Yes, it can happen. And if you ever get out for a run and start to feel like you Was To start scratching your feet, don’t worry – you’re not alone.
There is no official medical term for the occurrence of itching in your legs while running, but it is commonly known as “runner itching”, according to Edward Laskowski, MD, a sports medicine specialist at the Mayo Clinic. Aside from being generally uncomfortable, we wanted to know if all the itching meant anything, so Dr. Laskowski broke it down.
Possible Reason # 1: You’ve just started running (again, or the first time)
Dr. Laskowski says there are several possible reasons. The first thing you have to do is how often you run. Exercising a muscle requires more blood flow to get all those sweet, sweet oxygen. When you run, you’re shooting those legs, so more blood is sent to your calf, quad and hamstrings. When you are just starting a running routine, or running for the first time in a long time, it can actually increase the blood flow to your legs and cause itching in a way that your body is not used to.
“Returning to your exercise can cause blood capillaries to dilate in the arteries of your legs,” said Dr. Laskowski. “This extension can put pressure on the small nerve roots in the skin and cause irritation and contribute to itching.”
To accommodate your new running routine, your muscles actually enlarge more blood vessels and allow blood to flow more easily, your body will receive the message that this amount of blood flow is normal, and irritation should be reduced.
Possible Cause # 2: Having an Allergic Reaction
The latter reason is more external. It is possible that you may have an allergic reaction to your clothes or laundry detergent. Sweating can even exacerbate this reaction.
Dr. Laskowski says there is also a real condition called exercise-induced urticaris. In this example, your body is responding to the exercise itself. Symptoms of this condition include itching as well as the formation of hives and a “feeling of warmth” through exercise.
How to deal with itchy feet
Of course, knowing what could happen is only half the battle. What can you actually do about it? First, you’ll want to avoid that your clothing is part of the problem, so try switching your running gear (ideally for something to break a sweat) and test with a mild laundry detergent.
If it’s just the novelty of your running habits that causes problems, time is your best friend. Once you become more accustomed to the activity, the symptoms should subside. If not, see your doctor or allergist for treatment, which may include the use of an antihistamine.
Meanwhile, Dr. Laskowski says “a regular exercise routine is one of the best ways to prevent runner itching and reduce its severity.” If you feel itchy, slow down, or even take a break until the next day.
Probably the hardest, try not to scratch! It may provide temporary relief, but it will cause a chemical reaction in your brain that will eventually make the itching worse. Eck! Use ice or creams like cortisone and aloe vera instead.
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