Mitigating Itchy Sensation in Legs While Walking
August 3, 2020 6:59 AM   Subscribe

I am on a walk right now, something I haven't done since last December. Whenever there's been a long period of time between excercising, my legs become extremely itchy and tingly and it takes a lot of willpower to not spend the rest of my walk itching my skin into oblivion. What's going on and how do I mitigate it in the future?
posted by Kitchen Witch to Health & Fitness (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Additional note: my legs look like I have a sunburn even though I don't. There aren't hives anywhere. I am normally extremely sedentary.
posted by Kitchen Witch at 7:01 AM on August 3, 2020

This happens to me too! It also happens after I exfoliate my legs, like if I scrub with a loofah. Which makes me think - something something increased blood flow something overstimulated capillaries?
posted by nouvelle-personne at 7:15 AM on August 3, 2020 [3 favorites]

It may be that your skin is dry, and walking when you haven't been doing so recently is causing the skin to stretch and become irritated. In that case lotion would probably help. Or it may be that walking is activating circulation in small blood vessels in your legs that haven't been getting much circulation, and that in turn is activating small nerves. You could also try hydrocortisone cream.
posted by mai at 7:16 AM on August 3, 2020,with%20your%20regular%20exercise%20routine.

Totally happens to me. I run like once a month, and every time, my legs itch like hell. It's actually a good feeling, during breaks I scratch them all over. If you run a bit more often it doesn't happen. It's just blood going down small veins that haven't been used in a while and stretching out!
posted by bbqturtle at 7:21 AM on August 3, 2020 [4 favorites]

I got itchy all over when I first started exercising regularly again a few years ago, and apparently it's a thing - taking an antihistamine before or just after exercising helped, and after doing it regularly for a while I now only get itchy while exercising very occasionally.
posted by terretu at 8:03 AM on August 3, 2020 [3 favorites]

I get this too, especially in cold weather. I always assumed it was blood moving into the tiny capillaries and now bbqturtle has validated my assumption. Interestingly it has happened a lot less as I've grown older.
posted by HotToddy at 9:33 AM on August 3, 2020 [2 favorites]

I get this because I have POTS. (Mine also turn purple, get splotchy, itch, throb, not fun.) I’m not saying YOU have POTS. What I am saying is that it’s a blood flow thing for me. Maybe try compression socks and see if it helps the circulation.
posted by Crystalinne at 12:37 PM on August 3, 2020

I find this is exacerbated if I'm wearing leggings with any amount of spandex. Poly and cotton are fine, but spandex or elastin content really sets this reaction off for me.
posted by ananci at 7:38 AM on August 4, 2020

I experienced this, too, but mostly in cold weather. I was later diagnosed with Raynaud's Syndrome My thighs would itch, but they'd also be red and almost numb to the touch (that is, scratching didn't seem to relieve the tingly/itchy sensation).
posted by Oriole Adams at 12:14 PM on August 5, 2020

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