Whether you’re a marathon runner or enjoy the occasional jog around the block, you may have noticed itching legs when running.
This is known as runner’s itch, a sensation that often plagues people who run or participate in strenuous activity. Although it generally isn’t a cause for concern, it definitely makes running more uncomfortable.
Let’s take a look at some of the causes of itchy legs from running and what you can do about it.
Why Do My Legs Itch from Running?
Many runners experience itchy legs when running. There are a few reasons why this sensation happens. Let’s take a look at them:
Increased Blood Flow
When you run, your heart rate and blood flow increases. This causes your capillaries and arteries to expand, stimulating your nerve cells. As a result, you may experience an itchy sensation. This is especially true if you haven’t exercised in a while.
People with sensitive skin are more likely to experience runner’s itch. Sweating, dry air, and fabric of running clothes are more likely to irritate the skin and trigger an itch.
This is an allergic response that can result in itchiness, hives, and skin redness. Additional symptoms can include difficulty breathing, stomach cramps, and headaches. It’s more likely to affect those who are active in hot or cold weather.
Dry and Cold Air
You may have noticed your skin feels itchier during the cold, winter months. The itchy sensation is often worsened when running in tights or compression pants due to the friction against dry skin in cold air.
Contact with Sweat
Sweat is a common eczema trigger so it’s no wonder it can lead to itchy legs when running. Chafing or sweaty irritation can trigger runner’s itch, especially in humid weather.
Natural Ways to Soothe Itchy Legs After Running
Keep the Skin Moisturized
Keep your skin hydrated with a natural cream like this Organic Manuka Skin Soothing cream. Its 6 natural ingredients are natural healing agents that moisturize even the driest of skin. Having well moisturized skin lessens the chance of dry skin causing itchiness.
Wear Protective Pants
These Remedywear pants for adults and kids are breathable and form-fitting. They also feature moisture-wicking properties to help with sweat control and uncomfortable chafing. With a legging-like fit, they’re great for wearing underneath regular running pants without adding bulk. Plus, their TENCEL and zinc-infused fabric also helps boost the healing process.
Take a Lukewarm Bath or Shower
A lukewarm bath with oatmeal can help relieve itchy symptoms of runner’s itch. We recommend lukewarm water as hot water has a greater tendency to dry out the skin. It’s important to shower immediately following your run to rinse sweat off your body.
How to Prevent Runner’s Itch
Although runner’s itch is usually temporary and not a serious cause for concern, here are some ways to keep itchy and uncomfortable symptoms at bay.
It’s important to drink enough water before, during, and after your run. Being hydrated can have a big impact on your skin and may be the difference between itchy legs and not itchy legs.
Keeping up with your regular exercise routine can help prevent runner’s itch. As your legs get used to moving, they will eventually stop itching so much.
This is because a consistent routine increases your blood volume, meaning your body won’t have to increase blood flow so much. If increased blood flow does occur, your body will be used to it.
Change out of Sweaty Clothes
Changing out of your sweaty clothes after running can prevent the sodium from sticking to your skin and exacerbating your itchy symptoms.