09 2:46pm

You know, I have noticed that as well. I wan inactive for quite a long time and when I began to exercise again, I started itching after only walking a short distance. I would endure the itch. After walking consistently, every other day, the itching went away. You are absolutely right, Thank YOU! Smile


ladylibra, Community Member
11/27/09 2:48pm

hi im lady libra..and yea this has been a problem my whole life(im25)....and i agree with ur anwser..its an itch from the inside out and yes it's worser n the cold air..i would love ta walk more but dnt bcuz of this condition.....thx yall and like many said i thought i was the only one...

Heather, Community Member
1/11/10 3:39pm

Thank you so much for the info.  It makes so much sense now, even my doctor was clueless. I just finished running and was interrupted by itching on my butt and thighs.  I came home and immediately google this excruciating problem I've been experiencing for 10 years.  I thought it was because of my very dry skin. Now I can tell all of my friends and clueless doctor that I'm not crazy and I'm not the only one experiencing this. Thank you for sharing.Laughing

NancyDonahue, Community Member
8/19/10 12:50am

This explaination could be an answer for me... even though I'm very active and have been my whole life.. I was the only highschool track runner with bloody legs and tear stained cheeks by the end of practice...  


I'm wondering if this explaination does still apply to me... it was the blood passage etc that really caught my eye. I may ask my doctor if it could be related to my low blood pressure.  I've always had extremely low blood pressure... like super athlete low even when I'm not regular in my exercize. maybe maybe???

MeToo, Community Member
1/19/12 12:00am

Me Too - low blood pressure AND it only happens outside..........

Julesroolz, Community Member
1/ 4/13 9:41am
I never made the connection with low blood pressure before but this really makes sense. I have had this problem for about ten years. It first happened when I was 25 -you guessed it after a period of inactivity in cold weather outside. I have always been very active but this decreased after I bought a car. I have quite low blood pressure and a lowish relating heart rate (60bpm). Makes sense that my blood vessels are. Therefore not stretched unless I'm doing some cv work and a burst of exercise after inactivity might cause this reaction.... Reply
holyroly, Community Member
11/27/10 8:16pm

all i know is that i am fit in good health and always have been, but since jr high i have had the problem, but not with my legs its my entire upper itches insanly when i workout or even a small task that makes my blood pump or gets me heated up anyways i have never tried a cream or pills so here goes, and thanks for all the ideas people

Nikgirl, Community Member
4/24/12 10:34pm
Omg! I itch rather I'm workingout indoor or outdoor, walking, running, or doing aerobics and even Zumba... The itching is so intense I have to stop. I do not like working out because I hate the itchy feeling that makes me feel very uncomfortable. I have to jump in the shower immediately because of the discomfort, but I am please to know that I am not the only one that is having this issue. I use to be active in dance, but have become lazy over the years. I tried walking in the mornings, but the itching just made me not want to work out. Reply
Sukey123, Community Member
8/25/12 7:21am
I cannot believe I found this site. I have had this problem since I was very young. I also have low blood pressure, and it is worse in colder weather. It sometimes itch my thighs and butt so hard I get broken capillaries right under the skin. It is excrutiating. I now take an antihistamine before I walk or play outdoor tennis and it helps. Reply
blaze, Community Member
8/28/12 7:51am
well ... This is refreshing :) finding individuals with this strange issue - and an embarrassing one too - as the itch is not selective where is wants to travel ... THANK YOU all who have contributed especially the first answer - as for me I can adopt that philosophy for my problem ... Suppose that's the answer then - don't let your body slip - keep it toned! Like many, do find it specific to walking and running - possibly because we are pounding the ground and vibrating those blood cells ... I find it gets me very very irritable - kind of a time not to be crossed :/ and I have to talk my way through it, otherwise I'd scream out! ... Upside - it does subside once you get back into the swing of your exercise (sorry for those who still suffer) ... Reply
bigredd_81, Community Member
9/10/12 10:29am

The first time this happened to me I was 13 years old and I went on a 3 mile walk with my family. I was not used to this level of exercise, (only regular kid activity). I stopped, cried and my sister and I met the rest the rest of the family later. Through the years I gained a lot of weight, and when I finally decided to lose weight I began walking. The first 10-20 minutes of my workout burned/itched like *$&@. After a few workouts like everyone has stated on this site, it went away. Long story short, through years of weightloss and weightgain, whenever I begin  to walk/run again I have the same excruciating pain, I actually expect it. Rapid expansion of vessels due to inactivity is the best explaination for my itch/burn. Moral of the story: Stay active!



whirleegig, Community Member
12/ 6/12 10:14am

This is all true but being sedantary is not the only possible cause. There are medical conditions that cause circulatory trouble like hypothyroidism or diabetes.

Roanty, Community Member
12/12/12 3:56pm
Thank u sooo much for that descriptive & comprehensive explanation. It was GREAT! I love gaining an accurate understanding of things. What u provided was quite superb :-). Greatly appreciated!! Reply
tony, Community Member
10/ 9/13 7:45am

i also itch like crazy when i work out or if i lift something heavy also i really itch on my legs alot when i lay down anyone know why? @ my wits end with this please help

Karen, Community Member
1/14/09 3:13pm

I started having this in college whenever I would workout or walk outside briskly, especially in the winter. It took nearly 7 years to diagnose and most of it I had to do on my own through trial and error. I had never had an allergy before at all and I loved to workout. I went to many doctors who were completely stumped by it. One doctor, once he found out I was an MDiv student at a seminary, even told me that I "God was giving this to me to teach me something." I couldn't believe I had to pay the co-pay for that! Finally, I started taking benedryl prior to a workout, and it worked, but made me very sleepy, so I had to start running at night so I could sleep afterward. I didnt like this, so I finally found a new doctor and took him all my findings and he diagnosed me with an exercise allergy that manifests in itchy legs and feet, which then moves to my torso, neck and arms over time. He put me on Zyrtek and I've been using that ever since. That was 7 years ago, and I only have trouble if I forget to take my Zyrtek for 2 days or more. I've been able to workout and even have a personal trainer now. 

Adam, Community Member
1/18/09 2:35pm

I have always been an athlete, but this is something I have experienced my entire life, ESPECIALLY when I go running.  At a young age, my father told me that I was just out of shape and needed to invest time (and severe itch) into getting my body ready for working out.  Once I put the effort out, the itch began to go away, and I soon became one of the best high school runners in the state and was nationally ranked in college.  However, if I take time off, I am right back to square one, where I look as though I've never worked out before. 


Might I suggest a drug-free method of working your way up to long distances.  Run a quarter mile today, half mile tomorrow, etc.  I feel that when I take long breaks from working out, I have to do this in order to get rid of the itch.  Usually within a week of consistent running, the itch goes away.  This is something I would recommend to anyone with this problem, because this has, and will forever, torment me. 


Perhaps, however, you can avoid the itch all-together by taking the antihistimene until the body is in shape, then get off of it.  What I was excited about was that this didn't stop me from achieving my fitness goals, so YOU CAN BEAT IT.

maggieo, Community Member
8/27/11 8:16am

I agree 100% that it is something that only come after taking time off! This time I took 3 months off due to an injury, the itch seems worse than I ever remember, hoping in a few weeks I'll be passes this. I'll keep you all posted.

good luck

nyc marathon 2012!!

NYoung, Community Member
2/ 6/09 8:08pm

I have had this problem for years and finally went to a doctor and got prescribed allegra which is a non drowsy antihistamine. I take it 60 min before exercise and it works. It is an allergic reaction. I notice in the winter when it is extremely cold sometimes the allegra doesn't cut it and I have to forget exercise all together. I also have to moisturize before I exercise and that helps too. It's weird. I thought I was the only one in the world. My friends laugh when I say I am allergic to exercise but nyone who has experienced this knows it is EXCRUCIATING!!!!!

maria, Community Member
5/25/10 3:59pm

i do agree with you... even going to the mall!!! sometimes i need to go to the fitting room fast!!! so i can scratch!!!! it is really excruciating!!! and im not kidding about this one. i cant take a long romantic walk... imagine that!!! otherwise, i will be telling my date, to scratch me too...!!!!

robert k, Community Member
2/27/09 2:13pm

so i wasnt the only one struggling with this. i had to buy an ipod and then blast the music just to get distracted. when i am able to ignore the initial statges, it goes away after 15mins on the treadmill. i also recomend taking a quick shower before exercising.

Gade49, Community Member
3/ 8/09 6:27pm

I have the same problem. I just tried to work out a few minutes and the itching sensation just jolted into my body. This sucks really bad. The itching is mostly on my chest,stomach,abs, and back big time!

Jenlyn, Community Member
4/14/09 8:41am

Oh geez! I get that too. Abs, butt, thighs, arms. I was always too embarrassed to ask anyone if thats normal. I believe it's the vibration that causes it. The only way to stop it is to force yourself to NOT itch it. It will feel like your skin is on FIRE! But it will calm after a few minutes. I've never been able to keep running though, I always have to stop and do something else or it will come back. That must be really embarrassing during outside sports. I do all my routines at home. I wonder if there is a creme you could apply before hand that would calm it a little.

VICENA, Community Member
6/ 9/09 7:48pm

wow i cant believe it why didnt i try the internet bf laughs at me because he thinks im making this stuff soo glad that im not the only one on this earth. It mostly affects my thighs and butt it itches soo bad that i end up crying. yea crying ! and im 23 so thats pretty embarrassing all together. and then after im done scratching so hard, i leave read marks and strips on my thighs so i cant wear shorts for the next few days...SUX.. thanks every 1 so much for the info im going to try the non drowsy prescriptions and hope that works.

jinyeatworld, Community Member
5/10/10 9:27pm

aloe vera gel or after sun creme should help a little :-)

ct girl, Community Member
7/ 6/09 5:45pm

i seriously thought i was the only person with this problem!  I didn't even know what to type in the computer and I am so glad I am not alone.  I love exersice and do martial arts but when i do too much repetative movement i feel like i have fire ants all over me!

hac17, Community Member
7/ 6/09 9:49pm

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!!!  I am not alone...  also, this is hereditary.. my grandmother had it, i have it and my teenage daughter has it...   


the doctors told me that my body produces too much Histamine...  wish there was a shot for this... i would definitely take it...

MarvM., Community Member
7/15/09 10:31pm

I have the same problem. When I dont run for 2 days or more, the itching usually starts 10min into the run. It starts either on my hips or legs, very random, then eventually the entire body. I tried many things, as said earlier, the key is to constantly exercise. Or take an antihistamine (over the counter is fine like zyrtec or claritin, which ever one works with your body), personally zyrtec is wonderfull, according to my allergist, it stays in the skin for 5 days!.  If you don't like to be on drugs all the time, just take the antihistamine when you start running again, and once you get consitent, go off the pill. Works for me. Hope this helps :)

bj, Community Member
7/22/09 6:14pm

okay I have the answer for you all you must go see you doctor I thing you all have liver problem and you not drnking to much water I know I have the same problem

dont drink coffee for tow weeks or  alcohol and have some chick peas and radish

that will take oil from your liver. in one week or tow you will see diffrent just try it

will work.

ps. please do not take hot shower

    thank you bj

ominousnation, Community Member
7/29/09 7:00pm

Wow! I have this same problem. It drives me INSANE! I feel like I'm going to collapse from the itching alone. My itching is definately not on my skin, it is inside where no amount of scratching can reach. I have to slow way down to get it to stop. I do not excersise often, but when I do, I probably over do it. I have only noticed this when running or high aerobic activity, even on a treadmill. Also, I'm a smoker, and I am pretty sure my circulation isn't the greatest. the previous answer about this being inside the limbs and a reaction to inactivity is spot on. I'm going to try benedryl becuase I don't want to give up. Where there is a will, there has to be a way! Thank you all for having the same unpleasant problem! If not for you, i'd be overwhelmingly frusterated with this extremely uncomfortable issue!!!Wink

barbie, Community Member
8/ 4/09 1:36am

got this from another site...

I experienced this to the point that I could not continue my run so I did a little reasearch. It usually occurs during exercise performed after a long period of inactivity. The itching is not on the skin, it’s inside the actual limbs. There are millions of tiny capillaries and arteries inside our muscles which expand rapidly due to the demand for more blood that is brought on by exercise. When fit, these capillaries remain open allowing maximum blood passage, but when unfit and inactive they tend to collapse, allowing only minimal blood passage (which is sufficient for a sedentary person however). The rapid expansion of these vessels causes adjacent nerves to send impulses back to the brain which are interpreted as an itch. That’s why after a few sessions the sensation tends to go away. Just another indication of increasing fitness levels.

Monica, Community Member
9/14/09 2:06pm

All of these answers say that this should happen after a long period of inactivity. Well, I was a child athlete, then college athlete and now I can not go through one single day without some type of exercise. So in my case the itching is not because I haven't been active - it couldn't be. I'm a poster child for active. 


Also, in addition to my legs and butt I also itch on my belly. I have been unable to find any answers online, and honestly, I'm not interested in drugging myself every time I exercise - that's at least once a day- with benadryl or something else. I don't even take headache medicine...  


I'm starting to wonder whether this is related to the arteries just being too small, and the blood cannot flow freely - not just when exercising though. My father just had a triple bypass surgery on his heart because of a poor blood flow. Perhaps I have the same condition, and all of us who suffer from this itch and ARE ACTIVE might have the same problem. This could translate, at least in the future, to further problems. I might give up on the internet and go to a doctor.  

FatJack, Community Member
12/20/09 10:09am

I exercise a lot also and this has been a problem for me for the last 20 years.  It used to happen just in the dead of winter, but this year it started in October.  Maybe because I was inactive for about two months in the late summer due to an injury??


Anything that gets my blood flowing triggers severe itching in my feet, hands and trunk - not just exercise, even just hustling around the house to get ready for work! I've lowered my thermostats, hooked up humidifiers, slathered in Aveeno oatmeal lotion - even soaked my t-shirt in baby oil before starting a jog.  It all helps a bit, but no real relief.  It is so severe that it has crossed the line from "itching" to "unbearable pain".  I want to get moving again to salvage the ski season, but every work out attempt is thwarted by this condition.  Out of desperation I am going to try the antihistamine route. 

tdawg, Community Member
1/ 7/10 1:29am

Same exact thing.  I cant ski because after a few minutes (it is different every day...) I need to stop to itch.  It is really bad.  This has been happening for the last two years, and last year I was extremely active up until ski season.  This year I wasnt' as active and it is still happening.  It only happens during the winter (Thank god) but it is absolutely rediculous.  I cant stand it.  I feel like a fool stopping the people i go x-country skiing with because I need to itch...

Mitesh, Community Member
11/ 1/09 12:30pm

Doctor tells me it may well be Amalgam Filling causing the itching, it contains small percentage of mercury.


Oh well, I have a blood test tomorrow and dentist check up so lets see what is the real problem.


If not solved, then plan b will be run run run and sweat sweat sweat fight the battle and hope it goes away.


Will update when I find out the answer to this cause its also annoying me.

itch, Community Member
11/ 5/09 8:12am

I told my husband my fat itches when I run. He made fun of me! I am so happy it isnt only me! BTW has anyone noticed it is more the "fatty" places in your body that itch?


I am not overweight by any means but I feel like its the parts of my body which have a higher percent of fat that itch like my inner thighs and love handle areas!


I have allergies so I usually take Benedryl or smthg like that...still happens but not everytime I run only when I havnt for a while.


Also, since I was little I always cured an itch (like an insect bite) with alcohol (not the drink but rubbing alcohol). At my gym they have hand sanitizers in the bathroom so when I itch I go in to the bathroom and runb sanitizer where it is itching. Cures the itch immediatly and ppl just look at me like I am crazy putting alcohol on my red (and I mean bloody red) legs!

hakiss, Community Member
11/ 5/09 1:12pm

OMG! i tut the same thing too. It's the same thing I told my friend, "my fats itch", lol... Isn't it amazing, or is it a mere coincidence???... My abs, love handles, thighs and sides. I have now resolved to walking on the treadmill instead of running. Wel I dint know but the hand sanitizer thing but am sure going to try it today... Thanks and I hope we all get out of this situation for good...Yell


bonnie, Community Member
11/11/09 10:51pm

I itch everywhere! It drives me crazy! From the information I have gathered, the one that makes the most since is that you body is releasing histamines. The best answer I have gotten so far is that I'm itching because I am burning fat! I like that one and I think I will stick with that and take an antihistamine!

runnergirl, Community Member
6/ 5/11 1:57am

Yes I have noticed that it is the more fatty places in your body that itch the most.

Weird. I'm going to figure this puzzle out. I'm going to study this until I figure out what is causing so many people such grief.

Hopefully I can come back with a cure! or the knowledge to help everyone overcome this horrible condition.

gezz, Community Member
11/19/09 1:54am

I am lucky that I can google for this issues. I don't like to treat this by using the medicines. I had this problem about 4 years ago. Here it is very cold outside and has very short summer. I don't usually expieriencing any itching during the summer but during the winter it is alot. When I do some little sit up, vacuming, or lifting weight I've an extreme itching everywhere on the skin(head, face body and legs). Even the temperature is warm enough inside. If I go out and run very fast I will get that crazy itching too. But if I start slow then fast I won't get any itch at all. My dad said that this is because I am out of shape of getting swet and not enough excercise. After a long period of washing away swets then I am pretty sure that it will help. Just to let you know that it is not because of fat. Since I am not fat and I have this issues.

nashieb, Community Member
11/19/09 10:45pm

I've the same prob.its a condition called Cholinergic Urticaria or exercise Urticaria where basicly ur brain mis-inteprets the msg ur body sends when u get warm and instead of sweat , hestamine is released thus causing the itching.You actually do sweatwhen exercising or whatever but ur brain just enjoys screwing with u.

FatJack, Community Member
12/20/09 10:11am

I exercise a lot also and this has been a problem for me for the last 20 years.  It used to happen just in the dead of winter, but this year it started in October.  Maybe because I was inactive for about two months in the late summer due to an injury??


Anything that gets my blood flowing triggers severe itching in my feet, hands and trunk - not just exercise, even just hustling around the house to get ready for work! I've lowered my thermostats, hooked up humidifiers, slathered in Aveeno oatmeal lotion - even soaked my t-shirt in baby oil before starting a jog.  It all helps a bit, but no real relief.  It is so severe that it has crossed the line from "itching" to "unbearable pain".  I want to get moving again to salvage the ski season, but every work out attempt is thwarted by this condition.  Out of desperation I am going to try the antihistamine route. 

Heather70, Community Member
5/ 2/10 4:28pm

I have this also, have had it before but has gotten a LOT worse in the past two years since I moved to another city.  Not sure if it is due to a different climate or allergies.  I also agree with the person who posted that it has to do with poor circulation.  I get it when I wear pantyhose too.


It used to be very sporadic and limited to a certain area (ie: on my outer thigh) and would itch so bad that I would get bruises from scratching so hard.  Now it has spread and I seem to get it "no matter what" - I can't seem to trace it to exercise or wearing pantyhose or anything in particular.  I seem to get a few itchy little patches or bumps at a time, which I scratch until their is a little sore on my skin.  UNfortunately, they take a while to heal and in the meantime I get more so I have sores all over my legs and buttocks.  Have even started to get them on my shins and arms a little, which is bad since summer is coming...


I will try antihistamines as well as increasing my activity gradually.  Can anyone tell me if compression shorts help? Or compression pantyhhose or socks?  Thank-you!!!!

jinyeatworld, Community Member
5/10/10 9:46pm

vitamin A supplements help circulation ive just statted taking them to see if they help?

T-LO, Community Member
12/29/09 4:52pm

OMG!!!!! this is amazing and thank God for the internet. I have this problem and im a perfectly fit specimen of the human race. The last time I ran, the itching became so intense I had to stop running. Let me tell you how perfectly embarrassing it is to walk down the street scratching your abs, sides, back and butt crack. It's horrible, but I can't tell you how refreshing it is to find answers and actually know you are not the only one afflicted with such an embarrassing and annoying condition. I notice my condition is worse in the winter and thus my fitness level tends to drop. Im going to try the antihistamine route. Going to Walgreens as soon as I get off work. Thanks to everyone for your selfless divulgence of such an embarrassing condition. IM NOT THE ONLY ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

T-LO, Community Member
12/29/09 4:54pm

OMG!!!!! this is amazing and thank God for the internet. I have this problem and im a perfectly fit specimen of the human race. The last time I ran, the itching became so intense I had to stop running. Let me tell you how perfectly embarrassing it is to walk down the street scratching your abs, sides, back and butt crack. It's horrible, but I can't tell you how refreshing it is to find answers and actually know you are not the only one afflicted with such an embarrassing and annoying condition. I notice my condition is worse in the winter and thus my fitness level tends to drop. Im going to try the antihistamine route. Going to Walgreens as soon as I get off work. Thanks to everyone for your selfless divulgence of such an embarrassing condition. IM NOT THE ONLY ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Bo, Community Member
1/ 9/10 12:24pm

Ok..the capillaries story. what exactly is the underlying reason for that? Why doesnt it happen to everyone? Doubt its because Im all that unfit. ( But it true that the more you keep at it the lesser the itch. take a weeks break and you are so doomed!).


Anything to do with it being a sign of poor circulation? Honestly this itch stuff is really crappy. Guys dread exercising because it leads to muscle aches and we complain of an itch. Drives me out of my mind!

rainbow, Community Member
1/28/10 1:53am

Also doomed if I dont exercise for a week or so.. and feel fine if I exercise regularly.  Found that wearing exfoliating gloves when about to exercise after a period of inactivity helps with the itch as it seems to get to the itch although I am often red for a while after.. oh and stripping off and scratching behind trees is not a pretty sight either.  will try the antihistamine as having had a baby four months ago I have not been able to exercise much and once I walked briskly and ended up in tears while my bf had to massage my feet wearing the scratchy gloves while I breast fed.  It really is an excruciating itch and yes I always feel it is the fatty bits normally that react the worst.

xtel, Community Member
3/27/10 9:46am

Im so happy for the post also. One thing is for sure ALL of you have 'it'.  Its so hard trying to describe it to somone, the fact that you want to scratch your skin off!  And yes, it IS worse in cold weather, yes it dooeessss go away after 4 or five good days of consecutive running... but does come back if you should take off a couple weeks.  Do you know how hard it is when your doctor acts like you are making it up? He asked me 'does it feel like that right now'? smh.


And it dooeeesss make you want to scratch more on the 'fattiest' places. And the one other thing i noticed, is yea, i do have somewhat poor circulation, and my blood pressure is somewhat low to the point when my vitals are taken, the nurse will ask if i am an athlete?


One other thing i will look into is another poster said something about drinking alchohol.  I dooo notice funny thing when i drink... it must be that it lowers my blood pressure even more and this scratching stuff gets worse!


Thanks for the post all of you because i KNOW how hard it is telling your friends and they dont know what the heck your talking about.

runnergirl, Community Member
6/ 5/11 2:26am

I don't drink alcohol at all, so this isn't a factor for me, but my blood pressure is usually a little low as well, and I do have poor circulation also. Maybe these are contributing factors. I occasionally have low iron levels and a family history of anemia. Maybe blood conditions play a larger role than I initially thought.


MeToo, Community Member
1/19/12 12:34am

I'm with you above. I also have low blood pressure and a tendency toward anemia. Hmmm...

adamgamz, Community Member
2/ 3/10 10:18am

Great to see this thread, I have the exact symptoms. When I have been walking for weeks I'm fine however For the past month or so I haven't been walking, I went out today and itched all over, hamstrings, quads, luv handles, were especially bad, after about 1.5 miles of my 2.5 mile walk the syptoms started going away. I know by the end of the week I won't have this problem anymore, the capalaries theory makes perfect sense!

Itchy-Bitchy, Community Member
2/10/10 6:06am

I have several questions based on the answers posted here:


1) Yes, the fattiest parts of my body are the ones that itch the most, but:

I only get itchy when I run, and NOT when I do ANY OTHER type of excercise (i.e. spinning, step machine, etc.) even if I do it more heavily and for a longer period.




2) If the answer has to do with the reduced sized capillaries in our limbs (as that one site has suggested), then: shouldn't my body itch when my blood is trying to get to the capillaries during other types of exercise too?


3) Someone suggested that it has to do with some kind of vibration, and that's what I feel: that my flab is basically vibrating and that's where the itch comes from (I am not overweight by any means, but I do have flab around my belly, love handles, butt and upper thighs). Anyone with a more scientifically/anatomically-based explanation to this?


4) What kind of doctor should I go to for a consult? A dermatologist seems innapropriate given that-- like a lot of people have described it-- the itchiness seems to come from within, way below the dermis and epidermis.

Should I go to a sports therapist? A blood/circulation doctor (I don't even know how to call these)?


Thank you for all of your contributions.

Noel, Community Member
3/ 7/10 7:52pm

I'm 40, and I've had this itching since I was 16. It's come and gone, and now back with a vengeance. I've consulted both GPs and dermatologists without any real answers. The itching is supremely intense, and takes 20 minutes to go away once I get back home. Does anyone else notice the temperature of their legs? Mine are very cold to the touch. I can't seem to get out walking more than once a week (I have a 3yo boy plus I'm an English teacher with mountains of paper to grade).


I recently read about runners compression wear, in particular CW-X shorts and tights. They say they will help with circulation. But they cost $80. I'm so desperate that I may try these. So, has anyone tried runners compression shorts or tights? I have regular compression tights from getting my veins done last year, but they have more compression at the ankle, and where we need it is the thigh.


Anyone else had their veins done? I've had mine done twice (10 years apart) and they're still not great. It's bad circulation. Probably relates to the itching issue too.

NancyDonahue, Community Member
8/19/10 12:41am

I posted a long post too.. but something caught my eye in your reply. The temperature of your legs. I noticed this too... my skin feels cold. I just got back from a walk, a very very torchurous walk in 98 degree humid texas weather and the skin on my legs feels cold. ...

interesting symptom

julesroolz, Community Member
1/30/11 9:34am

OMG You are sooooo right! I have been thinking exactly the same thing as I've read the posts on here. It only happens with impact exercise like running or if there is a vibration, like on your arms holding handlebars on a bike going over rough terrain. And have you ever tried to go on a Power Plate? Forget it! I think it could kill me from the pain! I don't think it is anything to do with capillaries. It seems to be some sort of histamine release caused by your fatty bits vibrating. On the upside, I have seemed to be able to increase the length of time I run for over time before it starts to occur, but it takes a while to build up.

Winny, Community Member
2/22/10 1:26am

OMG!!! I thought i was d only one suffering from dis. Before i went to see a Doctor, i thought i had one form of disease or d oda. D Doctor adviced dat i take an antihistamine 30 mins before i starting working out. i also tried 2 ignore d itching cos wen i think about it or itch, i end up not doing any exercise at all. D antihistamine really helped.

jan1648, Community Member
2/25/10 5:03pm

I've got that same darn itch that everyone is talking about and although I'm not my fittest, I am not overweight.  I think the capillary info is right on as far as diagnosis, but it's something to do with the vibrations, too.  When I run, I get it worst in the thighs.  When I'm kickboxing, I get it in my arms, particularly after an intense punching session with the heavy bag.


My husband just reminded me that I also get the insane itches when he tries to use a handheld massager on my back.  Itches so much that I end the massage session after about 2 minutes, if I can even stand that!


I'm going to try Zyrtec!  Thanks for everyone's help.

runnergirl, Community Member
6/ 5/11 1:25am

Meeeee tooo! I am totally the same with the vibrations too! What the heck! This is sooo weird! I wish someone knew why the vibrations cause this grief.

Pat, Community Member
3/ 8/10 1:55pm

You guys are the best!  I can't believe I found this site.  My thighs used to itch when I took a walk around the neighborhod but it went away.  Today I was on the treadmill and I was literally screaming out loud I couldn't believe how much I itched all over!!  I'm cringing just thinking about it!  But now I know I'm not crazy and there might be a way to continue to exercise because I don't want to go through that again!

Nishad, Community Member
3/27/10 7:55pm

My god!! I was perfectly healthy till the day I came to UK, that was 2 years ago. From the day I reached in England, I cant work out, rather cant even walk in my normal walking speed. When ever I go somewhere in a hurry, I have to spend quite some time scratching the itches all over my body and then wipe my body with cold water to get ride of it. I cant stand the heater or even a usual sunny day. When I joined the gym, I had to finally stop because I cud nt work for more than 5 minutes due to the itching. I even had to stop swimming in the middle of the pool to scratch.... when ever i go shopping, if its a bit warm inside the shop, i got to run out to cool of my body.. I never had this problem while I was living in middle east. I am going back to my home in middle east in 3 weeks and itching is one factor that made me to decide so... I will let u know if I experience the same over there.. I think the cold temperature here has something to do with it....


i really feel embarrassed to scratch the itching in front of others, but most of the time, there is little i can do about it. anyways, thank you all for letting me know that i am not alone...

Execise itch, Community Member
3/30/10 11:44am

I have the same problem. I've recently tried using Gold Bond anti-itch moisturizing lotion and I haven't had the problem ever since. I apply it all over right before I work out. 

marianxoxo, Community Member
4/ 6/10 10:33pm

im just glad im not the only one with this problem ...for a long time i though i was crazy and i didnt even want to mention it to any one not even my doctor. what concerns me most is HOW TO GET RID OF IT!! cuz its killing me! i want to join my school track team or just be able to go jogging but this itch makes it IMMPOSSIBL!!

marianxoxo, Community Member
4/ 6/10 10:34pm

im just glad im not the only one with this problem ...for a long time i though i was crazy and i didnt even want to mention it to any one not even my doctor. what concerns me most is HOW TO GET RID OF IT!! cuz its killing me! i want to join my school track team or just be able to go jogging but this itch makes it IMMPOSSIBL!!

Av4000, Community Member
4/27/10 7:26pm

I was suffering from the same problem for quite a while until i couldnt take it anymore and went to see my doctor. It was caused by eczema. Eczema, for those who do not know, is a dry skin disorder. When your body heats up your skin gets dry and starts to itch. You wont see it dry up or anything like that but it does. The same thing happens if you get into a hot hot shower sometimes you may itch. Just go to do doctor and ask them to prescribe you Lac-Lotion and put it on about 10 min before you go to work out and you should be good.

malval, Community Member
5/17/10 10:14am

I have the same situation and when the itching starts I feel like slapping the spots which makes it worse.  This problem cause me to start exercise programs and then stop but I finally found a solution.  The itching although very bad does not last forever.  I find when the itching starts, dont stop your exercise.  If you are walking fast and then move into a light jog it will intensify but will end quicker.  You will find the areas that are itching starts getting very hot but after a while it really ends.  I suggest that you use earphones or even have a friend with you - anything that will keep your mind from concentrating too much on the itch.  Once your work out is complete you will find you'll feel better.  Bear in mind you may have to complete this exercise at least three more times, depending on the intensity, before it finally goes.  Dont quit exercising for more that 2 weeks as it will come back.

justwannahelp, Community Member
5/23/10 4:28pm

Ok everybody wants to know why this is a problem it is because you have a medium or high metabolism and when you exercise your pores start to open and makes you have an itching sensation that just seems to spread around your body its better to do maybe a pre run or just warm up so that your pores will open up slowly and naturaly before they open too fast or it will itch like nobodys business again.

Anastacea, Community Member
6/17/10 4:57pm

Symptoms: When you start running, you feel an itchy sensation that is sometimes so bad, you have to stop running. It most often occurs if you run after a long period of inactivity.

If the itching is accompanied by a rash, it might be a different condition, such as exercise-induced anaphylaxis (see Embarrassing Running Problem #6).

Causes: The most common cause of itchy legs is actually because of what's happening inside the skin, not on it. When we exercise, the millions of tiny capillaries and arteries inside our muscles expand rapidly because of the demand for more blood. If we're fit, these capillaries remain open allowing maximum blood passage, but, when unfit and inactive, they tend to collapse, allowing only minimal blood passage (which, by the way, is fine for a sedentary person). The expansion of the capillaries causes adjacent nerves to send impulses to the brain, which then reads the sensation as an itch.

Prevention: The problem should go away once you have increased your fitness level.

Dry skin is also a common cause of itchiness, so if you think that's your issue, try using a moisturizing oil or lotion, especially after your bath or shower. You may also want to change your laundry detergent to one that contains no perfumes or dyes.


Tasha, Community Member
7/11/10 8:01pm

 I am very active and I still itch like crazy. My trainer looks at me and shakes his head, he said that none of his other clients have this issue but me. I was recently diaganosed with asthma and got a sports induced pump. I see a diffrence also my doctor put me on singular. I'm still itching some but not nearly as much as before. She told me that the allergy I have is hard to catch but the medication would help.

Audrey, Community Member
7/21/10 2:09pm

Several members of my family including myself have this, and I take a Claritin at least 2 hrs before I know I am going to exercise, or 1x daily and then it is constantly in your system.  I never have a problem when I do this. If you don't take one daily you have to take it at least 2 hrs prior to exercise.  It is called cholenergic uticaria. 


cmarie, Community Member
7/24/10 9:56am

Wow, I can't believe how many people have this.


But my problem is not only when I excercise, oh and yes fattiest parts are worse and now I am way out of shape after 2 years of this.


 But my problem occurs whenever my mentrual cyle is due and last at least 2 days into it.  I am startig to think it is not just hormonal, as it is during that time, but now due to being out of shape.


 I am a retired Marine and it was not until I ceased exercise about 4 years ago due to pain and then gained weight that this began.


 Unfortunatley nothing seems to work during the hormonal fluxuation, the doctor wants to try putting be back on birth control to regulate hormones.  I hope that works.  I can deal with the itching at exercise with the antihistamines, I just have to remember to take them.


 I am so glad to fine others with a similar problem.  But have any of the ladies had this come on wiht a mentrual cycle?

jbenjimac, Community Member
8/ 2/10 1:32pm

Ok- so this happens when I sit in a hot tub with the jets on- or have a massage with a vibrating massager. I think it is related to the vibrations.  I am 5ft 2in and I weigh 125lbs. I am not fit  but I am not unfit.  The antihistamines have not worked yet.  It is crazy.  I might try a different anthistamine- benadryl doesn't work.

edgyveggie, Community Member
8/28/10 9:03am

I am so glad I found this, I have been dealing with this for years and I just got off the treadmill and decided to google it.  I find that it is worse in the cold, but I live in Florida, so it is not cold here, but I do notice my skin feels cold.  It is almost as if its the different temperatures that cause it.  Cause when I walk outside when its warm it does not happen.  I am going to try and making sure my skin feels warm to the touch (if I have to take a warm shower before I run I will).  I am not likely to take medication to fix this.  Hopefully I can find another route or just deal with it.

mw, Community Member
10/20/10 2:16am

I had this problem, and infact it looks like it is covered here Actually i ran through it aswell, as they suggest here, and it did go pretty quick. The first few times though, i was ready to stop running altogether!

healthtest, Community Member
10/29/10 7:10am

Hi Everyone,

Little bit about my experience with this. I'm a on again off again jogger. When ever I start up again I would noticed itching on my butt and areas on my back and sometimes stomach.

Well I just moved and for some reason though I would you extra laundry soap to get a "fresh" start at the new place and have all my clothes super clean. When I jogged after this the itching was utterly painful, made me nauseous.

I also had these little sores. I was convinced I had bed begs in the new place or something. Well my landlady was really nice and had an exterminator out. He looked around the place and could not find any evidence of bugs so then I showed him my "bites."

Without hesitation he said that looks like an allergic reaction to me and not beg bug bites. He told me to try a different laundry soap. I had been using Purex. So I went to the organic section of the grocery store and bought and organic laundry soap.  No more problems. I can now jog, or not when I'm lazy, and then start again and no more itching. It's not just a matter of switching to from Purex to Tide or something like that. You have to go organic sections and find something.

All those years of suffering and itching for no reason. Chemicals in the Purex laundry soap were the problem. This has really opened my eyes to what kind of products I buy now. (I've also switching to an all natural deodorant, dishing washing soap, dishwasher detergent, etc).

Large corporations want to make big profits only and they don't care if they poison you.

Anyway hope this helps.



healthtest, Community Member
10/29/10 7:15am

Sorry for the typos above. Third sentence should read ...thought I would try using extra laundry soap...


Moderator would you please fix this?



preVenger, Community Member
11/23/10 4:52pm

I have some different thoughts on this. All the theories are sound...but some of the data doesnt support it. For instance, the theory that it is a sweat-induced condition and that the body mistakenly releases histamine? Yet, most people indicate that other forms of exercise (even sweaty ones, like spinning) cause no itching. So, that cant be it. The theory about the collapsed capillaries seems like a good explanation, as well. But again, it should happen during all strenuous exercise...not just running...and not just outside...and not just when it's cooler out.

I just recently purchased a vibration plate. My God! The itching was so severe that I was twitching. I was nauseous with the itch sensation. It was the same itch that I had when I was allergic to an anti-seizure med (just my legs itched...and there was no relief) I itched my legs bloody. I cried at night because the itch was so bad. Anyway, I digress, my point is that it is the SAME insatiable itch.

So, in doing some more research... it seems that vibration is the key to the problem. Running creates vibration. Treadmills usually have some type of impact resistance, so that might explain why the treadmill runners dont itch. Running outside would create more of an impact. And, cooler weather causes pores to close up...which is why itching might be worse in the cooler weather.

Let's get down to the science here - My vibration plate causes SEVERE exercise itch in the areas that are closes to the vibration. 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. It makes perfect sense that 50hz of vibration can literally vibrate crap out from between cells. The body releases its defense mechanism - histamine. And yes, after only a few days, the itching is much much less because the cells are free of toxins (until you load them back up again Laughing )

Another proof of this - I had a body wrap last year. They wrap you up like a mummy in ace bandages, spoon warm water over the bandages, and then rubber band plastic bags to your hands and feet to collect the draining liquid and then they stand you on a vibration plate. The stuff that comes out of your pores and collects in these bags is horribly disgusting! Greyish brown. Just thinking about it is making me a little queasy.

I also agree that a good portion of us here might not drink enough fluids? I am never thirsty. I have to force myself to drink. Any of you itchers not getting enough fluids? You can bet that I drink a bottle of water after I vibrate. Just like after a need to flush the newly released toxins from your system.

I dont think I have solved anyone's problem, but maybe have added something new to think about 

jose, Community Member
11/25/10 9:20am

Best explanation so far, thank you for this.

preVenger, Community Member
11/25/10 10:51am

Thought I might add one more note - I am not a seasonal allergy sufferer and never have been and am not allergic to anything (except that one med). No one in my family has allergies. The allergic reaction that I refer to in my post was from a medication that I was trying as a migraine preventative. It did not prevent migraines for me AND the side effects were unbearable. I am no longer on any medications.

ITCHY2, Community Member
12/ 9/10 1:06pm

This explanation makes complete sense to me, thank you for your insight. I and my children have suffered from this terrible condition and no one seems to believe or understand. The vibration thing would make sense as these vibrating chair massagers also cause me to itch. Thanks!!

Harley girl, Community Member
1/29/11 5:43pm

Your explanation helps because my itching is due to vibration from the motorcycle seat I am leaning against when I ride with my husband. After about 3 minutes, I am clawing at my back to scratch it.  I feel nauseous, light headed and just irritable.  It takes about 15-20 minutes to get over this.  We had no idea the new, more comfortable seat would create such vibration.  I will try the antihistamine.  I have also had this same problem during a massage when an area of my back was rubbed too long. 

julesroolz, Community Member
1/30/11 9:41am

You are brilliant! That is the best explanation I have found in several years of looking! It totally makes sense to me and fits all my symptoms! Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Brown Bear, Community Member
1/ 1/11 8:00am

I workout every day on an elliptical or stationary bike and not in bad shape.  Started running today and had that unbearable itch.  This is what I found (forgive my spelling).  As I understand once we get used to a new exercise (i.e running again) it will stop.


When you exercise the capillaries need to expand to allow more blood to flow throughout your body. The nerves around these expanding capillaries send an impulse to the brain that is interpreted as an itch. The more you exercise the less you will feel this sensation as your capillaries remain open. After a few workouts you should stop having itchy legs while running.

JDA2187, Community Member
1/ 4/11 2:47pm


OMG! This has been happening to me for years. I always ask other's that are slightly over weight if it happens to them and they say no. It doesn't last long, for me like a week or two and then it goes away. If I haven't worked out or don't walk long distances for a long time, and walk or work out my body get a very intense itch like feeling. In the past, I would scratch it and it would only get worst. Now, I ignore it and push through it. I just try to work out everyday until it goes away. It's the weirdest thing. I mostly find that the "itch" feeling seem to only be in the "fatty" like areas on my body like my buttocks, legs, and back. So glad I found this website because I plan on trying some of these remedies to relieve the sensation. Laughing


GT, Community Member
4/ 5/11 3:14pm

One Zyrtec before running does the trick.  Happy to say I'm no longer on the sidelines watching all my friends run wishing I could run with them.  Started running again last week and loving it!  Sore like you wouldn't believe it, but loving it none the less!  Once the capillaries open the zyrtec is no longer needed.  However, you may want to keep it close in case you miss a few days. 

jj, Community Member
1/10/13 4:03am

yes so many ppl on here gettin itchy lol, yes im just gettin back in2 the running and my hands and back get so itchy , just push through and keep working out and it will go away.

allbetter, Community Member
1/ 5/11 1:49pm

So I have/had this same problem and doctors couldn't give me an answer. About a year ago I hooked up with a nutritionist and went on a special cleanse. I could still eat solid food but I had to cut out dairy wheat and red meat. The "cleanse" came with a shake I had every morning along with herbal pills. When I completed the 3 weeks I got on the treadmill and no more itching. It felt so good to run again. I think the itching is our body's way of telling us we are too over loaded with processed foods. The cleanse was by Standard Process, but I am sure any cleanse would work. Good Luck!

davee, Community Member
1/ 8/11 5:10pm

Hi guys and girls....I too have developed this same problem over the past few months. Extreme itching during exercise or during other strenous/stressful situations. The doctor prescribed me some antihistamine and it didnt really help...


Here's something to try though, at least it worked for me....


I got a full body scrub at a korean spa (no not the kind of place with happy ending) and it has pretty much solved the problem. I'm no doctor, but it must have cleared my pores or something..allowing whatever it is we are "realeasing" to be released normally and without the horrible "itch".


If you cant make it to a korean spa at least try getting some heavy duty exfoliating mitts/pads and give yourself a good scrub down in the shower a couple times. I know this sounds too simple to be true but it has helped me tremendously.


Good luck everyone..

mblank, Community Member
1/19/11 2:29pm

I have had this problem for along time too. I figured out that if I havn't walked or exercised for a period of time, then start out again is when it is worse. So I just started walking again but start off at only about a 1/4 mile, then the next day build myself up to 1/2, 3/4 and so on. Then if Im consistant and walk regulary it gets way better. Good luck to all of you, I know it can be torture!!

julesroolz, Community Member
1/30/11 9:23am

Hi, I just wanted to say that I've had this problem for 13 years. I was very active at school and in my early twenties. The first time I had an 'attack' was when I was playing football with my son on a cold day, I was 24. I didn't know what it was but it was just after I had bought a car and so had become less active than before. It is definitely worse if you haven't exercised for a while.


It seems to be caused by impact. I can go on the cross trainer for ages and push myself hard with no itching, or just a little itching around my torso if my clothes are rubbing a little. If I go on the treadmill I cannot normally run for more than 2 minutes. Once I tried to run through it and made myself feel so sick from the itching I could not go back to exercise for 3 weeks. I would not advise trying to run through it in one session, but I have managed to increase the length of time I can run for gradually, over time.


At one stage I could not walk to work in the winter without stopping every 2 minutes to get a break from the discomfort. At this time I tried antihistamines as I really couldn't cope with it and I just got blank looks from doctors. The antihistamines worked sometimes but not always. I actually developed a fear of having to walk anywhere in the cold because it would get so bad.


It is a lot better now and that seems to be the result of building up my resistance to it over time. I can even walk in the cold without worrying too much. The only thing I can't do (weirdly) is wear jeans and walk in the cold. There is something about the material that seems to bring it on - or at least I haven't tried for a while, I'm too scared of it!


Not sure if this helps people. It has definitely helped me to read other peoples posts on the site.

julesroolz, Community Member
1/30/11 9:25am

Hi, I just wanted to say that I've had this problem for 13 years. I was very active at school and in my early twenties. The first time I had an 'attack' was when I was playing football with my son on a cold day, I was 24. I didn't know what it was but it was just after I had bought a car and so had become less active than before. It is definitely worse if you haven't exercised for a while.


It seems to be caused by impact. I can go on the cross trainer for ages and push myself hard with no itching, or just a little itching around my torso if my clothes are rubbing a little. If I go on the treadmill I cannot normally run for more than 2 minutes. Once I tried to run through it and made myself feel so sick from the itching I could not go back to exercise for 3 weeks. I would not advise trying to run through it in one session, but I have managed to increase the length of time I can run for gradually, over time.


At one stage I could not walk to work in the winter without stopping every 2 minutes to get a break from the discomfort. At this time I tried antihistamines as I really couldn't cope with it and I just got blank looks from doctors. The antihistamines worked sometimes but not always. I actually developed a fear of having to walk anywhere in the cold because it would get so bad.


It is a lot better now and that seems to be the result of building up my resistance to it over time. I can even walk in the cold without worrying too much. The only thing I can't do (weirdly) is wear jeans and walk in the cold. There is something about the material that seems to bring it on - or at least I haven't tried for a while, I'm too scared of it!


Not sure if this helps people. It has definitely helped me to read other peoples posts on the site.

ForensicDoll, Community Member
1/30/11 4:12pm

Well my mom always tells me it is because sometimes your not getting enough exercise and when you do alot more exercise that will slowly die down to where you wont itch anymore:)

shawn_222, Community Member
2/ 3/11 7:54pm

Hi guys, let me start off by saying this is a problem for me too. im a 21 yo male and I wrestle, do martial arts and lift weights- when my scratch attack happens I want to rip my skin off- I have literally taken a steel brush to my back it was that bad. People think im overreacting but glad to know its no just me. 2 years ago is when it began, my doctor told me to fill a tub with hot water and a cup of Clorox. I tried it and after I soak in it for about half an hour then to take a bath scrubbing brush and scrub my back-it worked! until now...I have this same problem again and have done the Clorox routine for 2 weeks and nothing gives, it happens mostly on my back and every now and then on my face and chest/stomach region. I have tried to ignore it, somedays itss easy but most o fthe time its not, maybe my old regime may work for many o fyou and you shouldnt have to do it for more than a couple of days.


Hope this helps someone and someone can help me.

Terry, Community Member
2/ 8/11 1:52am

I thought this was caused by clothing. Depending on the fabric when it gets really sweaty can cause some irritation. I have started buying compression gear because it seems to get rid of the problem:

richard, Community Member
2/ 8/11 7:19pm

when am working out, especially running exercise, my body itchs so bad that i'd be forced to stop.after shower

Kathy, Community Member
2/22/11 8:51pm

I have the same thing. I taught aerobic's for years and would walk 4-5 miles and lots of aerobic activity. It itched so bad mostly from my upper thighs all the way down and sometimes the backs of my arms that all I could do to eleviate the itching and swollen hives was to scratch myself with something very sharp. If I was outside I grabbed tree twigs and used them! Its terrible!

My doctor called it an aerobicly induced allergic reaction. To what? Your blood vessels dialate so fast and oxygen gets taken in so quickly that he believes its from something in the air, like a polutant.  Ive slathered on benedryl lotions and the such.....dont really know if it worked. But what seemed to stop most of it was a bronchial dialator [inhaler]  or Allegra D.   cant tell you why but it helped significantly!

Paisley Rose, Community Member
3/ 9/11 12:50am

I have the same itching issue as everyone else here.  I've had it for at least 15 years.  I'm 37 at the moment.  I've asked doctors about it, to no avail.  I've told people that I don't run because I'm allergic to it and they always laugh thinking that I must be joking.  I love the internet and being able to connect with you all and know that I'm no the only one with this strange reaction to running.  I'm going to give the antihistamine thing a try!

Courtney Rose, Community Member
3/13/11 1:59pm

I  don't have the  answer, but  i need help with this  one as well..  This  is  a major problem  when you have a passion  for running. I've tried, light  run gear,  topical anti ich creams, deep stretching  and  nothing has worked for me.  Im begining to think its psychological  ;( 

n_ebel, Community Member
7/ 6/11 5:44am

try an oral antihistamine... like zyrtec or any other 2nd generation antihistamine (less drowsiness) 

RN, Community Member
3/18/11 10:10am

I have been told that this is the body's way of accommodating the extra blood flow i.e. capillaries expanding. I was just recently told to slather on Blue Star ointment the night before you exercise and this should help. I hadn't tried it yet, but I will soon. Wish me luck!!

chrissy, Community Member
3/29/11 11:08pm

take a natural dry brush and dry exfoliate all the areas that itch (for me it's my legs, butt and love handles)...this should help alot, but for the first few times that you run, carry the brush with you...wear shorts so you can itch while you run...within a few jogs, the itch should be gone provided you keep it up!! don't put drugs like antihistamines into your body for something like this!!! there are natural cures for almost everything :-)


rdg771s, Community Member
4/ 1/11 7:29pm

Kind of glad to hear it isn't just me!  The out of shape theory doesn't apply to me.  And this has JUST started.  I run 30 miles or so per week when its warm out.  I have had the issue of a small amount of hives on my stomache after I finish running but nothing horrible.  Over the last few months, after about 5 or 10 minutes my head would start itching and burning, then maybe my shoulders too.  I'd stop and rest until it stopped, and then was fine finishing at the gym or running.  (It happens at the gym too, when working out with weights which I do 4 times a week...well, until this week when I couldn't get past 5 minutes).  On Tuesday at the gym it was the first time the burning and itching was over my entire body.  I went into the locker room and scratched and waited 10 minutes.  I felt better, kind of.  Then went back out and completed one set and it came back.  I basically ran and got my keys, went home and jumped in the shower. 

rdg771s, Community Member
4/ 1/11 7:36pm

(continued) So it happened today again when jogging to the gym.  5 minutes and it kicked in.  It was brutal.  I ran home and showered.  Thinking about it now makes me itch a little, not as bad, but some.  So maybe a bit mental.  Its crazy that this JUST got this way.  I'm gonna try the dermatologist, but doesn't sound like that will nec. work.  I will try anything, because of the 30 miles per week I am used to running.  Hopefully warmer weather will help, b/c I think going from the freezing cold to inside the gym where it is burning up might help.  I don't know.  Pushups, pullups, and ab exercises at home if I go slowly has been ok this week.  Just sucks taking all that time.  And I love to run.  And I'm in shape, so that theory doesn't apply.  This is insane!

Devildog2107, Community Member
4/ 4/11 11:32am

Okay people here is your answer. Itching while doing exercise. It happens because your muscles are trying to work out the lactic acid. Normally this happen when you first begin to exercise or start a workout. Usually it all goes away after the first week of consistent exercise. I use to run cross country in high school and never had an episode but when I took a long break and started running again it HAPPEN. I know you all know what it feels like and I can relate. The coach told me that i just had to work through it one day at a time until it all goes away.

Cluvg4ever, Community Member
4/ 4/11 12:13pm

i think it is because of the circulation in your legs mine does the same i take an allergy pill before i go and it keeps it from itching

Jskaran, Community Member
4/11/11 10:15am
Well I have the sane problem. I found out that it's prickly heat it's when our sweat glands get blocked and when we excersice or do anything physical or when our body heats up, in this case our body would sweat to cool down but since our sweat glands are blocked the sweat seeps into our skin and causes us to itch. I have the same problem and my sweat glands only seem too become blocked in the winter season Reply
ADSN, Community Member
4/27/11 2:40pm

I have been suffering with these same symptoms and same triggers for 20 years.  Could we all have exercised induced uticaria?  I can walk on the eliptical or stairs without issue, but once I start running, riding a bike on a bumpy road, etc. I get so itchy that I almost feel like I can't breathe!  It goes away after about 10 minutes of not moving or heating up my skin.  Claritin 2 hours before a run cures it.

quiche, Community Member
5/24/11 10:44pm

Take antihistamine like 20-30 minutes before you start exercising and it should help. It helps me. My doctor prescribed it for me when I explained to him the circumstance.

WolfWeather, Community Member
5/26/11 3:08pm

This itching for me built up very slowly from when I was in 10th grade. It started with a type of coldness in my knees, and an itching. However, I was excercising regularly, and this was only a slight indicator. The itching was not a concern at all, just a curiousity rarely. There was a time when I went to the gym and worked out often. Then I began to slow down my workout period and took a break. When I tried to start up again, the itching began.


These are the current signs and symptoms described to a T for me.


1. Heat generated inside the body for whatever reason begins to overflow into the skin.

2. Once the sweat begins to enter the skin, it causes a prickling sensation, that is hot, and itches at the same time. Mostly though it is like my pores are being cut all over, and stung by thousands of super fine needles. There is also the sensation of miniature explosions.

3. In areas where there is itch, it is very red, but not bumpy at all. It leaves no marks afterwards, nor do I have to scratch to the point of bleeding.

4. There is a need to become very cold and close the pores, pouring water over the affected area works well, aloe vera gel works alternatively, but neither are a cure.

5. When jogging, I run through the itch, once the initial prickling and painful sensation surfaces, it leaves a feeling of hot stinging sauce on and in the skin. It doesn't hurt too bad at this point, it is a sign that the pain will subside for a time. It also generates a literal heat on the skin.

6. This sweating can be generated by frustation.



Running it off works, and I believe I am going to have to try and tottally wipe this problem off the face of my anatomy. I am going to enter an intensive excercise and raw food diet, and chinese herbs to supplement. I am assured this will heal my condition, and perhaps I will decide to remain in such a state of constant cleansing. I will post my results.

itchyRN, Community Member
6/ 6/11 1:52am

The excruciating, unrelenting ITCH!!!!!!  Started for me in high school.  It was winter.... I was taking a walk and my legs began to itch!  I've been suffering from it ever since!  It is DEFINITELY worse in cold weather!  It occurs indoor and outdoor.... in the gym it ONLY occurs on the treadmill.  It has nothing to do with the physical shape that I'm in but does take a longer time to occur with conditioning.  I 100% believe that it is caused by vibration and a release of histamine.  It happens when I walk & run- to my feet, ankles, legs, and torso, when I ride a bike- to my arms from vibration of the handle bars, and when using a vibrating massager to my back!!!!  The weird thing is... it doesn't happen EVERY time and seems to be getting worse as I age.  In the beginning it only happened to my thighs.  I am a nurse and am on my feet for 10-12 hour shifts- speed walking at times and it never happens there.  When I'm at the mall walking around for hours- NEVER happens!  It is NOT caused from being out of shape/capillaries dilating/nerves etc.  If this was true it would happen with every type of exercise and it wouldn't happen with a massage or due to vibrating handle bars.  I, like many others do not want to have to medicate everytime I go on a walk or exercise.  I want to understand why it only happens to some people and not all.... what makes us soooo lucky?  What is the common denominator?  What else do we all have in common?  Here are some facts about me.


I am hispanic.  I have anemia.  I rarely get thirsty and don't drink as much water as I should.  I also have another skin condition called polymorphic light eruption which some people call "sun poisoning".  It occurs after excessive sun exposure and I believe also involves a histamine response.  While looking on I did find something else.... when you scratch, do you get red raised lines even when you're not scratching very hard???  Not sure if I have this also but the picture reminded me a lot of what my legs look like after scratching.... it's called dermatographia.  Hmmmmm.....

Faith, Community Member
7/ 6/11 11:28am

I've suffered from itchy legs when exercising since I was a child. I have anemia too and I also have a skin condition known as vitiligo. I have also suffered from thyroid dysfunction and depression. Maybe some of these "conditions" are just consequences of each other. I had never even tried to find out the cause of my itchyness even though I was curious because it seems like I'm always trying to treat something else. Right now I am trying to work on not feeling sorry for myself and not seeing my conditions as limitations to doing things "normal" people do(although it is very hard). I am glad I decided to look up this question and find out it is not just something I made up for myself. All these comments have been very helpful!:)

Paula, Community Member
6/13/11 10:45pm

   Hello, I have had this problem for about 4 to 5 years now. I am 28, have been going to the gym since 16, and only developed the itch a few years back. This is how it occurs when walking/run/or jogging (in doors or at the gym). I have never been over weight but something tells me that this problem is related to blood circulation been effected by the  vibration of walking/running/jogging. I felt so itch last year at the a hottube it was the same itch. When I don't smoke and walk/jog/run I don't fell the itch.

Do you think it is related to the fact that nicotine shrinks your blood vessels compromosing blood circulation?

Brooke Newburg, Community Member
6/15/11 1:51pm

Another thing you might want to try is trying new laundry detergent or soap.  I was allergic to my laundry detergent and had a similar reaction.

Lilia C., Community Member
7/13/11 1:52pm

This usually happens with people who are starting to do aerobic exercise.  During exercise, your tiniest blood vessels, and even the smallest capillaries start to get supplies of oxygen... it's pretty normal, most of the people who start exercising get the same problem, but it will go away as you continue working out. 

itchyRN, Community Member
8/ 3/11 2:39pm

I KNOW THE ANSWER!!!!!  FINALLY!  It's called chronic "physical urticaria".


"physically induced urticaria and angioedema share the common property of being induced by environmental factors, such as a change in temperature or by direct stimulation of the skin with pressure, stroking, VIBRATION, or light."


Diagnostic testing for urticaria and angioedema:


Diagnosis                          Diagnositic Testing

Vibratory urticaria              Vibration for 4 mins






"Hereditary vibratory angioedema is clinically characterized by localized pruritis and swelling in areas exposed to vibratory stimuli.  It appears to be inherited as an autosomal dominant trait and generally is first noted in childhood.  The mechanism is not certain, but histamine release has been documented during experimental induction of a lesion.  Treatment consists of avoidance of vibratory stimuli and use of anti-histamines in an attempt to reduce symptoms"



I also found articles that state "conditioning" helps to lessen the symptoms.  It will take longer and longer for the itching to occur and eventually it will probably go away????



jennijaycee, Community Member
8/24/11 3:39pm

I have the same problem as well as my seven year old daughter.  Let me guess... The cooler it is outside, the more often it happens right?  I've read several posts that suggest that it is because you're not in shape or you're allergic to your own sweat.  I can tell you that this is wrong.  The condition is called exercise urticaria.  Basically what it is, is your body's reaction to a change in your body heat.  It is a type of allergic reaction, but not to sweat, or the cold.  It is caused by how your body is managing the change in temperature.  You don't have to sweat to have a reaction, or even have an actual "rash."  Even the most fit people have this.  There are many articles about this condition that can also be referred to as exercise allergy and runners itch.   It is good to educate yourself on this condition because it can be severe.  The best way to help revent a reaction is by taking an antihistamine before you exercise.

nash, Community Member
9/12/11 2:24am

I've tried explaining this to other people and they look at me like I'm crazy, lazy and making excuses.  When I was 12, I would love going for morning jogs & I wouldn't get far because the itching, redness, swelling of my skin would drive me insane. I would want to run home as fast as I could and just rip my clothes off and itch, but with every step it would get worse.  So even a 5 minute walk home would take me more than 30 minutes.  By the time I did get home, my entire body from the neck down was red and so sore and itchy.  I couldn't help but scratch so hard that I'd have bruises and scars from it.  I realize that this happens to me when I do any type of jumping or running type movements, or if I go for walks and the weather is even a tad bit chilly, the torture begins within 10 minutes.    My brothers get it too but not as bad as me, and my son has just started to notice the symptoms when he is on the trampoline for more than a few minutes.  

I love exercising and have found lots of other fun things to do, such as Yoga, Pilates, swimming & other indoor exercises like lifting weights. For cardio I use the eliptical or go rollerblading.  Neither of those bother me at all. It's the vibrating movements that kill me.  I do hot yoga all the time, so I know its not the heat that bothers me, its that bouncing type of movement.  

I haven't tried allergy medicine since even the non-drowsy kind knocks me out for hours, and the rest of the day will be a right-off.  So instead, I just stick to the exercises I mentioned above, and stay away from the ones that cause the reactions.  I hope that helps you so that you can still keep healthy and fit without the itching.  Good Luck!

okita, Community Member
9/20/11 1:49pm

i know exactly what you are talking about,and if you are like me you dont want to take medicine for everything.the simple solution is water people...the itching usually occurs in the lower body parts because of lack of circulation.your pores in your legs usually dont get sufficient oxygen supply.most people dont drink was much water when they stopped excerising,hence why its extreme at first.your pores are dirty from lack of drinking water.i tested this by taking a two month break but made sure i was drinking lots of water during this time off period,and when i started working out again i had no itch in my thighs,calves and butt area.

Robin, Community Member
9/21/11 11:03am

I also have this problem, I've never been out of shape before so I never experienced the itching.. I itch mostly where the fat is, I believe when I run I'm just shaking up the fat and then I itch..

kent1214, Community Member
10/10/11 11:11pm

My condition during running is body itchy. After 5 or 10 minute running the itchy disappear but my hand and leg does not sweat at all and it just happen currently.. May I know the reason why ?



happy808, Community Member
10/11/11 1:12am

I am amazed to see so many people like myself with this itchy skin from exercise. But... I advise anyone looking to diagnose their own symptoms to avoid jumping to conclusions too quickly. There are many strong commonalities in these posts but some distinct variations too.


In my case, I was very fit but have been a bit lazy over the last three or four years so have starting back at the gym. Consistently if I go straight onto the running machine, even after lots of stretching, within a few minutes I feel my buttocks, thighs and 'muffin-tops' (panis!) feel very warm and then itch like fury. I have to stop and am compulsed to rub these parts vigorously (a bit like a madman) to soothe the itching. Within a few minutes it goes away. If I get back on the running machine straight away it comes back quickly.


However, if I spend 10 minutes on the cycling or eliptical machine (note the absence of impacts) and get hot and break into a sweat, I can then go on the running machine and there is no problem. Operating vibrating machinery, rough biking and water jets in the hot tub brings on the same itching (so there is heating and/or vibration involved).


I found a name for what I was calling "on the run itchy-bum"; Its 'Cholinergic urticaria'. I don't get all the symptoms associated with this and for me it is only mild so I will just work on getting fit again and prepare for running etc with lots of low impact warm up exercises in addition to stretching.


My med school buddy suggested it was folliculitis but my symptoms last only a few minutes if I stop the activity and have not appeared visually on the skin. I get the feeling cholinergic urticaria may not come up on every doctor's radar so worth a look before you jump into more serious ailments.


There is always wikipedia of course but another informative website is:


Incidentally, if it is histamine related as suggested on the web sites, my own thoughts are that it is more than coincidence that I show a strong allergic reaction to insect bites and stings and hay fever. I would be interested to hear if other sufferers have other allergies. All this from an itchy bum!! :-)


Good luck everyone in making sense of your own itchy bums.






Kim, Community Member
10/12/11 11:04am
Yes I have this issue when walking, running, dancing or anything that has a wiggle jiggle factor. I have very strong reactions to insect bites as well as fall grass allergies. I have a much worse time with the itching in the winter time. I will try taking an antihistamine and see what happens! Reply
I.F, Community Member
12/11/11 6:44pm

I actually have no allergies (technically), i rarely even catch colds, but this itching is unreal, with me it's general too, I'll get itchy when I lie down to sleep, not with the same intensity but definitely enough to irritate me! What's worse in a way is that there are no indications of an allergic reaction on my skin, which made it hard to explain to an angry sports coach! As an ex athlete, ex because of this symptom, I definitely know what you mean about the glutes!!! I've found that sprinting 200 meters was no problem, but 400 always turned into agony, ending with me running straight to the toilets whether I'd won or not. Being interested in biology anyway I thought at the time that maybe there was an issue with the elastin in my skin or the vaso-dilation of the capiliaries/arteries in my feet (i'd noticed they were always raised after itching) My GP visibly laughed at that but couldn't indentify the cause, he then gently told me that it could be purely idiosomatic... I self - diagnosed it as Cholinergic Urticaria this year after searching for about 5 years, although I'd been taking the anti histamines already under the advice of my new GP.


Interestingly, if I sprinted 200 rested and kept walking in short slow circles, keeping the blood flowing, when it came to the 400 I'd be absolutely fine. I'm thinking that this means it's during the period of the body's acclimatisation to incresed heat or sweating, the itching will flare up most. So, if this increase is gradual enough and without heavy impact it could potentially be managed. I've found that anti-histamines work occasionally with me, how are you getting on with the anti histamines?

CWfamily, Community Member
10/24/11 12:18am

I have also suffer from this annoying "itch" problem! I will start trying the antihistamine. 

I also suffer from other allergies, and have been completely tested for all sorts of allergies, I am allergic to: cats, dogs, horses, grass, staph (so pretty much my own skin), etc. In fact about a year ago my eyes kept getting swollen and red and itchy and very sore, and I could not find any doctors to help me! I ended up at an Allergy Specialist and he told me a few things, gave me a few prescriptions and I was good to go. I have been free of swollen eyes for over a year now. My forearms and wrists, a spot on my neck and ear can still get "eczema". I also have a low blood platelet count... (not sure if any of this relates to anyone, but figured I would throw this out there.)

It is VERY annoying, and am hoping to get back in shape. I have been working out on the eleiptical machine A LOT, because it is that only thing that does not make me itch.

How I wish I could fully run again and not be MISERABLE! I will have to try the 10 minutes on the elipitcal and then run on the treadmill.


GC, Community Member
10/24/11 3:57pm

The responses on this category have been so interesting.  I've had itching problems now for 2-3 years, but my case seems slightly different in that I originally had this itching problem without any exercise inducement and still do, often while I'm been sitting at my desk at work.  It is only recently that I've also noticed hives also erupting after I exercise, as I recently took up tennis again about 18 months ago and now I notice I often get itchy skin plus hives on the front of my thives afterwards.  This seems different from many of the cases here, in that my hives/itchiness comes after my excercise rather than during?  For awhile I thought it might be mites, so I tried washing my clothes/sheets more often, but this didn't help so I went to see a dermatologist last year.  She prescribed antihistamines, and they do help, so I think for me it is a histamine reaction too.  I think perhaps it is related to change in temperatures as well as the exercise.  Cold seasons definitely makes the itching more noticeable.  Also, changing clothes can often irritate my skin.  For the itchiness, I've found that rubbing Neem powder on the affected area works wonders, since as soon as I rub a bit on, the itchiness usually goes away within 15 minutes. It's not a cure, but it sure helps.  I also use the antihistamine Loratadine, and that is really effective for me as well, though I only take it sporadically at present as I don't like taking drugs generally.  I'm also going to try drinking more water.  However, I'd like to get rid of this condition for good, so I'm going to keep an eye on this website.  I think it might be age/immune related, though, as I'm over 40 and perhaps my immune system is weakening?

jailyn, Community Member
10/25/11 11:03pm

I also have this ... walking fast, hiking, jogging, running, biking on bumpy trail.. its awful. I feel for all of you, and am happy to know I'm not just making it up.
NOTE: Its slower to start when I shave my legs, so weird!?

**I stopped running but can use the elliptical at the gym so strange!

goou, Community Member
11/ 4/11 9:49pm

hi same problem here for years evrytime i got to work, or star sweating in any way..  a couple months ago i had an infected cist, and the dr put me on an antibiotic. it was a 2 week course of antibiotics and i didint itch the whole time i eas on them.. about a week after i stopped them the itch was back.. ive always just kinds lived with it. but my wife gets tored of scratching my back

hope this helps, Community Member
11/ 7/11 4:52pm

Its actually very common and is caused by the capillaries in your body expanding rapidly during exercise. Normally, in a fit person these capillaries stay open, however, if you have been inactive or sedantary these capillaries are likely collapsed. You itch because your when your body recognizes that it is not receiving enough oxygen through these capillaries during exercise it sends this message to your brain via nerves which your brain then recognizes as an itching sensation. The only real way to fix this problem is to push through and persevere. I have had this problem my whole life and am going through it again now, but I have also gotten passed it several times. Just keep trying guys, it will get better. 

Rocky, Community Member
11/13/11 8:23pm


I have the exact issue.  Itching caused/brought on by:





swimming to long in a pool


I am only just rcently concerned as this time after a run in +4 degree weather (Canada) the itching was crazy - I couldnt stop, and well now I am totally bruised where I was scratching!


Have you experienced this?


MissRoss, Community Member
11/14/11 8:34am
I've had this problem for a very long time. Over the years I've gained weight from lack of exercise. Every time I walk I break into hives with the painful itching. I haven't walked in a while now. For me it doesn't only happen with exercise. For instance I started breaking out this morning as I was standing at the sink brushing my teeth. I hopped in the shower hoping the itchiness would subside but it only intensified. By the time I got to work more blotches were forming & the itching continued over an hour later. I wanted so bad to take a Benadryl because it makes the pain subside but it also makes me so sleepy. I develop the itchy splotches whenever I sweat or am bitten by a mosquito. I was vacuuming my car & broke a sweat then out came the hives. My next step is to make an appointment with an allergist as I can't take this itching. People think I'm crazy until they see the huge welts break out all over my legs & thighs. I really thought I was alone in this. Now I don't feel so crazy. Reply
DEVINE, Community Member
11/27/11 11:58pm

first of all, i am so relieved of my long term worries.

i have always believed i was tyhe only person in this whole wide world with this kind of problem. cause it seems so whenever my body starts itching and no other person around feels the same.. the itching is so severe  during winter,, and most time when i walk and when i am about to feel sweat is when the itch wil surface.. when i start to scratch people sometimes think i am mad. but thos is so not funny. i need help like you guys and i am so happy to be here among you guys where i belong and don't feel alone anymore.


Karen, Community Member
12/ 8/11 11:07pm

There is an excellent article on this at


It talks about (among other possibilities) allergies related to exercise - i have suffered from this itching while exercising for most of my life.


At a certain point, when I was exercising a lot, I started to have the severe allergic reactions. The doctors never did pinpoint an exact cause. This article explained a lot.


I will be taking the article's suggestion to take an antihistimine prior to exercising.


Kris, Community Member
12/20/11 8:14am

I use to run marathons with no problem. I stopped and started spinning, weight lifting and pilates, still no inch. 

I started running again and this internal inch is so overwhelming painful, I don't know what to do. I become aggitated and somewhat confused in the throws of one of these boughts. My itch starts in my upperboby and radiates to my lower thighs, by this time, red welts appear.  But I must not scratch because this will cause futher complications and irritability.  I was told that this is anaphylaxis?

Kris, Community Member
12/20/11 8:31am

Well, I finally answer the question that has been putting the hammer down on my run time.  Antihistamine!  Thats right.  For some people inactivity was the problem but for me running outside in the elements...antihistamime is the Holy Grail.  My body was going into sometype of anaphylaxis and need antihistamine.

CAC, Community Member
1/17/12 10:12am

Go to this explains all the possibilities.   For me it was circulation. I will cure that with consistency until my body adapts.

Melissa2012, Community Member
1/17/12 10:48am
Has anyone else tried a quality pair of compression pants during exercise? It helps me some, not completely, but a little is better than nothing. Reply
BlessedMe, Community Member
1/23/12 4:34pm

I have always had this ever since I can remember, even as a child and noone understood when I had to stop when I was running with other kids. I really hated it and still do. However, one day, a few years aback I met an very old doctor just before he retired, this was after trying lots of doctors, he gave me a combination of cimetidine and citrizin hydrochloride, which worked a charm!!! I always used to take it 20 minutes before any activity and it WORKED!!!!!!! However, when I was trying for a baby i decided to stop all medication and since then, even through breastfeeding, i didnt take it because I wasnt active but now that I am I have to! Anyway, ask your doctor see what they say, though some alwasy seem a little puzzled, i wlays just end up saying, just prescribe it will ya!!!! lol Here is my email add! me know how you get on. I am goign back on it, but ever since I stoped, i dont appear to gain weight as much as i used to, coincidence or maybe because I stopped hormonal contraception at the same time...dont know..not a doctor...I am going to experiment again

alohagirl, Community Member
2/12/12 5:22pm

I suffer this exact same problem for 30+ years! The itching on my thighs and butt 10 mins into running would always be so unbearable I would have to stop and walk home! I wouldn't get actual hives, or welts, just a diffuse itching all over!It was always way more intense of an itch if I had not run for over a couple of weeks.  If I would run for 2-3 days straight I wouldn't need to take the Zyrtec any longer and I would be itch free. But if I ever took a break from running my skin would act up again.  I never knew what caused it, so I suffered for years, and learned to take a Zyrtec 30 mins prior to running to prevent the itching.  It drove me crazy! 

But then recently I got skin tested for allergies and found that I was allergic to things I had no idea I was allergic to:  almonds, soy, wheat, peanuts, seafood.  I have always eaten these things on a daily basis with no idea my body was allergic to them as I haven't had any symptoms.  Mind you, the skin and blood tests revealed I am only slightly allergic to these things. The allergist even said since the tests revealed only a very slight allergy to these foods I didn't need to avoid them.  I decided to do my own experiment though and I avoided these foods for a few days, had not gone running for over a month, didn't take any Zyrtec and then went out for a run with NO ITCHING!  It was a life-changing moment!!  In the past, had I not run for over 2 weeks and gone running without taking any Zyrtec my skin would have been insufferably itchy!  I suggest you see an Allergist and get some skin testing.  Even if you are only mildly allergic to certain foods, avoid eating them, exercise and see if your skin itches!  I have now been itch free for over a week and am so happy!!!

Jenn, Community Member
2/21/12 3:37am

Does anyone know why I don't necessarily itch when I'm running really at all, but after I stop, I starting itching terribly? It's not even like immediately after either. It takes probably 15 minutes to start itching. Also, there are certain areas on my body where my skin turns uniformly red where it ithces, and other areas and times where it's red and splotchy. Not necessarily all one color. Why is this?

unique, Community Member
3/ 4/12 4:28am

If I have not gone running for at least 2 weeks, the itching starts from my chest, moving downward.  My stomach gets it bad, then most intensely my butt and thighs. Anywhere my body has fat, it's where itching occurs. Knowing this is going to happen I typically grit my teeth and force my self to abstain from itching and run thru the aggravation.  It begins about after .5 miles, and if I can endure through the itch, by mile 3 im typically miserable only because im out of shape and running... no longer because im itching. I have to mentally prepare myself every time I begin working out after a long extended break. After 1 itchy/insanely miserable run it doesn't return until I take approximately another 2 week sabbatical.  When I was younger, I would scratch my skin until I brought blood to the surface because the itch was so intense. Sometimes I felt like it was making me crazy! Out of curiosity... do any of you experience getting red blotchy chest (and/or) red blotchy neck or upper arms any time you feel a heightened sense of emotion? (sad/excited/stressed/mad/happy/etc). The sensation could be a fleeting emotion, thought or encounter with someone that brings on a NON itchy red blotchy rash to your skin (it isn't bumpy and does not itch). Often induced by adrenaline.  As opposed to creating discomfort, this skin reaction is completely embarrassing. I do not think this is a major social disorder as Im confident, well spoken, educated and generally liked by all. However, ANY emotion triggers this reaction so people always point it out because its extremely obvious and startling. Rather than letting the weather dictate how I dress, my daily agenda (potential encounters/certain conversations) take control over what my outfit is for the day. I've read from many people online that they too encounter this exact same skin/emotional reaction, however Im now attempting to find if any one else has BOTH of these personal nuances. Thanks to these conversational online feeds Im learning that altho unusual, these two distinct irritations are not only suffered by me and I am wondering if (by any chance) these two are somehow connected. 

nima, Community Member
9/26/12 7:54pm

Try an alternate method. My leg above ankle itches like hell, when it gets hot after walking and sometimes while driving. It helps to wear as thin and short a socks as possible, and perforated shoes as well. Drink lots of cold water. After the walk, take socks and shoes off and cool in cold water. Then, give "mind over matter" a try. It does have a place and validity. I stop scratching, not even touching, nor even a succumb to a thought of scratching. Just ignore it and do something more absorbing and engaging. After a repeated rejection by the mind, the supreme arbiter, it will gradually subside, to a point it ceases to matter. That is to not to say, it'll cease to exist. It will be there, but will be insignificant. It worked for me. Can't seem to eliminate every unpleasant things from life! Existence by nature is a suffering: first noble truth! Dont' fight it. Face it, examine it, befriend it, and try to co-exist, and it will be just one of the myraid phenomenon that exists due to the cause that rise to it. The cause can be hard to pin down! Hope it helps some people.

AWL, Community Member
3/ 5/12 12:17am

Wow reading all this was very theraputic for me knowing that I'm not alone! I have suffered this exercise induced itch for as long as I can remember. The worst I remember was in primary school after Phys Ed class. We all sat down at our desks, but since it was after phys ed, everyone was talkative and energetic, so the teacher made us sit in silence for 5 minutes. However, I was super duper itchy, so you can imagine the entire class sitting in silence, except everyone can hear me scratching my skin off. Embarassing. Cry


A bit about my physical history as I can relate to some of these posts too. I am of asian decent, and I do have anemia. I also am very allergic to some foods (peanuts, seafood, eggs), and had allergies to grass when I was younger. I also have asthma (which seems to be very common with people who are allergic to things). 


I do try to stay active, but I find I get the unbearable itch after exercising and causes me to not look forward to my next exercise session. I do find exercise outside (right now it's winter and in Canada) does make it worse, whether it's playing hockey or going for a run. I also kickbox and do karate (indoors) and this also seems to trigger the itch (usually around my chest, neck). Everyone always told me it was the sweat that I'm allergic to, but I tried sessions where I would sweat and wipe it off immediately, but the burning sensation comes from within and before you know it I need to jump in the shower. This makes me think it's the histamine allergy trigger (I can legitimately tell people I'm allergic to exercise!).


I also do wonder about the vibration trigger. I do get itchy when I take a shower, so I increase the temperature to HOT to have the shower 'scratch' the itch, and when I get out I'm as red as a lobster. Maybe the pounding water from the shower causes this itch too. 


After reading the entire thread and all your stories, I'm going to try taking some benadryl before exercise (I always have some handy because of all my allergies). I'm going to do this every morning before work with an indoor circuit and hope it works. Eventually I'm going to try and run/play hockey outdoors in the cold after taking the benadryl and see if that helps. Hopefully, as many people had suggested, that keeping the exercise regular I won't need to use the anti-histamines anymore.

amelia, Community Member
3/19/12 4:47pm

the itch in the legs/thighs happens to me as well. as a matter of fact, it happened today! i scratched my legs so hard because they itched so much, that now there is a huge rash of red dots on my thighs. i am embarrassed to even go outside with such legs, and wondering if anyone gets the red dots too. i really need them to go away soon, because i want to be able to go to the beach without feeling self concious about my legs. 

Vegeetable, Community Member
4/ 6/12 10:08pm


This happens to me too, I agree with the whole blood flow thing but not with being unfit! I train for rowing 10x per week (so I am deffinatly not unfit!) and hardly ever run, so when I do run by legs burn, itch, turn 'fire-truck red' and have wheals! I think consistency is the key (but I hate running so I guess whenever I run it will be painful!)


Maybe wearing compression leggings will help as they reduce muscle vibration and movement?


Vegeetable, Community Member
4/ 6/12 10:09pm

This happens to me too, I agree with the whole blood flow thing but not with being unfit! I train for rowing 10x per week (so I am deffinatly not unfit!) and hardly ever run, so when I do run by legs burn, itch, turn 'fire-truck red' and have wheals! I think consistency is the key (but I hate running so I guess whenever I run it will be painful!)


Maybe wearing compression leggings will help as they reduce muscle vibration and movement?

Rylee, Community Member
5/25/12 4:34am

Whats The Easiest Way To Make It Go Away,, Its So Severe Ive Scratched Till I Bled Nearly Everyday Of Exercise :/its so bad i have  to stop my exercise completely and makes it difficult to maintain my exercise plan

Berly1721, Community Member
7/ 2/12 10:22pm

Howw long each time do you have to run to help make it stop.... it's sooo bad that i cant run more than a half mile without watning to scratch myself to death 


ethosspa, Community Member
7/ 3/12 5:54am


Thanks for the pointer to your post!  So true.  The conference was inspiring and great reminder about making time and space for mindfulness.   It sounds like you're much better about that than me!

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7/ 4/12 7:36pm

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Suzy, Community Member
7/11/12 3:55am
OMG!! You have no idea how happy I am to have found this post guys! It's unbelievable! That's really because I have the exact problem and when I tell my gym buddies or friends nobody can relate and they all seem to think I'm crazy. Well thanks to this forum I no for a fact I am not crazy but I have a minor problem. It really is the worst excruciating feeling ever. I've also noticed that when getting back into my gym routine the 1st 3 occasions the itchy feeling is unbearable and can make you want to cry. You feel so paranoid because you feel everyone is watching you scratch and it could imply that you're not very hygienic but that's not the case. Reading previous post I can understand the whole histamine release in the bloodflow simply because after a few routines the sensation goes away but I don't think it's widely known because I'm surprised I even found this forum! Mine gets me particularly in the thighs, ass, hip line, under my bra strap, calves and arms. Also when I leave my warm house and walk fast in the cold the feeling is intense and excruciating. I returned back to the gym this week and took on the advice of earlier post by taking a anti-histamine pill and it definitely works. I haven't had the feeling it's great I can workout like everyone else. I used Benadryl one a day relief Cetirizine. Thanks for the post guys 😁 Reply
Baximus, Community Member
7/13/12 10:43am

I am so happy to see this thread and the responses validating each other. I've had this happen to me just a couple times in my life and one time bordered on anaphylaxis during a run.  I was a collegiate athlete - swimmer and never had problems in the water, so it's interesting to read the vibration theories and that this is very commen when running outdoors.  I have a lot of other environmental allergies that I'm now taking shots for and have not had this problem in 20 years with itching body and running, so I thought maybe I grew out of this?  


My 9-year old son just started wanting to run with me and we get about 8-10 minutes into the run and his torso and legs start itching so bad we have to stop and walk. He played soccer this past spring with no problems, so I'm concerned at how this may limit his physical activity.  I will be trying all the suggestions on here like increase his water intake, cool clothing, antihistimines, etc.    Thank you all!

DadOfItchyRunner, Community Member
11/14/12 11:41pm
my 10 year old son has this "itchy legs when he runs" issue. at first, i thought he was just being weak. finally, i realized there is no way it was normal itching and went online. great to see he is not alone. He is in excellent shape. exercises hard every day. Presidential fitness award, travel soccer, travel hockey year round. No issues with any of this. only when he runs hard with me for more than a mile. i am so glad i found this site and believed his extreme discomfort. as probably the only oneon this thread who has NOT experienced it, i can say it is a hard one to swallow when you hear it. But i know my son well enough and can see by the look in his teary eyes that this is excruciating. I'm going to research the least bad antihistimines. i take half a generic zrtec every day. need to find something nontoxic for him. i haven't heard him complain about it with any other activity. we have a hot tub - no issues. we have a trampoline - no issues. thank you all. Reply
laddyoop, Community Member
1/ 4/13 11:01pm

I have suffered from this since my early teens and my 7 year old daughter has it too.  It is much better with allergy medication... I've used claritin, allegra and benedryl.  My daughter takes the children's chewable claritin.  We don't use zyertec for the kids... it makes them crazy...violent dreams and strange behavior.  Personally, I have this trouble regardless if I work out everyday and am in great shape or if I'm lazy and out of shape. 

osmith, Community Member
7/15/12 3:34pm

I have had this problem since my teenage years.  I believe it is called exercise induced hives (uticaria).  It is worse when outdoors because there is no temperature control and heat increases the itching.  Antihistamines do help but your body becomes dependent on them.  So if you ever stop taking the antihistamines you will itch for a few days even when not exercising.  If you decide to get off antihistamines ween yourself off.  I take 1/2 of a Zyrtec each night.  Also this condition runs in my family. One of my aunts said that she pushed through it several times and it went away. (Pushing through it means vomiting in my family.)   It also occurs with friction on my skin.  There is a related dangerous condition called exercise induced anaphylaxis.  Web searches provide medical info on this.

MRose27, Community Member
9/26/12 2:36pm

GLUTEN INTOLLERANCE! GLUTEN, GLUTEN, GLUTEN! I had this problem and it grew worse and worse over a period of time to the point where walking fast would bring me to my knees in TEARS I had to itch my body so badly.  I was miserable, toxic and gaining weight.  I cut out ALL GLUTEN, went through a series of colonics and all my allergies & the itching stopped after 2 months! I just ran 16 miles two weeks ago.  I HAD TO SHARE THIS WITH YOU ALL! I was so miserable that I couldn't stand it...I want you all to rejoice in the fact that it CAN GO AWAY! I'd be happy to write more if you have any questions and if you live near Charlotte NC I can recommend my colon hydrotherapist that I contribute to giving me my life back!!!

Victoria, Community Member
10/ 3/12 4:48pm

I know this sounds crazy, but you might try avoiding celery. Yes, the vegetable plant. I spent one evening in the ER after walking late one evening in the cold after getting symptoms of anaphylectic shock. I had no idea what had caused the problem, but like the rest of you I got hives when exercising or after showering.  Changes in temerature caused this too. And that day, I had consumed a significant amount of celery (overrated as a diet food!) The hives and itchiness was a mystery until I ended up in the ER with exercised-induced anaphylaxis. it was there that they told me what I suffered from and gave me Benadryl through IV.


The printout that the ER provided me suggested avoiding seafood, celery, wheat and cheese (so maybe going gluten-free like someone suggested would help some of us). Like peanut allergies in the US, celery is the #1 allergen in European countries. I knew nothing of this until I started researching the foods I had eaten when I came down with urticaria. Like someone else mentioned, it could be environmental--celery is in the same plant family as birch. Birch trees are highly allergenic, so it might be best to avoid outside exercise when the birch pollen is bad. Celery is used in much food preparation--soup stock, gravy--so read labels.  I know this sounds over the top, but I am now avoiding celery and anything that might contain it. A visit to the allergist is next. 


Thankfully, I have not had to use the EPI (epinephrine) pen that I now carry on me, and it has been three years since that ER visit. I take Allegra (fexofenadine) year round and it seems to lessen the breakouts. I take Benadryl if the break out is particularly bad and most important--i do not scratch at the hives! I have found focusing on them and knowing they will subside really helps them dissipate faster. Stay calm if at all possible as stress is something else that will infuriate the mast cells. Try deep breathing or meditating.


It is also suggested that you avoid aspirin and other NSAIDs, especially before exercising. Carry Benadryl just in case, and if you find you are short of breath during exercise, see your doctor. This condition is not as rare as thought, it is simply overlooked or misdiagnosed. The more often it is brought to the attention of physicians, the less "crazy" it will be deemed. Ignore your friends who poke fun at you or are disbelievers. This is a real thing--obviously!

dinah, Community Member
10/ 6/12 11:37am

Hey my name is dinah im 16 teen,this helped me alot .. I actually quit basketball becuz i thought something was wrong with my skin; because it itched me really bad... But now i know wats wrong

Lola, Community Member
10/11/12 11:52pm

Well obviously there are a TON of use with this issue! I still don't understand what causes it but definitely there seem to be some links here. I have seasonal allergies, but no food allergies. I am an athlete. I am 5'3 and weigh 105lbs. I too itch when running outdoors (seems to be in cooler weather) But definitely notice the serious itching with vibration. Such as mt. biking if it is really bumpy. I was sanding a table the other day and noticed my hands became soooo itchy, red, and burned after just a little bit of the vibration from sanding. I assume that an anithistamine would work, but more curious as to what is causing the reaction. I also was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis at age 28 after having my daughter. Must be some immune system connections as allergies are overactive immune systems. 

bradzooks, Community Member
11/24/12 7:56pm

This has been a problem for me my entire life. It has nothing to do with consistency or health level. I am an active person, never more than 10 lbs overweight, I run once a week and go to the gym whenever I can. Here's the only thing that helps:


On the days I know I'm going to run or do cardio at the gym, I take a hot shower and briskly rub my legs and torso with either a stiff-bristled brush or a firm loofah to get the blood moving. Then, instead of painful itching, I get a brisk shower. I can also use a brush I got at the Body Shop to get the blood moving without the shower.


Other than that, I've never been able to get a diagnosis out of a doctor. I've just been either showering or brushing every time I anticipate exercising. Hope that helps someone!

bradzooks, Community Member
11/24/12 7:56pm

This has been a problem for me my entire life. It has nothing to do with consistency or health level. I am an active person, never more than 10 lbs overweight, I run once a week and go to the gym whenever I can. Here's the only thing that helps:


On the days I know I'm going to run or do cardio at the gym, I take a hot shower and briskly rub my legs and torso with either a stiff-bristled brush or a firm loofah to get the blood moving. Then, instead of painful itching, I get a brisk shower. I can also use a brush I got at the Body Shop to get the blood moving without the shower.


Other than that, I've never been able to get a diagnosis out of a doctor. I've just been either showering or brushing every time I anticipate exercising. Hope that helps someone!

Viviana_r25, Community Member
12/11/12 9:51pm
I been having this itching for a long time, my mom always tells me that she had it when she was young and will go away because she doesn't have it anymore, but I have it and is not going away, it happens either when I'm walking, running wearing tied clothes or loose clothes it doesn't matter what I'm doing, and it also happens to me every month, and sometimes I'm at the gym and people don't believe me or they they think I'm crazy or something. I stop running and exercising because of this, the itching its so bad and uncomfortable that I don't like to exercise anymore. Tonight I went for a run with my boyfriend because I want to start working out again and as soon as I started running the itching came back and I haven't had it for about 2 months, I want it to stop and keep running but I couldn't it's something more strong that my desires for run and then my bf couldn't understand he thought that I was tired and didn't want to do it anymore. I really want this thing to get out of me, because I want to be able to run like a normal person and not stopping every 5 seconds to scratch my body, and the itchy it happens in my whole body everywhere it's annoying. I'm glad that I'm not the only one, but at the same time sad because this is something that no one would like to experience. Reply
sarahk, Community Member
12/13/12 11:20am

Thank god so many other people know how it feels!! Has anybody tried those PowerPlates/Tremor Boards? I get it almost instantly when using these machines, as opposed to walking or running, when the itch takes around 10 minutes to kick in, so for me, it must be vibration related.

Interestingly, using the PowerPlate is also the only time I ever get it indoors.

As most other people have said, I get it when I'm out walking (or running, or on bike if it's bumpy) and it happens especially quickly when it's freezing cold.

I've found my footwear is a factor, shock absorbing 'proper' sports footwear helps, wearing a pair of thin-soled ballet pumps (as I was the other day whilst out for an impromptu walk) causes it to come on in record time (again, probably related to amount of vibration). Skinny jeans def don't help! Leggings are best thing. Anti-histamines work for me some of the time, but not all, I haven't figured out why this is yet, but I think it's just trial and error.

Also, does anybody get emotional symptoms too (I get extremely anxious, feel almost tearful, agitated and irritated beyond belief when am itching)?

lindsw01, Community Member
12/14/12 11:51am

I used to have the same problem!!! I looked it up and found an article that explains why some people experience body itching while exercising --  It usually occurs during exercise performed after a long period of inactivity. The itching is not on the skin, it’s inside the actual limbs. There are millions of tiny capillaries and arteries inside our muscles which expand rapidly due to the demand for more blood that is brought on by exercise. When fit, these capillaries remain open allowing maximum blood passage, but when unfit and inactive they tend to collapse, allowing only minimal blood passage (which is sufficient for a sedentary person however). The rapid expansion of these vessels causes adjacent nerves to send impulses back to the brain which are interpreted as an itch. That’s why after a few sessions the sensation tends to go away. Just another indication of increasing fitness levels.



itchy legs runner, Community Member
12/15/12 3:19am

whoa! i'm not alone in this ordeal! i'm not a freak after all lol!


Niznak, Community Member
1/ 2/13 3:03pm

Im glad im not the only one, i started gym again after a long while of in-activity, then 10mins into my running i started feeling severe iching around my stomach and especially my thigs, i felt a tingle and i knew it would come once i stopped the inching increased and i was in severe pain. The iching was so unbarable i had to stop my workout.



Niznak, Community Member
1/ 2/13 3:03pm

Im glad im not the only one, i started gym again after a long while of in-activity, then 10mins into my running i started feeling severe iching around my stomach and especially my thigs, i felt a tingle and i knew it would come once i stopped the inching increased and i was in severe pain. The iching was so unbarable i had to stop my workout.



Niznak, Community Member
1/ 2/13 3:03pm

Im glad im not the only one, i started gym again after a long while of in-activity, then 10mins into my running i started feeling severe iching around my stomach and especially my thigs, i felt a tingle and i knew it would come once i stopped the inching increased and i was in severe pain. The iching was so unbarable i had to stop my workout.



txntv, Community Member
1/ 7/13 6:04pm

I read through this long thread and tried some of the suggestions. Nothing worked. I know it's not clothing because the itching only happens in my toes. They're not cracked or anything. BUT I did try a different pair of socks made with different material. No difference.


I soaked my feet in vinegar and water. This minimized sweat. I exercised after this, feet weren't sweaty yet toes continued to itch.


I took Benadryl 30 - 60 mins before exercise. Didn't work. Same with Zyrtec.


I put on medicated foot powder prior to exercising. Didn't help.


I've exercised 5-7 times a week consistently for years -- so it's not a matter of "warming up" to exercise.


Researched this topic and finding the same above suggestions. Nothing new. Did I miss anything? Thanks so much. It's such a struggle to get through it, but I do albeit uncomfortably.

girlygirly87, Community Member
1/16/13 6:03am

Trust me, I'm having the same problem, I spoke to my Doctor and according to him, i've Chronice Uerticaria. I used to work out atleast 5 times a week and I never had problem before, all of sudden, I started feeling itchy which couldn't go away. I was on Hydroxyzine Hyrdochloride for 5-6 months And i felt so lazy and sleepy that i ended up gaining weight (all though it did help with the itchyness). I decided to change antihistamine and started taking Fexofenadine, I'm still having the same issue though. Now i do work-out for 3mins only but i feel little bit itchy. I would ask everyone to stay away from Antihistamine, Especially if you're trying to lose weight b'cos no matter how much excercise you do, Once you start taking Antihistamine - it'll be ever so hard to lose weight, saying this from experience. I was 42kgs and i'm petite, after taking antihistamine, I'm now 61kgs!! 

Terri, Community Member
3/19/13 3:15pm

Hey read this....

Exercise-Induced Anaphylaxis


I'm wondering if I or many of you have this diagnosis. The itching, swelling, redness and warmth drives me into a full blown panic attack. It is so bad.

Caseypop, Community Member
11/25/13 5:32am

What I am NOT hearing is that this may be caused by either gluten intolerance,or other allergies,  or an issue with losing bone mass... I am wondering if this might be a problem with losing bone density.  Perhaps a Magnesium deficiency. Magnesium acts as a gate to help the body not to lose bone.   When you a gluten intolerant, one of the problems is that you don't digest well.  Your body's reaction to wheat causes it to push everything out, the good with the bad so to speak.(diarrhea). And the bad allergens, plus other nutrients are pushed out and not absorbed.. This may lead to not retaining the nutrients you are eating.  It all goes undigested.  Rather than fighting our allergies with Anti-histamines, we should clean up our diets.  Look at and work on stopping leaky gut syndrome, drinking enough pure water. and finding someone in health care (alternative medicine) who is willing to help you to begin to live in a more healthy way... Itching is a symptom that our body is irritated... When we itch from the inside... Doesn't it make sense that it may be what we are eating???

MSinCOLO, Community Member
11/27/13 10:21pm

I get terrible itching when I run (indoors or outdoors) mainly in the colder months (October through March).  I have found that using Eucerin Skin Calming lotion before I run helps.  The active ingredient is menthol.

Runner1234, Community Member
5/29/14 7:31pm

Yep I'm right there. I've had the runners itch since I was really little. I never thought about it. I just knew when I got to running I was going to itch and trial and error taught me that scratching just made it 50 times worse. SO I learned to not scratch and either stop running or run more. After time it goes away. And like others the more regularly I exercise the less horrid it is or isn't there at all. And like others it is nice to know I'm not the only one.

zogg, Community Member
6/ 2/14 2:32am

i have looked around for a solution too, my shoulders and upper back get so itchy i could scratch my skin off at times gets so bad.... initially ithought it had something to do with yeast products such as bread, vegimite, wine etc. when i mindfully omitted this from my diet the itch wasnt as bad. i have read that antihystomins (spelling) can help some was something i found in my search, ill let you know how this goes

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By hakiss, Community Member— Last Modified: 06/24/14, First Published: 10/21/08