Why Do My Body Itch When I Exercise?

The causes of itchiness  vary from something as simple as a skin reaction to your workout gear or an allergic response within the body. Regardless of the cause, finding relief for intensely itching legs will take a little trial and error.

Common causes and ways to prevent the itch.


Skin Sensitivities

Sometimes the itching can be as simple as an allergic reaction to detergent or clothing material. You may not feel it normally, but sweating can make the reaction worse and cause severe itching. The same holds true for dry skin. Try rubbing on lotion before a workout or changing up what you wear to see if that helps. Look for workout gear made with moisture-wicking fabrics to minimize the amount of sweat that clings to your skin during your run.

Out of Practice

Being out of habit or staying sedentary too long also causes exercise itch. If you’ve had a long layover between workouts sometimes the capillaries and arteries expand, causing a sensation that your brain reads as itchiness. If you can work through the discomfort, the itching should get better as you build up stamina. Some people who suffer intense itching have used numbing spray.


Exercise-Induced Urticaria

You can recognize urticaria by whether the itching is accompanied by hives. This is an allergic response that can be caused by sweating, being too hot or too cold, or exercising.

Although uncomfortable, intense itching is not a reason to hang up your exercise regime thinking you’re allergic to exercise. Make sure you’re dressed appropriately for the weather, and if your itching is extreme, try taking a non-drowsy antihistamine before exercise.

Histamine Response

Some research suggests that histamine is released during exercise to protect against fatigue, rather than as an allergic response. Histamine works to expand blood vessels in your body but, unfortunately, sends the itchy message to your brain. As with urticaria, taking an antihistamine before exercise may help, and it’s possible that as you continue your regimen the itching will lessen.

Still unsure about why you’re itching while exercising? contact your physician

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