We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Why Do My Legs Get Itchy When I Walk?

Mary McMahon
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Sometimes people experience leg itching when they walk, exercise, or are exposed to heat. There are a number of reasons for legs to get itchy as a result of walking; if this is a recurring problem, you may want to see a doctor. When your legs get itchy, take note of the conditions of the itching, like the type of exercise you are engaged in, the temperature, and the weather. These clues can help a doctor figure out the cause of the problem.

The most common reason for itchy legs while walking is cholinergic urticaria, a fancy term for an elevation in body temperature which causes your body to react with itching, warm skin, and bumpy hives. If you have itchy legs in warm weather, saunas, and other warm conditions, you may have this condition, but you should talk to a doctor to be sure. The use of antihistamines can help to control the reaction and make you more comfortable.

If your legs get itchy as a result of cholinergic urticaria, you may need to adjust your exercise routine. You should stop the exercise which makes you itch, and adjust your workout routine and garments to keep your body more comfortable. You may also find it helpful to exercise in the early morning or late evening, when temperatures tend to be cooler. Try to avoid humidity as well, as this can increase the severity of the reaction.

In some cases, legs itch as a reaction to the clothes you are wearing. Cotton garments are the least likely to cause a reaction, so you may want to switch to loose cotton pants or shorts for walking. Some synthetics can trigger a reaction, and sometimes your legs itch in response to residual pesticides and dyes in the fabric used to make your pants. If you notice that your legs get itchy when you wear new pants, wash them and try exercising again to see if that eliminates the problem.

In rare cases, your legs get itchy as part of an allergic response to something you have eaten. This is known as exercise-induced anaphylaxis, and it can be very serious. However, an allergic reaction will be accompanied with difficulty breathing, a whole body rash, nausea, and sometimes vomiting, making it easy to distinguish from more benign causes of itchy legs. If you are suffering from a severe allergic reaction, it will become readily apparent; if you have a prescription for epinephrine to treat things like bee stings, use it. Otherwise, hail a passerby and ask for help, and make sure to specify that you think you are having an allergic reaction.

Frequently Asked Questions

What could be causing my legs to become itchy when I walk?

There are a few possible reasons why your legs could itch while you walk. Pruritis, a disorder that develops when perspiration interacts with germs on the skin and provides a painful feeling, is one of the most frequent reasons. Further possible causes include an allergic response to certain garment components, laundry detergents, contact dermatitis from plants, or insect stings. Diabetes, renal illness, and thyroid abnormalities are just a few examples of ailments that may possibly play a role.

How can I prevent my legs from getting itchy when I walk?

The easiest technique to stop having itchy legs while walking is to keep your skin clean and dry. Showering as soon as possible after perspiring is necessary to get rid of any germs that may be causing the itching. Avoiding clothing that is excessively tight and composed of materials that could irritate your skin, such as wool or synthetic fibers, may also be good. Moreover, you need to stay away from plants, insects, and other irritants.

What can I do to relieve the itching?

The easiest ways to relieve itching in your legs are to use a cold compress or take an oatmeal bath. Although oatmeal baths may help to calm the skin and decrease inflammation, cold compresses can also help minimize irritation and inflammation. A hypoallergenic moisturizer may also be applied to the region to help reduce the itching. Avoid rubbing the area, since doing so might make the irritation worse.

Are there any long-term effects of having itchy legs when I walk?

There may be long-term consequences if the itching is not stopped or if a medical issue is to blame. They include things like skin irritation, infections, and even scars that won't go away. Also, if an allergic response or contact dermatitis is the source of the itching, it might raise the risk of later developing more severe allergic reactions.

Is having itchy legs when I walk a sign of a severe medical condition?

Walking with itchy legs may indicate a more severe medical problem such as diabetes, renal illness, or thyroid issues. It is critical to get medical help if the itching lasts for a long time or is accompanied by other symptoms like weariness, weight loss, or fever. A doctor can provide valuable assistance by identifying the source of the itching and ruling out any underlying medical issues.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a The Health Board researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By anon1006032 — On Jan 15, 2022

I just stumbled across this page after once again googling why this is happening to me. Insanely itchy skin after a few minutes of walking coupled with feelings of intense disgust when seeing dirt, mud, leaves, dog poo, gravel etc. I get light-headed and feel ready to pass out.

For me, it’s not because I’m not in shape. I hike once a week, between 15-30 km. I used to do fitness shows and trained at the gym intensely. My cardio is great and this is still happening.

I absolutely have to take an allergy pill at least an hour before I start my hike (Reactine or Claritin) so the madness doesn’t start. As long as I take the pill in time, I’m all right. I’ve been dealing with this for years and sometimes it happens on short walks when I walk my dog. When that happens it takes all of my mental strength to make it back home because the itch is so intense that I want to pull down my pants in the middle of the sidewalk and scratch myself to death. It’s the most awful feeling and I’m so glad I’m not alone.

By anon1005155 — On Jul 01, 2021

I finally figured it out after so many years! I have just been very unfit! I have started making a habit of taking a walk and going to the gym to walk on the treadmill daily and the itch has subsided. All this time I thought taking anti-histamines were helping, but instead it gave me hay fever symptoms after a while. Exercising is the solution to the problem.

By nycishome — On Jan 14, 2021

I can't believe Google actually led me to a webpage where others are experiencing the same symptoms that I have. It's insane but like all of you I am also grateful to see that I am not a lone in this.

I've only experienced this a few times in my life at the extreme, more frequently in minor ways, however, when It's extreme, It is the most unbearable and worst torture of my life. If there is a hell it wouldn't be burning fire but a dirty NYC trashy street with food particles everywhere while feeling this uncontrollable itch in my legs after running on a Gym treadmill. I had to run out of there 10 min in, and couldn't stand the heat and sweat. Even after calming down somewhat for 30min, I'm still disgusted, writing that out and visualizing it is was also difficult.

I wonder if this is related to an OCD of some sort, again, I do not have this frequently but it will occur if I start running on a treadmill after not running in a while or walking in the winter with pants that causes friction in my thighs. Even the word itch disgusts me as a result of this, I just really wish it didn't make me go nuts thinking about the various dirty things in my environment. It's crazy how it takes my mind 0 to 100 like that and makes me feel very bad for anyone out there who experiences this on a persistent basis, not sure if i could live that way.

By anon1001336 — On Apr 07, 2019

I posted on here about five years ago (in 2014). I just came across a 2016 article from the NIH on this newly identified rare genetic disease called Vibratory Urticaria which seems to be an allergy to vibration. Could that be what we have? My mom had the problem too.

By anon998129 — On Apr 13, 2017

Same here, had this all my life. It only happens in cold/cool weather, with brisk walking/running. Entering a warm building fixes it very quickly. It seems to me it only happens where the skin rubs on clothes.

It once happened to me while wearing a skirt, and my bared knees remained fine. By the sounds of it, fitness levels don't affect it. Gluten makes no odds; I'm already pretty much gluten-free and it still happened. It only starts after a while, so you start getting it when you're half way through the walk. It's horrible.

I'm glad to know it's not just me. I also get uncontrollable itchiness if I stay in bubble spas or water jets for too long, Yet I could body board in 15 degrees water in a swimsuit for hours and be fine. We'll figure it out.

By anon996181 — On Jul 20, 2016

This feels great to read so many comments from other people in the world, who struggle just as badly as I do. I am going to give the gluten/wheat thing a try as someone mentioned earlier in their comment, it worked for them. A lot of people thought I was weird when I describe the "runners itch" so so nice to know others get that disgusted feeling as well.

By anon992983 — On Oct 15, 2015

I 've had this itchy leg/grossed out feeling while walking outside for about 15 years now. The first time it happened was the absolute worst. I took my dog for a walk and the itching was unbearable then I saw dog poop on the ground and it was horrible! I had a long, itchy, stressed out walk home. I broke out in hives and everything. I have found that benadryl does help. I used to only get this feeling when I walked outside, but now when I walk on the treadmill or a walking DVD, it will happen but not as severe as walking outside and I don't get the grossed out feeling about dirt.

By anon983251 — On Dec 27, 2014

I have the same thing! I've had the itching since I was in my teens and the feelings of panic over yucky stuff outside started in my thirties. I'm 39 now and for the past nine months, I've been taking Benadryl at night to get to sleep. Three nights ago, I stopped taking it because I got tired of how it was making me feel drowsy during the day.

Today, while walking my dog, I got the horrible feelings (the itch and the dirty stuff panic). When I got home (after putting a heating pad on my thighs - that's what helps me), I googled itchy legs while walking and came upon this site. After reading other people's posts about antihistamines helping, it occurred to me that this was the first time I'd had the problem in many many months. I guess it has to do with stopping the Benadryl! I don't want to take medication anymore though if I don't have to. Benadryl really makes me feel crappy.

One thing I notice is I tend to get the horrible itchy/panic feelings when it's chilly outside and when I hit my feet too hard against the pavement as I walk. Also, if I run I get the feeling right away in my thighs (and I've recently put on weight in my midsection and I feel it now in my love handles too). I really think it has to do with the pounding of my feet. The first part of my walk around the neighborhood is on an upward incline and the second part is downward. I don't get the itchy/panic feelings until I start on the downward incline. That's when I start unintentionally pounding my feet on the ground as I walk.

Next time, I'll try walking very gently, even on the downward incline. Let's see how that goes. Otherwise it's back to antihistamines. By the way, I take ballet class twice a week and Zumba every so often and I never have a problem in those classes (although sometimes in Zumba I am a bit bothered by itching from the vibration of my love handles, but that feeling is nothing compared to the one I get from walks and I can continue the class without stopping). I am so grateful to everyone who has posted. Although I'm sad we have this condition, it is such a relief to know I'm not alone.

By anon969026 — On Sep 06, 2014

I'm 14 and I noticed this allergy to vibrations after jacuzzi jets, massage chairs and even when excessively rubbing my thighs. When I was in a hospital bed for five days straight, the minute I got up and walked I felt it.

I'm mentally strong enough to push through the itching, but the thing that gets to me is the panic. I get that revolted feeling when I see dog poo and I live in the south east of the UK, and where I play football is right next to a dog park.

By anon959112 — On Jul 02, 2014

Same for me (also my sister and mum). As with everyone else, I am glad we are not alone in this! Seems to be quite a few people who have it. It's a shame there doesn't seem to be any definitive answer that can ease our suffering though! I would love to know exactly what causes it, and therefore, how it can be dealt with. I may experiment with taking antihistamines before I go out for a walk.

By anon952336 — On May 20, 2014

I've an avid walker. I walk six miles every day. Yet every so often, like during the walk I took morning, I have the horrible itchies. So the "out of shape" hypothesis doesn't explain my symptoms.

I always have the itchies during my morning walk. Not my afternoon walk. My guess is either it's the cool morning air or the fact that my body hasn't woken up all the way yet.

The itch usually starts in my thighs and then branches out to my face or my arms. Occasionally it will start at my waistband and then spread to my legs. I also get the disgust/nausea feeling. I can laugh now, but this morning I was going crazy!

By anon939563 — On Mar 14, 2014

I am so happy I found this. Suddenly I don't feel alone. I just came back from a walk that I had to cut short because of the itching. I thought I was losing my mind. I came home and cried. It was just so uncomfortable.

I have tried it all to try and stop this itching. My friends think I am crazy when I tell them about it.

In conclusion, I am so happy I read this today. I am not alone!

By anon931799 — On Feb 10, 2014

I think I have the answer! I’ve had exactly the same symptoms for years now. I’m a black female from the UK and this happens to me during the winter and can be very crippling and make me feel like I’m losing my mind.

I have had tests and seen many doctors about this condition and they all look at me as if I’m crazy! Recently I’ve looked into my diet and have researched the effects of gluten or wheat in causing inflammation of the skin. I’ve since cut gluten out of my diet completely and I can’t believe it, but I don’t have this itchy leg, disgusting feeling thing anymore. I thought I should share this because I can’t believe I’ve found a possible answer.

Many of us might be slightly wheat or gluten intolerant. I implore many of you to try this; it will help with this condition and also, to be honest, you will realize cutting out breads and pasta and stuff like that will improve your overall health. You will realize that you replace real foods for these things. Look it up guys, it also makes sense because it links in with how many people get relief by taking antihistamines. The allergy, I think is an allergy to wheat/gluten. I hope this helps you as much as it helped me.

By anon353480 — On Oct 30, 2013

I’ve been in shape since as long as I can remember. The same goes for this friction induced itch. I have virtually no body fat; it’s all muscle, plus I practice extreme martial arts and have been doing so for five years now.

I get the eerie, disgusted feeling every time I see wet grass, dirty snow (oh god, do I hate the site of dirty snow ), rusted anything in the rain, the rain and muddy things. I exercise all of the time, so of course, reading about this “lack of exercise” enrages me. That’s not the reason. It’s just plain old friction. There are no jiggly parts on my body. I’m solid as a rock and always have been, but my symptoms seem worse than all of yours.

I itch in all weather, in all clothing, during cold showers or sex, my whole body feels it. Hell, my wrist is itching right now from sliding my arm across my belly to type this on my tablet! I’ve lost many jobs because I can’t live a normal life having to walk and currently I’m trying to work online. If I try to bear the pain for too long, the itching doesn’t go away when I get home.

I just got stranded far from home and started to walk. After an hour I bumped into a bike and had to take it. That’s how bad I was itching, and I did that stop for five minutes thing over and over but it never worked. The bike ride made everything worse. My hands, inner thighs, outer thighs, stomach, back and neck were on fire!

Now, two days later my skin won’t calm down. It still feels like I’m in motion, as if my skin has memories of the ordeal and is traumatized. I forgot to mention that when I do manage a good walk, one thought about the itching actually starts the whole cycle up. That’s the strangest part. I believe this should be considered a disability because lord knows it makes my life a living hell, especially socially when your friends are mad you don’t show most of the time and will never understand.

By anon351922 — On Oct 17, 2013

I am wondering if exercise-induced itchiness is genetic? My mom has itchy legs from walking, I have it, and my daughter has it. My mom doesn't like walking or working out for this reason. I remember as a kid having this issue - for some reason I remember a snowstorm and playing in the snow (wearing a snowsuit of course) and having the worst itching in my legs that felt so hot & inflamed (we live in a northern climate).

Now as an adult, I am a very persistent workoutaholic and what I do notice is that if I haven't worked out a certain muscle group for a few days, it will start to itch. But if I consistently do a work out, it stays away.

If I ride a bike, the vibrations will cause my underarms to itch - basically any area of flab that can vibrate (I am not fat, but not super fit either). I have debated whether to see an allergist about this because I'm not all sure what can come of it. Maybe this is not an allergic reaction, but more of a circulatory issue that can't be handled by an allergist?

By anon349521 — On Sep 26, 2013

I have found my people! I just spent about two hours reading most of the comments here. I laughed, I cried. It feels amazing to know that I'm not alone. I too have what you all have, including the dirt phobia- oh Lord. The thing is, it's not even just dirt that grosses me out. I recently got a gym membership, thinking that even if I still get itchy, maybe I'll feel less grossed out if I run on the treadmill in a cleaner environment. But no. I still got grossed out by everything: the gym floors, the treadmill, hell, even the barely noticeable smudge on my mp3 player. I even get disgusted when I see the innocent, sweaty people working out near me. What's up with my brain? *Sigh* So I'm just going to stick to exercise that doesn't involve walking/running, such as the elliptical (thank God you exist, elliptical. I love you).

By anon348660 — On Sep 19, 2013

I am very glad, like the rest of the posters, to have found people experiencing what I have. Like everyone else, I thought I was the only one. No one really understood what I was feeling and I've actually been to several doctors, none of whom was able to give me any answers.

I just want to add to this repository so that hopefully someone who knows more than I do will maybe one day be able to gather up all this information and find out what it is exactly that I have.

I am female, 38, born and live in Toronto and am of Chinese heritage. I started noticing this problem in my early teens maybe even 12. I was an active child and was not overweight. After about 10 minutes of walking, I feel really intensely itchy on my thighs and in the past have itched on my bum and sometimes even around my stomach area. However, after stopping for about five minutes the itching usually for me goes away. I have noticed so that my skin feels really cold when I'm scratching it during the bouts of it itchiness. It doesn't happen every time I walk, but I do notice it happening more often in the winter or in the fall when it's getting colder. However, that doesn't seem to be a real pattern. Sometimes it itches and sometimes it doesn't. It is mostly outside when it happens, but I've had it happen to me also when walking inside the mall. Like everyone else, I have noticed that I can work out on the elliptical without getting itchy.

I also get the disgusted feeling when this itching occurs. I only get this feeling when I'm having this weird itchiness on my skin after exercise. I feel like everything is dirty and I can't look at anything. And like everyone else, I feel like I want to tear my skin off or run in front of a bus but I do not normally have suicidal feelings I don't really want to kill myself, but the itch is so intense I just feel so disgusted. I just want to strip off my pants and scratch and scratch and scratch.

I am otherwise healthy and I am not aware of any health problems. My parents do not have this problem and neither do any of my other siblings. No one else I know has this problem.

Over the counter antihistamines work for me. I take them about half an hour before walking and I find it really helps. However, I want to know like everybody else, what is wrong with me exactly to find a more permanent solution.

By anon345452 — On Aug 19, 2013

I had this problem when I was pregnant with my first child. It was the first time ever that I itched so bad while walking. I was told that I had cholestasis of pregnancy. However, there have been times since then (8 years) that I have had the same problem, and not pregnant. There seems to not be an answer for what I feel when I bring it to my doctor's attention.

By anon337632 — On Jun 07, 2013

Wow, like everyone else here, I can't believe I finally found a description of this strange syndrome! Most astonishing is the panic. How can an allergy have neurological symptoms? And such specific ones at that?

I just posted a question to NYTimes Ask Well, as follows. Maybe we'll get lucky!

Sometimes, when I run or walk I get an excruciating deep itching beneath my skin. It usually starts where there is rubbing or vibration such as at the hem of a coat or where my muscle and fat are thicker, and therefore bouncier, such as on my thighs. Cold weather increases the likelihood, as does a lack of recent exercise. The itching is so intense that I hyperventilate. Scratching or rubbing makes it worse. The only thing to do is stop moving and wait (and wait and wait.) The skin often becomes red and hot. According to the comments on this site, some people also get hives, and, most peculiarly, panic in the face of dirt and/or rough textures. Some people find antihistamines help. What on earth could this be?

By anon333351 — On May 04, 2013

@anon321596: My symptoms are exactly like yours! Seeing dirty things causes me nausea as well. My god. I never thought that I would find anyone who has experienced this. I just got in and I experienced this today. It's miserable.

By anon321596 — On Feb 23, 2013

I've been experiencing this problem for years. I think we all started experiencing this probably in high school or pre-teen years because as kids, our bodies aren't as developed and we are constantly active and hyper. Flash forward to my teen years maybe 15.

I remember my twin sister and I made the track team and cross country team in high school (not too many people tried out for it, so they pretty much took anyone) We're tall, slim girls so it was easy enough. I remember the first day of practice my sister and I were lying on the track field itching and crying because of the pain. After that, I wanted to quit (eventually both my sis and I did quit).

My dad is a physical therapist and explained the itching is related to the circulation of blood and that our bodies had been inactive and lacked physical exercise. True, we didn't exercise and PE in school wasn't anything (we sat around in PE because the teacher didn't care – sad!)

So after high school, college was where it started again. Walking to class all over campus was extremely annoying because I would itch. My classes were spread out, but eventually my body got used to it so it stopped.

Now I am 27 years old and recently moved to New York City, which means no car because people walk everywhere. I dread walking anywhere because I am always itching. I thought my body had gotten used to walking because I've been here for a year and a half. Nope!

I can say that the itching and burning is worse when it is colder outside and I have on tighter clothes. If it is raining outside, oh my gosh. I start itching on my lower legs, my heart beats really fast, I have shortness of breath and the visual of dirty things irritate me as well. Why does itching have us weirded out by dirty things? I hate it.

I am glad I found this site and relieved that there are others experiencing this. I will try changing my lotions and moisturizing better. I drink a lot of water already but will increase my intake a little more. I really don't think it's bad enough to see a doctor and I pray it doesn't come to that. Good luck, everyone.

By anon303153 — On Nov 13, 2012

I have had this problem since I was 8 years old. I have had it so bad that I have scars from scratching. Let me point out, I can sometimes control it by walking for five minutes, stopping for five and repeating this for 30 minutes. I try to follow it up with a small hike if I'm able.

I agree with the person who stated that lack of exercise with many of us is, in part, the problem. I do have some health issues that many of you probably share, as well. I have a familial capillary and small blood vessel issue, which, as you could imagine can cause a blood-flow issue to the outer skin. Those of us with liver function issues have this problem as well.

Surprisingly, I noticed while on hormone supplements, my itching was gone. Immediately! Ultimately, I think the hormones are controlling dilation and constriction of blood vessels. Try this 30 minutes before you go for a walk next time. Take one or two over the counter migraine pills. They contain 65mg of fast-acting caffeine each. Drink a large glass of water.

Begin your walk by only proceeding for five minutes. Stop and sit for five minutes (stop even if you are not itching yet). Begin your walk slowly, but include periodic moments where you speed up and slow down. All of this is an attempt to get those small capillaries open near the surface of the skin. What else can help is to run an ice cube up and down your legs and then take a hot shower, all before your walk.

Ultimately, I think this is a hormone issue in many of us that controls dilation and constriction of these vessels and even though it stops us from exercising, it is imperative that we try because not exercising can make it worse. Because histamine is a hormone and controlled by other hormones, you can see that there are catalytic issues that can create this problem in some people. Anti-histamines are an occasional fix. They don't always leave me feeling like I want to exercise but they usually work. I hope you will try my methods. I have spent 35 years fine-tuning them. They work. However, there are days when they don't. Those are the days I call TV days! Good luck!

By anon302008 — On Nov 07, 2012

I still don't understand it! I can't walk remotely long distances without wanting to tear up my thighs, rear, back, and abdomen until it bleeds. It itches so much! My boyfriend thinks I'm crazy; my physical education instructor tells me it's my detergent; my doctors just think I'm weird. All I've got is to blame it on poor circulation and the cold weather.

But it still doesn't explain the severe anxiety I experience where everything around me is dirty.

Damp grass, mud, trash, puddles on the ground -- it requires a lot of mental strength to not freak out because of how completely miserable the feeling is. All I want to do is scratch, scratch, scratch! I cannot stand this anymore. Someone help me.

By anon299700 — On Oct 26, 2012

I thought I was the only one like this. It all started when in my teens. I would walk with my friends, or ride a bike and would have to stop because of this urge to severely itch.

Weather didn't matter. It is the worst feeling I have ever had to deal with. No one understood that I was really suffering. Friends and family thought I was crazy. So, I never wanted to walk anywhere. I don't think I ever went to a dermatologist for this either. I just tried to avoid any physical activity. It's a shame!

By anon273875 — On Jun 08, 2012

I want to suggest something that might seem very surprising. This may be a gluten sensitivity. My feet and legs were getting very itchy and I was having a real burning sensation in them. I felt like I was losing my mind. Night time was the worst. I went gluten free - totally gluten-free. The results have been nothing short of amazing. I feel sane again.

By anon259099 — On Apr 04, 2012

Wow, wow, wow. I am so happy to know am not the only one. I have actually suffered all this itchy/burning and also the disgust which makes you itch more for years and never bothered to find out what is going on. I ignored it, but it gets to a point when you want to know what it is. I have just joined the gym and came running out because I even felt the disgust in the gym. The floor, the handles in the gym or just tissue paper used and lying about – even some people disgusted me.

I also felt the itch when having sex. I have stopped that because of the itching. It was so bad that I would want a brush or a stone to really dig in the skin to relieve me. I really felt it was not really normal.

I was so happy to find out I was not the only one, because when explaining to people, they just looked at me like I was crazy. I now drive and that is better for me, but as soon as I start walking from my car, the itch comes back. I am studying as a nurse and I really want to get to the bottom of this find out what really goes on and will post a cure for it.

For the time being, I say thank you for the advice on what to use and I will try to use some of your suggestions. I read this on another site that the itching is caused by mast cell degeneration, which leads to histamine release in the areas of the body that feel the most impact as you walk or run. These are mostly the thighs, legs, love handles (which also jiggle the most if you have them), etc.

I do not experience this in a hot shower so it cannot be body temperature. I also do not experience this when I use the elliptical or bicycle etc., so it cannot be increased blood flow. This explanation makes the most sendr to me because I only experience this when I walk or run on hard surfaces. As the impact of the hard surface hits my body, these mast cells break open to release histamine that cause itching. It is worst in the lateral parts of my body e.g. thighs, love handles etc. and the only thing that helps is taking an antihistamine like zyrtec 30 minutes prior to exercise. Makes sense now, huh?

By anon258986 — On Apr 04, 2012

I hear every one of your stories and my story is the exact same thing. I just came back from a short walk. It doesn't matter the weather or what I wear, loose pants, fitted but not too fitted pants, but my legs, hips, thighs and feet itch and burn! It feels like frostbite and I can't stand it!

The worst part is, I'm not always trying to exercise when I walk. I don't drive, so I need to walk at times to get to where I have to go. I don't do it that often so maybe that's it, I've been told. I don't exercise that much so maybe that's it, or I may be still to heavy for my body frame, all of these and I don't know what to do still. I have changed my lotion, walked slower, lotioned right after showering, stretched before walking just to the corner store. Come on!

This is frustrating. I am already on allergy medicine for my allergies, so what do I do now? My legs are still on fire, so I now have to continue scratching. Thanks for all of the info, I am pleased also to know, I'm not crazy and not alone in this -- whatever this may be. Blessings to you all.

By anon254580 — On Mar 13, 2012

Okay folks, I hate to say it. I don't think we are allergic to exercise, we allergic to "lack of exercise."

On days when I am running around on a consistent basis, I don't get the itch. When I take a break for a day or two, it comes back.

The moral of the story is, we have to keep moving to keep from itching.

By anon254345 — On Mar 13, 2012

I too have this problem and people always look at me crazy when I say that I am allergic to exercise. Even my doctor looked at me funny.

I have had two kids and want to walk or exercise to get some of the weight off but the itching is unbearable and it seems as I get older the shorter the amount of time before it starts and the more it itches everywhere. It started with my legs but now it is practically all over.

I have scratched so bad that my legs had welts on them and I am very dark skinned but I turned red. I continue to walk and try to push through it by trying to not focus on the itching/burning sensation. That doesn't work very well. In fact, I am still itching right now from my evening walk. Guess I'll try the Benadryl.

By anon242434 — On Jan 23, 2012

I have always had this ever since I can remember. Even as a child. no one understood when I had to stop when I was running with other kids.

When I start to walk or do any sort of physical activity like running, jogging, walking, etc., I can itch anywhere from my legs, waist, back, butt or somewhere there is a little exerted pressure. As soon as I stop, it stops after a few seconds. I really hated it and still do.

However, one day, a few years back, I met a very old doctor just before he retired. This was after trying lots of doctors. He gave me a combination of cimetidine and cetirizine 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 didn't take it because I wasn't active but now that I am, I have to!

Anyway, ask your doctor to see what they say. Even though some always seem a little puzzled, I always just end up saying, just prescribe it will you? Here is my Let me know how you get on. I am going back on it, but ever since I stopped, I don't appear to gain weight as much as I used to. Maybe it's coincidence or maybe because I stopped hormonal contraception at the same time. I don't know. I'm not a doctor. I am going to experiment again.

By anon220134 — On Oct 05, 2011

I'm going through this as well, what might be helpful is to drink a lot of water and walk a lot! And what I mean by a lot of water (lots) what I did was walked around until I felt the itch and I kept going until it was unbearable. I then stopped and of course, scratched like a mad man!

But when I waited for about five minutes until the itching stopped then I drunk a full glass of water and I repeated this for a few hours and I noticed the itch was starting to go away after excessive amount of walking and drinking water. And this should be done every day to keep the itch away! I hope this helped!

By anon212325 — On Sep 06, 2011

Oh my goodness, it's nice to know that I'm not the only one who suffers from this, not that I would wish this on anyone. It's almost like you're being tortured. My experience is a little different. Both my feet and my legs would itch when I walked outside, but for me, my feet would itch worst than anything, especially if I wore new shoes, or shoes that I don't wear often.

And I noticed that it's worst when the seasons are changing, like from summer to fall, or winter to spring, and I don't understand why. My feet will itch so bad to the point that I want to rip out my hair or cut off my feet, and very similar to the first post, I can't look at anything dirty or gross and if I do then I just want to die. It's the most torturous feeling in the world that I can't even begin to describe.

There has to be a physiological reason to why this happens and hopefully one day I will fund out. Till then, much love to all those suffering from this disorder.

By anon199436 — On Jul 23, 2011

It started for me when i was as young as 5 or 6. I would be getting a bath by mom and while O was in the tub, the itching kicked in and I would cry for her to get me out of the tub. Once I dried off and the dampness left my skin, it would subside. But it would happen when I walked or ran outside.

I can't stand to see anything nasty, not even a dirty tub with soapy film. I would get itchy. It is so weird. I would practically run home from school, strip off all my clothing and scratch until welts formed on my skin.

My God, this has haunted me for years. I have found that when I take some benedryl it helps a little. But I thank God I'm not crazy and that I'm not alone in this. It's such a strange and incapacitating feeling.

By anon197677 — On Jul 17, 2011

I am 18 right now. I must have been 15 somewhere when first time I realized that it used to be very itchy on my body, a kind of burning sensation where I felt I had to scratch miserably but scratching never relieved the itch, but I still scratched.

I ignored it for a few weeks, thinking it must be due to the hot climate. I tried bathing two times a day and increased it to three times, but nothing happened. I soon realized it was something abnormal, and consulted many doctors, but all said it must be because of sweating in the summer.

I consulted a good dermatologist then, when she told me it was because I had urticaria: “an allergy”. It went away for two years with treatment and I was very much relived. I soon finished spent a year happily without medicines and any allergies. Now I am 18. I passed my school just now and so thought of a morning walk.

This morning is terrible. Within five minutes of starting my morning walk, something made me go crazy with itchy legs, a kind of burning sensation. I searched the internet and now I realize this is related to my past.

What shall I do now? Start the same treatment with that dermatologist of mine (those medicines mean regular visits.) Or should I simply skip the idea of a morning walk? (I want to go on morning walks because I am overweight.)

How do you handle the frustration developed due to all this? Please, anybody, help if you can.

By anon186514 — On Jun 15, 2011

I started running this spring, and was terrified that I wouldn't be able to do it because of this issue. Because my legs are more likely to itch when it's cold out, at first I ran in long underwear and another pair of pants on top of that, but as you can imagine that got a little hot in 70 degree weather. So, I took the advice of taking a Benedryl before running, and I am so glad I did! I have no problems when I take this!

Today it was 80 degrees out, so I thought I could forgo the anti-histamine. Nope. My run was cut severely short. I guess I should by stock in Benedryl.

By anon180918 — On May 27, 2011

Love these posts! The first time I experienced the itchiness in my legs while walking was when I was 19 and 8 months pregnant. It was hot and I was in so much misery I cried by the time I got home! I walked everywhere as a kid/teen and never felt something like it. When I told people I was "allergic" to exercise, they all thought I was crazy.

I can relate to many of these posts and will be trying allergy medicine to see if it helps. I've noticed with myself that walking (sometimes) and running (all the time) is when it happens. I'm OK on an elliptical machine and possibly exercising, following a very sedentary lifestyle and recent weight gain may be the culprit of more itching. I also have that dirt phobia when it happens. I start seeing all the dirt, bugs, etc. outside and it makes the itching worse.

Just now I went for a walk and there are trees everywhere. The bark on the trees were making the itching worse. Very odd feeling of disgust! - LaTisha

By anon180096 — On May 25, 2011

I thought I was crazy. I complained about the itching for years until I hesitated going for walks. Today, I decided to for a walk and about 20 minutes into my walk I started to itch like crazy. I was not sure if I should stop drop and role. I ran home and sat on my steps and went to work on my legs before taking shower. I found this blog and now I know I am not insane. I usually put gold bond lotion my skin and it helps a little.

By abdrea1197 — On May 25, 2011

I've read all these posts. some sound familiar. I have had itchy legs for a long time. It started when I lived in texas. I've decided that it's from being in humidity. When I moved back to michigan a year ago I thought it would be better, but I was wrong. The other day me and my husband went for a walk. Ot had been a hot day and cooled down a bit, so I thought it would be nice, but about five minutes into the walk, I was going crazy.

I get an itch that is in my lower legs only and feel like scratching. I told my husband we had to go home. I felt bad because he doesn't understand. When I got home, I stripped my clothes, jumped in a cold shower and scratched. By the end of my shower, I had scratched so much my legs were inflamed and bright red. I don't have the disgust feeling, but I have found that wearing long cotton pants helps with it a bit.

My doctor told me I have dry skin, and this may be so, but I use lotions and itch creams that only work temporarily. I understand that I am overweight, but the itch is in an area that is all muscle and no fat. I'm allergic to allergy pills so not sure how that will work.

At night I also have to wear long sweat pants or jammie pants because I will itch when my legs rub together. So it itches when I walk in humidity but other times I'm OK. I feel bad that I don't even want to go out in nice weather because of it and it's hard explaining to people because they already think I'm crazy.

By anon178345 — On May 20, 2011

It is amazing to find that there are many who suffer with this itchy and stinging sensation when exercising. I find that when I have not exercised in a while I always suffer with this but when I keep up the exercising it does go away with my using anything.

By anon173418 — On May 07, 2011

I got incredibly itchy when i went for hikes, the cold and humid weather made it unbearable, but i started using moisturizer, sorbolene (excuse my spelling) worked well for me and decreased the itch. i think part of the reason was my skin was dry due to the cold temperature so the cream helped me.

By anon173024 — On May 05, 2011

I am so happy to have read this article. it's been difficult for me to explain to my sister just how unbearable this is when I walk, even short distances! I get so embarrassed having to stop at bus stops and curbs. Honestly, I get this itch in any kind of weather, inside malls, cold weather, hot weather I'm going to start trying some antihistamines and hope that helps.

By anon172034 — On May 02, 2011

the itch is unbearable. it's been a while since i've exercised, though. i remember now that when i exercise regularly i do not get itchy! it's when I'm out of shape and things are wobbly. another great reason to stick to an exercise routine. I'm going to walk again tomorrow and try and stick to it for all the healthy reasons that exercise does for our bodies. they are a gift so let's use them as such! who is with me? down with itching!

By anon171703 — On May 01, 2011

I am glad to see all these comments about the itching! I knew I could not be the only one with this problem when I exercise but I had not had anyone talk to me about them having it.

I find that I only experience it when I exercise with a lot of vibration, such as running, walking fast, jumping, after a few minutes -- maybe 10 to 15 minutes. When I walk normally or use an elliptical machine, or even yoga, I do not notice it much and if I do it is very mild after a while.

I have also taken up tap dancing and class is once a week for one hour and I do not experience it severely then, either. I guess, though, after 10 to 15 minutes, that is enough time for your body to get warmed up and that is when I begin to itch.

Also I notice when I am in a sauna or hot shower for longer than 20 minutes, I begin to itch as well. Also when outside in extreme hot weather and sweating I begin to itch. The only time it feels unbearable and I scratch like crazy is I'm when walking or running longer than 15 minutes. Perhaps there is something to the heat making your body itch!

By anon170685 — On Apr 27, 2011

Warming up before starting an exercise routine can help and even has eliminated this problem for me.

By anon169576 — On Apr 21, 2011

I am so happy to read that other people go through this as well. I am so sick of my brothers calling me lazy and telling me to stop making excuses when it's time to walk somewhere!! I really want o try Loratidine 10mg that sounds like it could work for me. I have tried everything! Thanks a billion. --Ericka J.

By anon168530 — On Apr 17, 2011

I knew other people suffered from the itch, but I'm SO glad I'm not the only one with the feeling of disgust. I will definitely try an antihistamine but like a lot of other people I'd love to understand more of what's happening with my body. It's unbearable!

By anon167223 — On Apr 11, 2011

I am super excited! I am 26 and have been feeling the itch since I was maybe 14. I find it difficult to explain what I am going through to other people because they end up thinking I'm making excuses not to do as much as I would like to in the gym or they think I'm crazy!

I itch anytime I walk or run whether I'm walking outside or in the gym on the treadmill; it doesn't happen on the elliptical for some reason. The itch starts on my thighs, runs down my legs sometimes the bottom of my feet and sometimes my stomach.

I've been out of work and haven't been as active, but I don't know if that has something to do with it. I do get the feeling of disgust sometimes, however those feelings are not only limited to being outdoors. The other day, I just got the feeling of disgust indoors at the gym! I felt dirty, I felt like everything around me was dirty, and it made me want to spit, which is what I do when I walk outdoors.

Overall, the itch is horrible and overwhelming, I sometimes end up with bruises on my thighs from scratching (purple bruises). I am super glad and super enlightened by this thread because it feels great to know that there are people out there who understand! Thanks to the comments I will be trying Loratidine 10 mg. Super excited to get in shape and live a healthy lifestyle.

By anon167138 — On Apr 11, 2011

I have been having the exact same itching every time i would walk/run outdoors and indoors. I've been suffering from this since forever.I thought it was stress because it would stop for a while then come back, but it's not. It's a kind of itching that will only be relieved by scratching the skin or tapping it. It's crazy.

I am working for an allergy clinic here in SF bay area, and also found out about antihistamines. Zrytec is the best as it works best for skin itching. The only side effect is that it makes you feel tired, so usually i would take Zyrtec D, the one with a decongestant that makes me feel hyped up. But watch out because it can cause your nasal passages to be dry, so use a saline rinse to moisturize your nasal area.

I would also use Eucerin anti itch cream all over my body and it has given me new life! Good luck to all and I'm happy to know i am not alone with this quest.

By anon166008 — On Apr 06, 2011

I have MS and I am a 50 year old female that exercises regularly to help combat my fatigue. Last year this new rash appeared on my legs that looked liked freckles, after I had been in the sun a lot. Weeks later, the itching started with more tingling than I already had experienced previously with my nerve pain. Yes,anon19481, is correct, when mentioning pressure on the nerves in the itchy area.

when I took medication for my nerve pain that comes and goes, the itching stopped. The medication I take is lyrica. Expensive without insurance, but I take half a dose at a time due to groggy feeling. Gabapentin is a cousin to this med. So,if over the counter meds or vitamins don't help seek professional neurologist and describe your pain and how it comes about. Good luck!

By anon165868 — On Apr 06, 2011

I just started walking on the treadmill and my legs started itching! Thank goodness I found this because I thought all my veins were popping in my legs. I can't believe I finally got off my butt to exercise and now I have to deal with this! Good grief!

By anon164682 — On Apr 02, 2011

Solution: Suffer no more. I am free from it for two years after reading posts from different people from many sites like this. We are not alone!

Take any medication with Loratidine 10 mg and nothing else. Take it for a least three days in a row before you decide to go for a walk. It works. Thank God!

By anon163564 — On Mar 28, 2011

Just like the rest of you I am so relieved I am not alone on this one. I'm 24 and I've had this happen since I was an early teenager. It doesn't happen every day, but a few times a week after 10-20 minutes of walking outside. I find that taking off my socks helps a lot for me, maybe improves my circulation, but I always have to stop and sit down for 10 minutes and try not to itch my thighs and shins to the bone.

I don't know if it's related, but if I take a hot shower, after 10 minutes or so my feet start to swell and I get a hive-like itchy rash on my knees and thighs. Allergic to hot water, now that's a funny one. Good luck everyone.

By anon162234 — On Mar 22, 2011

Oh my God! I am normal! Thanks a billion. You all have given me my life back, not with a cure but with the knowledge that am not alone.

I'll try everything recommended and see how it works. If only i feel that good now, if i get a cure, guys, I'll be in heaven. I wish i could get on that treadmill and walk for 20 minutes without tearing into my skin. Thanks, thanks to you all.

By anon161787 — On Mar 21, 2011

I'm so glad i found this thread. I thought i was alone!

Like a few of the posts i read, it typically happens on runs or long walks where I've been inactive for a long time and am getting used to being active again.

By anon161726 — On Mar 21, 2011

I've been getting itchy every time i walk since as far back as i can remember and there have been no answers. I cannot run nor exercise without itching extremely bad to the point were my skin turns red and i have pretty dark skin. If there are any medical answers, tell me a website which explains it and/or possible remedies. Thanks, Janata

By anon158551 — On Mar 07, 2011

My legs do this, too. it is worse in cold weather. I've tried adding a layer of tights, that doesn't work. I think I'm going to try the antihistamines. I am so grateful for this post. I thought I was alone. everyone I tell thinks I'm insane. I am so jealous of those runners out there in shorts and not itching. I just won't exercise outdoors anymore but i really want to. The pain and itch are unbearable! I get bruised and bloody from the itching. Gong to try antihistamines.

By anon154668 — On Feb 21, 2011

I would like to add that I think that the weight gain link might be due to the extra flab, which would lead to more wobble/ vibration which I think might be the reason for the increase in symptoms. It might explain why many of us find that his condition starts in our teens, as this is when we usually start to gain a little extra flesh! More surface area for the cold to get in and heat to be lost too!

By anon154636 — On Feb 21, 2011

Thank god I found this page! I have suffered from this since my early teens and neither then, nor now, have I ever been taken seriously with this! I don't get the panic or disgust that many of you report though. Mine is definitely brought on by cold, or even just mild weather, but after reading your posts, it makes a lot of sense for me to think that vibrations may very much be an issue also!

I remember the first time I must have been about 13 and took a bike ride. Before I got home, I was in absolute agony and dove straight into the shower!

Now, if I walk in the cold, or even mild weather, my thighs start to itch, then burn, then itch and burn to such a level of excruciating pain that I cannot even describe! Eventually, the pain becomes so bad that I start to feel sick!

I have raynauds and I suspect I also have an underactive thyroid and for years thought that this was the reason for this and always feel so frustrated that people either don't believe me, or think that I am exaggerating and friends think they are doing right by not letting me stay in when they want to go on nights out which mean walking from the train station to the pubs (I dread it because I know what pain is coming).

After reading your posts, I notice that I itch when I touch anything that vibrates (raynaud's?) and it's very unpleasant, so it makes sense that as my thighs are my wobbliest parts, that this is where most of my pain starts!

It's not a cure, but understanding that I'm not alone after all and knowing why makes all the difference!

I'm just baffled as to why the doctors don't seem to know anything about it when clearly there are other people with the same condition!

Let's hope they start to catch on because this stops me doing so much!

By anon154428 — On Feb 21, 2011

I use to have the same problem always itching. It was unbearable. I used to take my clothes off on the street or call someone to pick me up, until i went to my doctor and he prescribed allegra 180mg(fexofenadine) 20-30min before a walk and now i can walk for miles and no problem. It works. So glad my doctor recommended it.

By anon152300 — On Feb 13, 2011

I thought I was the only one who itched more when it was dirty or nasty around. I seriously started thinking I had mental issues until I saw someone post the comment experiencing the same exact thing.

I have no clue what to do. I don't even know how to begin to explain it to a doctor but it's all weather for me, hot or cold. It's horrible.

By anon149985 — On Feb 06, 2011

I'm so glad that i found this website. I am 24 and I have been dealing with this since around the age of 13. I also have a huge phobia of dirt and nastiness when I walk which seems to ignite even more itching. I get so nervous that my heart begins to beat faster and i begin to breathe very rapidly. Sometimes I even experience nausea. i have tried putting cortisone on before i walk or either taking a Benadryl or Claritin but nothing seems to work!

By anon144982 — On Jan 21, 2011

My legs itch when I walk in the cold it seems. I can be wearing shorts, pants, different types from jeans to silk, I have tried shaving my legs, leaving them hairy, lotion, no lotion. Nothing helps. I only experience this outdoors though, never inside. Must I just stay inside when I exercise?

By anon144706 — On Jan 20, 2011

I used to have itchy legs when walking or running or standing for long periods. I first noticed it in my teens and it continued into my thirties. I did not notice any other phobias.

I think what causes the itchiness is leaky veins ~ where the veins allow blood to escape into the body and the lymph system (where your immune system operates) has to clean it up. Any impurities or allergens in your blood are now sitting in your tissues, and your immune system is stimulated because this now-uncirculating-blood is settled in the wrong place. So the cure is to make your veins stronger.

I became aware of leaky veins when I developed serious hemorrhoids and tried to find an herbal cure for them. Hemorrhoids are weak veins, or weak venous tissue. As my hemorrhoids healed and as I discovered more ways to take care of my veins and capillaries, the itch in my legs gradually faded until it is no bother at all any more.

The same herbs also heal capillaries, and I noticed that the skin of my face has become much healthier looking because the capillaries are in better condition.

These are some herbs that I use to specifically address leaky veins, hemorrhoids, and capillary tissue:

Vitamin C, rutin, butcher's broom, horse chestnut, witch hazel (internally as a dry herb in a capsule, and externally as an after-bath splash on my skin. I evaporate the alcohol since it is too drying).

Vitamin C is a helper for rutin, butcher's broom, and horse chestnut, all of which contain bioflavinoids associated with Vitamin C. There are other formulations which would probably be helpful also. Hesperidin is commonly mentioned, but my reaction to it made me very dizzy. I would suggest starting gradually with any herbs and noticing what dose is right for you.

Good luck!

By anon144536 — On Jan 20, 2011

I'm 30 years old and I've been dealing with this problem myself for as long as i remember. I would go for walks and would be ready to call for a ride to come pick me up because my itching would be so unbearable.

I went to few doctors and one said that I was allergic to my own body heat, but no matter what the climate is, my legs start itching after 20 min into my walk and it will spread to my stomach and even my arms sometimes. I do wish there was some sort of a solution for it.

By anon144181 — On Jan 19, 2011

I didn't even know this was a condition. My frickin legs itch so bleeping bad when I walk. Ironically, it only happens to me after periods of my life where I've been sedentary. For example, pregnancy and being a new mom. I'm trying to get back in to shape now, but I have no idea how to start! In the past, when I was getting over depression, my legs would itch so bad when I'd walk.

I just dealt with it and kept walking and after a month or so of doing it every day, it got better. I guess my body is just building muscle tone or something, but I will definitely try that allergy medicine because this time, it's worse than ever! This makes me never want to walk ever again. I practically end up scratching my legs and feet raw.

By anon143815 — On Jan 17, 2011

I've had this problem for years though I only felt the itch kick in when I was walking at a fast pace or running. But not on any treadmill/elliptical machine. I'm 20 now. I just came back from a walk and man less than halfway through I was madly itching on my legs! When I got home I checked to see my legs and they were red in some places.

I didn't do this today, but so far what has worked for me is to wear thick leggings under my pants. I think that helps with my body temp. I'm thinking of putting an oil based lotion on my legs first since it could also be that the cause is dryness. We should all see if we should layer up or only wear cotton material and see if it's helped.

We're not alone!

By anon141728 — On Jan 11, 2011

I'm 17 and so happy I'm not weird because I thought I was mentally unstable. I have the dirt phobia thing as well.

I just came in from picking up my little brother from school and it started on the way there and I could have cried there and then but i still had to make it to the school, and that was 5 minutes into the walk (10 to the school).

Then when i got him and we started on our way back I swore it got worse, if its even possible and then the nastiness and dirt phobia came on.

My brother was talking to me about his day and i couldn't talk, I felt sick with every step and felt physically sick. I just wanted to run home there and then, I was shaking and literally panicking and I hate it and don't know what to do.

It's currently winter here in the UK so that might be it? I don't know but I just want it gone.

I'm glad I found this website because I know that I'm not alone now.

By neenee200096 — On Jan 05, 2011

I feel so much comfort from reading everyone's comments on this situation. When I talk to my friends they often just look at me like I am crazy.

I am 20 years old and find the hardest thing I go through is walking on a day to day basis. I had an episode today when walking from school to the train station. I was nearly in tears from only a five minute walk. My feet, legs and thighs were itching and burning severely. I thought I was losing my mind. And to top it all off, it was raining outside and I became disgusted. It makes the itches worse when I'm walking outside and looking at the ground around me.

I can understand others when I say all I want to do is get quickly away from people and outside to a safe location where I can itch the hell out of my feet and legs. I itch them for a good minute until I find a point of relief. I have never met anyone else who experiences these occurrences as frequently as I do. I thought I may be losing my mind.

I find it complicated to walk for a long amount of time. Also sometimes if I can't itch because I'm in public I just stand still and try to hold myself. Also, when this happens, most of the time my feet swell. I don't know what is the issue. But I'm 21 years old and weigh 121 pounds. I am tall and petite. I am nowhere near fat. I hate the fact that I can't walk places without having to stop and trying to stick my fingers in my shoe or get my hand in my pants to itch because it's so uncomfortable. Also, others around you probably think its weird.

I will definitely be trying out this allergy medicine. Sad part about it is when I told the doctor, his only explanation was maybe I need better walking shoes or more calcium. What a big help?(sarcastic voice)

By anon139507 — On Jan 04, 2011

I've had this condition all of my life, and I have even been to the doctor thinking I have polycythemia vera, which is a blood disorder that includes itchy legs as one of the symptoms. Thankfully, that is not the case for me.

I found out from my doctor that I had extremely dry skin on my legs, and had to switch to dove soap, never an antibacterial soap, and also to moisturize after every shower with an oil based lotion. Also, do not take very hot showers. As long as i do these things, the itch seems to subside. I still do get it when starting to exercise every spring. I head out on a 3 mile walk, and into the second mile it starts. this continues for the fist couple of times i go for the walk, until it eventually stops.

I really think it is just the increased blood flow and body temp, and your body getting used to the increase in circulation. If I get through that first two weeks of itching, it pretty much goes away.

By anon138942 — On Jan 03, 2011

I don't know about you all but it seems only when it's really cold this happens. I'm sitting here right now and i want to cut off my own legs; the itch is unbearable. It's terrible.

By anon138603 — On Jan 01, 2011

I am very happy to learn that I am not the only one who suffers with this burning and itching sensation! I have always had this problem from a young child, and now I am 28 and nothing has changed. I was a very active child who participated in track and field. I had the problem even then, but seems I was able to deal with it better. I have slowed down a lot due to the fact that I can't tolerate the burning and itching!

I want to exercise and stay in shape, but the pain is awful (which I know everyone understands). I am affected when I walk, run, swim, use a treadmill, and using foot and back massagers. It does not matter if it's cold or hot!

I have always researched and asked around about the condition, and I was told it was due to being very active at one point and then stopping suddenly and it was toxins built up, and the way to get rid of it is push through the pain and drink plenty of water, but I'm on here today because that did not work! I'm tired of dealing with this, and ready for a solution!

I will try the allergy meds, at this point I'm willing to try anything.

Let's work on fighting the itch! --Dee~

By omggirl — On Dec 27, 2010

For those seeking relief, take an antihistamine 30 minutes before leaving the house. This is the only relief we have right now.

By anon137406 — On Dec 27, 2010

I get the itch when I go for a long walk, jog or ride a bicycle. It seems to start at parts of your body in contact with the wind or with your clothes. Scratching makes it worse and it gets so bad sometimes that I feel like crying.

My mom and brother have it so I guess it might be hereditary. I really hope there is a name for it and also a drug that one can take before exercising to prevent stopping your exercise halfway, itching madly and crying by the side of the road.

By anon134349 — On Dec 14, 2010

There is no way to describe the feeling of relief I have from reading these posts. I just got back from a 45 minute run/walk and about half way through my legs started itching. I wanted to cry and I felt like I just wanted to lay down and scratch my legs forever until someone came to rescue me.

When I was younger I was a chubby kid and every year we would go on a 13 mile walk on good Friday to symbolize the walk Jesus took with the cross and after about two miles, I felt like I was going to die. Not from the walk but from the unbearable itchiness. Everyone thought i was just being lazy because I was the chubby kid but that was not the case.

I have since gotten in shape and lost 80 pounds but the itching still occurs sometimes. I've never experienced it on a treadmill but for me the feeling happens both in cold and warm weather regardless if I'm wearing shorts, pants, tight or loose clothing.

I'm so glad I'm not alone in this and I really hope a cure becomes available because crying on the sidewalk in workout clothes while scratching viciously at my legs just doesn't seem like a valuable option.

By anon134290 — On Dec 14, 2010

Oh my gosh. I cannot believe it, i too, thought i was the only one with this problem.

It started with me when i was a teenager, in high school, and me and my twin sister would walk home from school and we both had the itchy burning sensation in our legs.

It will start up around 10 minutes of walking, and it would get worse if we try to scratch, hit, or even rub our legs. So we would stop at just about every bus stop until the itchy went away but walking more just made it worst so we would try to get home asap.

Now that i am 33 years old and i still have that feeling, it is unbearable. Just a trip around the corner to my kids school or the store the itch will start. I am overweight and my friends would encourage me to walk but i let them know about the itchy situation and people would think i am being lazy. That is not the case at all and the feeling of disgust after the itch comes is what makes me not want to walk at all and i thought that i was just psycho because every little dirt made my skin crawl.

It's like when i am walking, my eyes are glued to the ground because it seems like any dirt, dog poop or grass would make the feeling even worse. It's like I am watching my every step. The itch just makes me want to hurry up get home and soak in a tub.

Every morsel of dog crap that i see and don't see on the ground just makes my skin crawl. And if it is raining, that is even worse. I want to cry but i just have to stop and hope the feeling dies down for a bit. Then i start back walking again but it gets worse. If my pants hits up against my leg it gets worse. If i touch or even try to scratch my leg it gets worst.

I don't have a car so walking to and from the bus stop or anywhere is so unbearable. Any vibration triggers the feeling if i have my foot rested in a foot message or simply being on a treadmill or riding a horse gives me the same itchy unbearable feeling, hell i rode a horse one time in my life and that alone had my legs itching to the point of no return. So I don't ride horses, i know weird, but true.

I will definitely try some of the remedies that were posted on some of the other comments. I am glad i stumbled on to this website and will bookmark it to visit every once in a while to see if there have been any major solutions.

I had no idea there were others out there like me. I pray that god will help us find a solution. God bless everyone.

By anon133918 — On Dec 12, 2010

I've been reading everyone's posts and like you all it is reassuring to find that I'm not the only one and want to find some answers. I find it hard to explain how unbearable the itching is as most people when you try think it's just like having a few mosquito bites or something!

I wanted to share what helps for me once i manage to get back home, in case it helps anyone else. I find the quickest way to get it to stop is to wet a large towel, strip off and wrap my body with it. The cool water seems to calm it down for me. The only problem is when I'm out in public and i don't have that option and my mum suggested to keep water on me and squirt some on me but obviously you can't always do that in public either without looking a bit freaky! does anyone else have any suggestions for how to calm it down in public?

By anon132612 — On Dec 07, 2010

I cannot believe there are no remedies for this. I would even accept an anti-itch gel. My legs start itching only when I use the treadmill or walk. The itching starts on my thighs and moves up to my waist and stomach at times. I notice the more restricted my clothing is the more intense the itching is.

Once I stop running or walking, the itch goes away in about five minutes. I think it may have something to do with my feet and the pressure and shock that is put on my body as I walk or run. I am flat footed and have problems with my feet due to bunions. I use the elliptical machine and I do not have the itching problem at all.

By anon129868 — On Nov 25, 2010

I come from a family whose mother is affected by the cluster (patterns) phobia. So many of my reactions were actually learned behavior passed to us through our mother's reactions to her own situation. I was quite lucky because I realized at an early age that my sisters and I were mostly mimicking her reactions as learned behavior. I already had eczema from head to toe and didn't need anything additional to exacerbate that condition. So I learned some self taught techniques early on to break that cycle.

Eventually I received ultraviolet light treatments for the eczema and it disappeared. So for many years after early adulthood, life felt pretty normal with the exception of hives and a few other emotion-stirred reactions. Having studied dance, performing arts and leading an active lifestyle I was disappointed to find that in my late twenties I would have bouts of itching legs and negative reactions to visual stimuli during the course of physical exercise for walking, running and jogging.

The first time I experienced this was on an exercise related walk during an Arizona winter (not very cold to say the least) several years back. Just a few minutes into the walk my legs begin itching (this was a very, very negative emotional trigger due to my sufferings with eczema). It rapidly became aggressive and I noticed the clean lines of the manicured golf course and the beautiful morning suddenly seemed more alive than I could imagine! Everything with texture became too much! It felt like my skin was crawling with itching and looking at even a simple tree or bush made me want to scream and tear my skin off.

Even with my worst memories of the years I suffered with eczema covering over 60 percent of my body and the nights of crying and scratching myself to sleep because the medicines hadn't helped and the itch/scratch cycle would not stop - those years had nothing on the few minutes of hell I went through trying to make it back to my house without losing my mind!

I called my daughter on the phone and told her to turn the bath and shower on! For me, hot water works best to stop the itch and I just had the feeling of wanting to scald myself with it. I know these are extreme images, but they pretty well define what I was going through.

I felt dirty, ashamed, humiliated and incapable of helping myself. I didn't and still don't, understand the correlation between my legs itching and a pile of rocks or the budding of a bush making want to jump off a bridge (just figuratively speaking, not literally, lol)! At one point I tried stopping and scratching my legs, but this only made the reaction flare! I couldn't even talk to my daughter about it. I couldn't run nor could I stop as either would only increase the itch. By the grace of God I kept it together mentally and made it the 15 minutes back (after abandoning what I thought would be an hour long walk) and made a beeline through the front door to the steaming bath. I barely could hold my cell phone to convey to my daughter my needs as my mind just felt any stimulation rather sound, vibratory or visual, would set me to the tune of the looney bin. lol.

I figured it was because I was not in the best shape, but I had an active job as a massage therapist. Still, I was not nearly as active as before becoming a therapist. I figured I had poor circulation and it would get better the more I exercised. Well that philosophy didn't hold any water. It didn't get better, but worse instead.

I described the condition to my doctor who suggested I take antihistamines prior to exercise. That did the trick and eventually I didn't need anything. Then I had my third and last child just six years ago. My lifestyle became sedate again with the exception of chasing after a child and other demands of motherhood.

A year after my child was born I thought to get back into shape and tried some lite hiking on a nearby mountain. I took one step onto the mountain and immediately lost breath. I wheezed halfway up, struggling with every step so much so my partner had to go on without me. We never called the paramedics as I didn't even know I was in any kind of danger.

Since then I've taken Pilates, yoga, and other methods of exercise both in gym and out, but have never been able to continue beyond a certain point. I then gave up slightly. Now that my little one is school age, I've tried just taking leisurely walks with him and find the itching (but no shortness of breath thank God) is still there! Today was the worst bought yet!

We moved to a temporary home while we search for a permanent place during our relocation back to our home state. I thought I'd get back to getting fit and in shape now that my child is in school. Our community is scenic and very well planned with plenty to do out of doors besides golf. It's a beautiful little resort community with clean streets and manicured trees.

My child and I went for a walk just down our street, through the gates of our community to the edge of the resort area. Before we got quite to the resort entrance to loop around, the itching began. I tried doing some logic control exercises to keep calm, but I'd forgotten about the visual stimuli. At one point my child was walking past a tree that seems to be a dropping area for the birds living there. The ground was quite littered with bird droppings. I wanted to shrivel up. I kept doing my logic control exercises, but once the droppings triggered, rocks, grass, tree trunks, sounds, etc. all seemed to jump in and overwhelm me! I had to fight my way back to logic. The itching only intensified with each trigger.

I was playing a game with my little one to keep from freaking out and having my poor child see a grown woman cry! Once we got back through our walking gate things calmed a bit, but that left me with just the itching which had gotten very intense. I did some deep breathing exercises which helped a tiny bit, but I had to explain to my little one that my legs were sick. I had to ask my child to help me home! My baby is barely going to be six this weekend!

Once I made it back into my house I at least felt safer as the house is very clean. I ran for the bathtub, but noted by the time I got my little one situated, the itch had fully dissipated! That was a first.

I wasn't sweaty or dirty. I mean, for crying out loud, we were out of doors for all of 30 minutes, tops! I decided to see if I could handle it if I didn't bathe right away. My legs felt perfectly fine, but my mind was surely gone! Any little thought or disruption caused a reaction. My child was playing and accidentally knocked something over and I about had a heart attack! When I realized how minor it was I felt foolish for the overreaction. Just writing this account and remembering little things, I get waves of chicken skin up and down my arms and back while my hair stands on end like I've been watching a horror scene. Also, I became extremely tired and could barely hold my eyes open for the first half hour after returning. I've now been back an hour and a half and I am just really calming down.

I hope we all find out what the blazes as at the root cause of all of this! I'm going to keep working on mine until a workable solution comes along and right now I'm going to take a hot bath until my mind clears and my skin feels normal. Thanks for sharing all these accounts. It's been helpful knowing I'm not alone! --Nicole

P.S.: I take a quarter to a half of Benadryl on days like these as I'm very sensitive to that med on a daily basis, but it does help when I can't gain control working my levels.

By anon128720 — On Nov 20, 2010

I have suffered from this problem for years. I go to the gym with hopes of getting in shape, but I can't stay on the treadmill more than eight minutes, because I start to get that itchy feeling on my legs. I normally just go on home, which is right across the walkway from where I live, and by the time I get home, I feel like bursting out in tears!

By anon127996 — On Nov 18, 2010

So I have had this problem for years and reading the 100 posts, like everybody else makes me so glad. I did a search five years ago and came up with all the stuff about wearing cotton but it didn't help. I am not big on the pills and I frankly hate to exercise. I'd rather control what I eat. I may get back to swimming.

I am just happy to know that the weirded out disgusting feeling was part of it. I just thought I was being a diva. Thank you all, I can bear my itch now knowing that I don't bear it alone. Plus the apples idea was really cool. I'll try that.

By omggirl — On Nov 12, 2010

Thanks number 159 but it's definitely not trypophobia. We are not allergic to holes, however something is causing us to itch severely and gives most of us a feeling of disgust.

I believe the theory of being allergic to vibrations sounds a lot more realistic, however I think perhaps there is something in nature that is causing this problem. It could be something as common as a dust or a plant, and more studies definitely need to be done on this.

By anon126254 — On Nov 12, 2010

Wow, I just posted about my experience with the 'itch' and continued to read other posts. I came to post 106 which mentioned a condition called trypophobia. I looked it up and saw some pictures associated with it and completely freaked out. The condition has something to do with clusters of holes and the itchy grossed out condition it causes. Please check out this condition. It may be affecting you as well! Thank you poster #106.

By anon126253 — On Nov 12, 2010

I am sitting in front of my computer with my eyes wide and shocked! I thought I was alone with this. It happened again this week, itching, burning, prickling pain after walking about ten minutes. I was nauseous, disgusted by smell and dirt, wanted to cry (but didn't). I was surrounded by approx. 20 people so i had to bear it.

This past year has been horrible with the 'itch' attacks. I stop and scratch like crazy trying to rush home. I rip off my clothing and scratch until my legs are shredded with welts. I try not to scratch when I can because it just makes it worse. Even if I just rub my legs it makes it 10 times worse.

I remember it first happening when I was around 18. But it would only happen every few years. I was much more active then as opposed to now (I am 30). I am going to try to anti-histamines. I just switched to fragrance free detergent and lotion and soap. But it doesn't seem to be making a difference.

I am definitely going to increase my physical fitness. I can't remember it happening when I was more active. Thanks for all the comments here. I am sure they will help. It's so reassuring to see that I am not alone.

By anon125821 — On Nov 10, 2010

I'm 19 years of age and from a very young age I had played sports, state netball, basketball, surfing, horse riding, you name it, fit as a fiddle. Never had the itchy feeling on my legs we are all talking about.

The past 2.5 years, i have stopped playing sports all together due to a move to the city and studying full time. I don't really do any intensive exercise anymore.

A couple of months ago i went for a jog with my partner and by the end my legs were in agony. i just wanted to jump in a cold bath, and i cried most of the way home, it was horrible. I had never experienced it before and thought it was because I am unfit and that the toxins are releasing from my legs (I'm not allergic to anything).

Then today I went for an early morning walk/jog. It happened again, i was scratching and walking, must of looked like a freak Ha! As soon as i got home i sat on the kitchen tiles and scratched my legs raw. it only takes 5 min for my itching to go away.

So all this itchy feeling could be because I'm rather unfit at the moment? I don't get the disgust feeling you are all talking about.

By anon122249 — On Oct 27, 2010

I really thought i was strange for having this but i remember as a child my legs would itch when walking and trying to explain to my dad what was wrong but he didn't understand.

I'm now 25 and still suffer with this problem i hate so much. I don't drive and have a 20min walk each day to take my daughter to school, which is hell, especially as it's getting cold again. About 10 mins into the walk i get a burning all over my thighs which then starts to itch intensely and the more i scratch the worse it gets, and then the sick feeling starts and i can't even stop walking or my daughter will be late for school and to make matters worse I'm pushing her little sister in the buggy too and then my hands itch too but my legs are worse --so much worse i feel like crying.

I've never really noticed the dirt phobia until i was doing the school run one time and the itching came on and i noticed there was some dried crust on the changing bag which was hanging on the back of the buggy staring me in the face and the sick feeling got worse. I couldn't even talk to the teachers when i dropped my girl off. All i could think about was the crust. i needed it gone so i rushed out of the school, legs in agony, grabbed a baby wipe and just about managed to remove it without being sick. Then i rushed home almost crying and jumped in the bath.

I have to deal with this every day and i know this sounds bad but i sometimes make excuses for my daughter not to go to school as i really just want to jump in front of a bus when it starts. i know it sounds drastic and i wouldn't actually do it, but I'm sure everyone on here understands this feeling too.

I really hope there is a solution to this condition for all of us. i tend to stay indoors most of the time now as I feel the older i get the worse the condition gets. oh, and I'm not overweight either i only weigh 7 1/2 stone and regardless of the itching i still have to do the 20min walk there and back to the school twice a day, so i still get exercise and i have never suffered from any allergies so i have no idea what causes this condition.

By anon121668 — On Oct 25, 2010

I know what is wrong with us all.

We all are having an allergic reaction. I have done lots of research on this. Here's what I've found:

Allergic to vibrations- this is what I have. It is called cholinergic urticaria. We have a physical allergy to vibration, but you can have an allergy to heat, cold, humidity, some people even sunlight. If i keep walking after i break out in hives, my throat starts to close up so I'm not sure if I have cholinergic urticaria or exercise induced analylaxia. I'm not sure what the difference is, if any.

I also have an autoimmune disorder called Hashimoto's. It affects my thyroid. I have heard there may be a link. I am also allergic to wheat, caffeine, and sugar.

I will try the non drowsy loratadine. I feel for all you. I know what it's like.

By anon121356 — On Oct 24, 2010

I have laughed hysterically and had tears after reading everyone's post.

For me, the itching usually starts on my thighs and spread wildly all over my body. It gets so bad while walking that I feel like it has penetrated my blood and bones. By this time I am in a state of panic and can barely even breathe. Honestly, I feel like I'm about to die at this point. The repulse I get from seeing garbage or mud only exacerbates it.

This condition started in my late teens and I am now 31 years old. I have always ensured that my skin is moisturized so this could not be the problem. Lately tho, I have not been having this problem since using a shower gel that contains niacin (dove)but I am very fearful that this condition will appear suddenly again as before, as it usually does.

The dove niacin body wash has helped but I will also use the anti histamine as suggested by some persons as a form of double protection as I really could not stand having to face the agony again. Thanks y'all. I am relieved that others can relate but hopeful that a permanent solution will be found soon.

By anon115230 — On Oct 01, 2010

I have just arrived at home and again after walking only 15 minutes I had an unbearable itch -- an itch so bad I am walking and scratching my legs and when I get in I rip my clothes off and scratch like mad (until red raw). The more I scratch the worse it gets.

It only happens when it is cold outside, though, and looking at the above comments I have noticed that it is mainly women who get 'the itch.' I stopped taking the pill last sept and went on the rod implant, and my itching stopped (but it turned me into a psycho) so i went back to the pill. Lo and behold it's back. Could this be the cause? Is there a cure?

By anon114349 — On Sep 28, 2010

I have had the same problem since I was 13 and now I am 31. It gets worse the longer I fall out of shape.

I have always had an athletic slim body but being in shape in this context means that I do aerobic activities regularly. I also have the feeling of disgust when I see trash on the floor. I try to look up at the sky rather than the floor. I never have this psychological problem when I don't have that itchy burning feeling.

What works for me is to go to the gym where I can go on the treadmill and take breaks without looking crazy (on the street it looks odd that I keep stopping for no reason) and I can wear shorts that don't touch my legs and there is no trash anywhere in sight. I slowly gradually increase my time on the treadmill, stopping every time my legs start burning.

I can stop often, but if I wait and continue after a few minutes I still work towards getting in shape. Plus at the gym, I can switch to other exercises to keep my heart rate up.

Gradually I can increase to running. At this point when I can run at the gym I can comfortably walk too. I never start first with walking on the street, it's too tortuous! Any periods of inactivity reverses my advances. I can fall out of shape in a week of inactivity. I can get rid of the condition within one week or two of daily treadmill activity. Riding a bike is an alternative because it improves the circulation with minimal discomfort and also makes it easier to walk later.

I tried the antihistamines and baby detergents and lotions and none of them worked. It is better to slowly get in shape as painlessly as possible.

By anon114157 — On Sep 27, 2010

I can not believe I have found people who have the same problem with this, just like others have said on here people just don't believe me. I went to the doctors today as it is getting cold again now and I know my itchy legs will start soon so thought I need to get this sorted only for the doctor to look at me like I was completely making it up. She gave me no answers and said she would ask another doctor.

Mine happens when it is cold outside and I am walking, I am fine if the weather is warm. The itching starts after 10 minutes and can also be triggered if I hit my leg or touch it in any way. The itching gets so bad that I have to stop walking and find somewhere warm or if I am lucky I make it home and rip my clothes off and lie in bed for 20 minutes until it stops. I have been in floods of tears on many occasions because the pain is unbearable and it makes me feel sick.

I can't stand it anymore and just need answers!

By mrslee81 — On Sep 16, 2010

I am at work trying not to cry at my desk (never mind that fact that I am supposed to be working)! I am so relieved that I am not the only one dealing with this condition.

It's so frustrating because no one around me can understand when I describe the symptoms. My first experience was when I was about nine or ten years of age. I was always an active child, and it just started happening one day all of a sudden when I was walking to the store.

Anyway, I'm 29 now and I still deal with this on a day to day basis. I work for a major corporation with a huge parking lot so I try to find the closest parking spot to avoid the itching while walking into the building. I have a shoe fetish but I have to be careful about when and where to wear my high heels because of the effect they have on me when I walk.

I started working out but I don't as much now because of my fear of this although it doesn't happen when on the elliptical machine. I do have the "dirt phobia" (I really thought that I was alone on that.) If I see mud or anything wet it freaks me out so bad that I feel like I might urinate on myself (or i might be alone on that part.) That's something that I've never shared until today.

Thank you for this site because It has allowed me to open up to complete strangers and vent about this without feeling misunderstood.

By anon109564 — On Sep 08, 2010

I have been experiencing this problem since I was a child, but it has gotten worse over the years. I never knew what it was until I visited a site like this one after having an especially bad reaction after walking a distance from a football game to where I was parked about a mile away. This itching started as usual after about 10 minutes, it was cool outside and I was wearing tights under my jeans.

When I reached the parking garage, I had to run to the bathroom, was short of breath, nauseated and almost in tears and had to strip of my jeans and tights in the bathroom. Thank goodness a friend was with me. It took over 45 minutes for the itch to finally subside and it really frightened me that time and I had welts on my thighs for days. I read that certain foods may make the reaction worse, like wheat products.

I do not experience this problem with any other exercise except walking (both outside and indoor on a treadmill) or running. I have no issues with either working out on an elliptical or spinning or bicycling. It seems to have something to do with the repeated impact of my feet on the ground.

I have a friend who also gets this and it is the same. She is an avid runner, and so takes benadryl, which makes me ridiculously tired. I have tried loratadine and allegra, both of which help but sometimes do not completely alleviate the problem.

For those of you with this issue, try an exercise with no impact (elliptical, biking) and see if that works for you. I had purchased a treadmill in the past and sold it because of this issue.

No one who hasn't experienced this problem knows how frustrating and scary it can be. I have tried to describe the feeling to others who have never experienced it and they have no idea of how it feels or how intense the itching is.

Good luck trying the antihistamines or another form of exercise. That may be the answer.

By anon109231 — On Sep 06, 2010

I never thought I was crazy because the itch was as real to me as anything else. However, reading all these post made me realize this is a real condition. Because I have allergy problems I just thought it was just one more of my allergy symptoms.

I am 39 years old and experienced this for the first time at age 19. It was winter time and I had gone walking and after ten minutes I was itching most unbearably. It started in my thighs and legs then below my bottom and then it spread to my stomach. I also realized that any place my clothing had direct contact with there was the most excruciating itch.

Today is a nice summer day but this morning after walking for ten minutes or so the itching started. I ended my walk because I knew it would only get worse before it got better and I just couldn't endure the process. I returned home and after bursting through the door I started rubbing my clothes off (it couldn't come off fast enough). I was scratching for some twenty minutes before I got some relief.

I will try the Loratadine because after years of not walking out of fear of itching I have decided I must find some relief. I need to lose weight and I am determine to do so through walking.

Thanks to the person who posted about the Loratadine. Thanks to everyone for sharing. Even though it may seem redundant because we all have the same story, I am sure we all know that by sharing someone has gotten some relief that they are not alone in dealing with this condition.

By anon107425 — On Aug 30, 2010

I have been dealing with this problem for several years as well. I have found that if I walk consistently it doesn't really occur, but I can't go two days without walking or begins to happen again.

In fact, I looked this up today because I just got done dealing with an episode after not walking all weekend. I have tried antihistamines in the past, but some days they just don't work.

By anon106565 — On Aug 26, 2010

I started having this problem when I was about 16, maybe before and I just don't remember it. I'm now 21, and went for a walk this morning when it was nice and cool out, and by the time I got close to home again (about 25-30 mins) I was ready to rip my clothes off in the street to start scratching. Pushed through it, got home, and tried not to scratch, but it wouldn't go away.

So, I lay down and scratched the hell out of myself for about 15 minutes straight. Ugh!

Maybe I'll try antihistamines.

By anon106550 — On Aug 26, 2010

This is strange. I haven't been going for walks for over a year due to a foot injury. This morning, I decide this is the day to start walking again.

I get dressed and walk outside and halfway down the driveway my legs start to itch. I continue on, thinking it will pass. The further I go the worse it starts to become. I get to the point where I just can't bear the itch anymore and decide to return home. My legs are itching beyond belief at this point.

I get in the house and scratch like mad, my legs are red. I get on the computer to look it up and I find this site. Since coming in the house everything has calmed down and my legs no longer itch. I never seem to be bothered with it working up a sweat doing things out in the yard however. Maybe it is an anxiety issue of some sort.

I have had it before going on walks, but usually in cold weather and usually near the end of my walk when my legs are warmed up.

By anon105303 — On Aug 19, 2010

I am relieved to know that I am not the only person who experiences an extreme itch after walking for 10 minutes. I usually have this feeling in my upper thighs, and sometimes my butt. Although, I have experienced it in my breasts, and calves before too.

I experience itchy hands when riding my bike, and the jets in a hot tub are enough to drive me insane. I have spent at least 10 years trying to figure it out.

The more consistent I am with walking the more I can tolerate the itch, or perhaps the less it flares up. But only a couple days of no walking and I am back at square one.

Other then this problem, I have no other health issues. I am a 27 year old female who is 5'11 and weighs 127 pounds. Obviously being overweight has nothing to do with this problem. I use all natural products avoiding sulphates, pesticides, artificial dyes, flavors etc. Almost everything I eat is organic.

I can snowboard, do yoga, swim, bike (minus the itchy hands) and work 12 hour shifts all day on my feet as an RN on a post surgical unit, clean my house from top to bottom, and much more. However, ask me to take a walk with my dog, and I suffer big time.

I have, until today, thought I was losing my mind with this itchy problem that causes me to act insane at times in desperation to get this itch to stop. I too, get in the front door after pushing myself through making it home from a walk to rip off my clothes and scratch my skin to the point of nearly drawing blood.

I have seen links to articles on Noni juice that may help with this issue. Has anyone tried it?

I also thought the response about making walking a regular routine to try and eliminate the itch sounded like a good idea. If only the pain of getting to the point of making it that far was not so discouraging.

I would love to hear some success stories, but sounds like this is still pretty much a guessing game.

Thanks for posting, reading. This blog has been comforting.

By anon104902 — On Aug 18, 2010

Oh wow! I'm not crazy. I'm so grateful to read about everyone's experiences.

i have this horrible itchy/stinging/burning sensation. It's horrible and when it becomes unbearable it sets me into a real panic and feel like I'd do anything just to make it stop.

i found myself sitting on the grass because i couldn't bear it, which probably was just as bad because i felt disgusted with what feels like everything. i just want to wash myself. I'm so grateful to read this. now i can find words to describe what I'm feeling to my doctor.

this was a real tear jerker for me because i thought it was just me, and i was crazy.

By anon104525 — On Aug 17, 2010

Has anybody noticed this being worse after several days of not going for a walk? Also after stopping antihistamines?

I had really bad when I had to stop antihistamines when I was I pregnant and getting to the bus-stop (less than 100 yards) was agony. Also when stopping antihistamines, sometimes there's itching all over even at rest, but not the urgent-feel-like-I-must-tear-off-clothes kind.

My 10-year-old has developed it, again worse after stopping hayfever antihistamines and several days of low activity. I find trying to get a walk in each day also helps. Amazed that so many people have this, yet my GP hadn't come across it before. I thought we were the only ones!

By omggirl — On Aug 14, 2010

I have been dealing with this for many years. A pharmacist at cvs recommended antihistamine years ago and it worked I could not believe the solution was so simple, I had been in agony for years.

Advice (I am not a doctor):

1)Most OTC allergy pills work. I have found that if I take Benadryl before going to bed, then I don't have the itch the next day. I take it every other day and it works fine. Always have allergy pills with you wherever you go to avoid an episode.

2)I also get the disgusted feeling, everything on the sidewalk disgusts me, especially puddles. Anything brown or wet sends me into a frenzy. I just want people to get out of my way so I can get to my destination without looking at anything.

What I suggest if this happens to you is go into the nearest store or building. The problem subsides as soon as I am indoors and standing still or just moving around slowly. I usually stay in the store or building for five to 10 minutes or till I am comfortable, then I look for water to take an allergy pill immediately. It starts working after 30 mins or so, then I continue my walk.

3)Make sure your skin is always moisturized. This will help keep the severity of the itching down.

4) Go on with your life. This is just a minor problem and should not interfere with your life at all. It could be worse. Allergy pills are your best friend. Always, always have them with you.

By anon103774 — On Aug 13, 2010

Well I've just read my own story over a hundred times. I've just tried to take my little dogs out for a walk, and as ever, I returned home in distress ready to rip my legs off because of the itching. I've had it for years.

It's usually worse in cold weather, clothes don't matter, and I've tried lots of creams. I don't get it (as many have said) when I exercise inside. I am going down to the chemist now to get an antihistamine. People laugh at me too when i tell them about it. Well after reading all your posts, I'll be letting them know I'm not nuts. Thanks everyone.

By anon103333 — On Aug 11, 2010

But why is there no doctor oz or someone to give us a cure for this crap? This is unbearable! I'm heading to the army in 90 days and i don't know what the heck i am going to do about this itching/stinging/burning.

By anon100624 — On Jul 30, 2010

I too get the itchy feeling after walking about 10 minutes and if I can stand to move beyond that I am OK.

It starts at my ankles and moves up my thighs. I have found that with repetition about two months or so, I will not experience that at all. My hands and arms are really bad on motorbikes and power tools. I really hate that.

Oh, yes, when this is taking place, I am completely irritated by my surroundings, like everything is dirty. Even a small speck seems yucky to me. What is the deal with that!

By anon99863 — On Jul 27, 2010

I've had this as long as I can remember... Any time I walk or run, my legs become unbearably itchy after maybe 10 minutes. If I push through it, the itch will eventually stop.

I've talked to my mom about it, and she has it too - but not as bad as I do. For a long time I thought I just had extra sensitive skin that I inherited from my mom, but now maybe not.

When I was younger I played softball, and I remember getting extreme heat rash, much more so than any of the other girls. Vibration also causes itchiness, but that itch isn't just in my legs, it also shows in my arms and back. Using power tools, riding bikes, or even clapping my hands for extended periods of time makes me itch. Though other forms of exercise don't seem to provoke it. I can dance all night without worrying about this itch.

My skin also welts up sometimes when I scratch at it. I can't wear necklaces because most of the time it will scratch at my neck and cause welting. Does anyone else have that?

By anon94479 — On Jul 08, 2010

Every time I go outside, whether I am just sitting, walking, running, or whatever my legs get red splotches on them and start to itch. It has helped me a few times when i put sunscreen on them. My feet are even worse, they get beat red and look really ugly. I have changed to cold showers so my legs don't do this. I feel as though i am trapped whenever this happens because I am stuck wearing jeans in the summer heat so people don't notice.

By anon93733 — On Jul 05, 2010

To everyone I feel very sorry To hear that we all have experienced the same symptoms. With me I have to stay indoors when it rains due to the fact that i can't stand the splashing of the water on my feet from the ground. I hope someday we all find relief from this ridiculous itch thing.

By anon91920 — On Jun 24, 2010

I have also been suffering from this for many years. I am 24 years old. I assume it has something to do with poor circulation and (particularly) the cold, external temperature. Regardless, my thighs, legs, and feet start itching like there's no tomorrow shortly after I start walking or jogging.

I've asked my instructor when taking physical activity classes what causes it but was additionally told it may have something to do with the detergent I'm using.

I additionally suffer from anxiety/panic, which I'm sure plays a key role in this. Unfortunately, my psychiatrist just looks at me weird whenever I try explaining this to him and referred me to my primary care physician. No one's been able to provide any insightful answers.

The "dirt panic," like most, is unbearable. I feel absolutely miserable and want nothing more than to be home, showered and comfortable once again. It gets to the point where my legs and feet turn beet red, and if it weren't for self-restraint, tears would be streaming down my face.

I feel like a little kid because I don't know what to do with myself, and I don't want to be in the situation I'm in.

Whenever I'm faced with these particular situations, however, I avoid looking at my surroundings or where I'm stepping. I'm absolutely repulsed by wet marks on the ground, trash cans, trash, mud, food spilled on the ground, or anything else smelly and vile. I love the beach, but I can't stand stagnant, gross, muddy water, or the showers to rinse your feet off in. Just the thought of it makes me nauseated.

Now, based on my experience, chewing gum does help a little. Although your surroundings might be repulsive, at least you have that "clean" sensation in your mouth.

By anon91317 — On Jun 21, 2010

I totally agree with everyone. I am 25 years old and have been experiencing the deadly itch for as long as I can remember. Somebody please assist me.

The itch only occurs while walking or jogging and it feels like something is crawling under my skin or my blood is boiling. Imagine the horror. I hope this is not hereditary because I have a little baby. Any advice? Oh yeah -- the dirt thing makes my skin crawl as well.

By anon87468 — On May 30, 2010

This has driven me nuts since I was 12 or so. Sometimes the itching gets so bad that it's hard to breath. It kind of feels like when you jump into ice-cold water.

By EmWilly — On May 08, 2010

Hi folks! It's Willy from posts 45, 88, 99, and 104.

I'm responding to a couple of questions and posting a possible treatment too.

To anon70843 (post 116): Nope, I'm not a supertaster or a picky eater.

To anon74641 (post 122): I don't think I'm allergic to alcohol.

To anon79507 (post 124): I'd forgotten about how my arms would itch when bike riding if I was on a bumpy surface! I haven't ridden a bike since childhood so I forgot until you mentioned it. More evidence for me that vibration causes this. The same goes for water jets--it's been so long since I was in a jacuzzi or spa tub that I forgot about my reaction to the jets, but, yes, they made me itch fiercely when they pounded on my body.

I'm surprised that many posters suspect clothing or outdoor temperature makes the difference. No matter what I wear, no matter what time or year, I itch and get dirt panic if I begin exercising after having been inactive for weeks or months.

As I mentioned in my previous posts, once I exercise regularly for a few weeks, the itching stops completely. Getting fit and staying fit is what works for me.

I've been enjoying walking for months now without having to take antihistamines and without itching! I'm so happy. It feels wonderful.

My advice for those are reluctant to start exercising for fear of the itch is get yourself a strong antihistamine to take about 20 or 30 minutes before doing at least 30 minutes of cardio exercise daily.

After a week or two, stop taking the antihistamines before working out and see how you feel. You might find your body has become fitter and doesn't itch anymore. That is what worked for me.

By anon82267 — On May 05, 2010

So, I can relate to a lot of this. I'm so happy to find people discussing it. The only problem is that for most people the itching and stinging happens while they are walking and subsides when they stop.

For me it's just the opposite. While walking I feel my legs start to get heavy and warm, then when I stop walking is when the terrible itching starts and my legs feel hot on the inside, like my blood is heating up.

I try to massage them thinking that it must be circulatory but then I notice that my hands and forearms are itching too. The itching reaches a point where it's so intense that it feels like needles sticking me all over my feet, calves, and hands.

By anon79507 — On Apr 22, 2010

Wow i cannot tell you the relief i had after reading this. I have never been so 'glued' to the computer screen! A lot of this will be repetitive but i feel that i simply must add my experiences.

I am 30 and since my tears I have been getting the dreaded itch. It is always my thighs but has spread down legs before a bit. I can feel it coming on and dread every step to get home. I am worse in the mornings rather than the evenings.

I usually get it after about 20 minutes of walking, however, this is variable and depends, i think, on how much walking or running i have done.

I never got it at the gym or on a cross trainer machine or exercise bike or swimming etc. -- only walking or running. I itch, tingle and start to panic a bit with the pain, not about filth though i don't think but get sick feeling and panicky about the feeling in my legs.

It's so bad i have to stop. i have actually called my husband to come pick up me and my dog! If if have been regularly running/ walking i don't seem to get it but if i have even one week off it comes back.

Strangely enough, it stops if i walk up a hill, only to come back after walking on flat ground! I did get it once in my arms when riding a bike. I get itchy in a spa as well at the site of the jets.

I have consulted drsa chiropractor and had nerve conduction studies with no answers.

I had decided to change my routine to fit in with it. However since reading this I have decided to try Zyrtec.

I am trying Zyrtec now. Thank you everyone for posting your stories. i too was in tears!

By anon76040 — On Apr 08, 2010

i totally understand where everyone is coming from. I'm only 17 and I'm trying to tone my legs for my formal (prom) and just this very morning i went and took my dog for a walk as soon as i woke up and.

About half way there, my legs started chronic itching. It was horrible. i thought i had a bug on me or something (because i walk a bush trail) so i full searched my body (nothing of course) and on my way back home it was so painful i had to stop and itch every few minutes, and all i could think about was talking a shower when i got home.

By anon74641 — On Apr 03, 2010

It is such a relief to find this site. I am a 46 year old female and I can remember struggling with this since I used to walk home from school as a child. It has definitely become a lot more severe as I have become older.

I usually start itching within 10 minutes of walking; it is a lot worse in winter and I find it so tormenting now that I have given up exercise over the past couple of years. That's not really good for me because I have muscular dystrophy so do need to exercise.

I have tried antihistamines before but have not achieved any relief.

I am also allergic to alcohol whereby my throat and eyes itch as soon as I start to drink, twice resulting in an asthma attack. Does anyone else have this symptom?

By anon74176 — On Mar 31, 2010

I had to post again. You folks made my day and I've been having a bad one between my doctor not being in the office and the itching driving me insane.

I forgot to mention that I also get the feelings of disgust. I live in New York City. Needless to say there is dog crap everywhere! Between the poop and the itching and the rest of the trash on the sidewalk i really don't know how i am not in an asylum right now!

By anon74174 — On Mar 31, 2010

This is hilarious stuff. Reading other horror stories made me a feel a little better after my latest episode.

I just got in and I was so upset about this damn itching. I had to walk home from the doctor who wasn't even at the office today (waste of time!) and the itching began! I tried not to scratch it, I tried really hard! I even stopped at every corner just to let it cool down. No sooner than I began walking, the stings were back!

This happens all the time, no matter where I am. When I'm at the gym I can't even keep up with my partner on the treadmill. I don't even bother trying to explain it to anyone because no one understands.

I used to think I was completely alone.

I need to figure out a cure ASAP. I'm trying to get into the army and I won't be able to run like this. Help.

By anon73421 — On Mar 27, 2010

Wow! I just came from outside taking a walk and was so frustrated I could not finish because of the itch. It was such a beautiful spring morning and all was well until about 10 minutes in. I too have suffered with this for years and was told by a doctor that it was just dry skin and the clothes I was wearing.

I was told to moisturize but it only helps temporarily. I also have the dirt phobia but never put the two together. I avoid going places for disgust of having to sit or sleep on something gross. I thought it was just in my mind. I going to store now for the Loratadine! Definitely need website and more research.

By anon72888 — On Mar 24, 2010

I can't believe I found this site. My itching is horrific. I have to walk my daughter to school every day. Before I'm reaching the back door my clothes are coming off. I feel really dirty and start to panic if things are out of place or even look dirty. I can't look at it nor can it be close by me. I quickly take a shower. My body feels really dirty, especially my private area. I feel like an outcast sometimes.

My daughter only wants me to walk her to school so I have to suffer every morning. It only happens I think with vibration of how hard I walk, if my body needs lotion or if I come from my warm house to the cold weather.

I don't want a medication to cure my situation, because I don't want to be dependent on it for the rest of my life. I want a solution to the problem naturally. like toning my muscles or hydrating my skin, you know. No drugs. They kill slowly.

By anon71159 — On Mar 17, 2010

OK so I took 1 Benadryl before I went on my walk today. I did not itch at all! I enjoyed my walk without an itch! Not sure if this is a permanent solution but I do plan on telling my doctor about it next week. Thanks to whomever started this site! For years, I thought I was nuts.

By anon70843 — On Mar 16, 2010

Oh my gosh, I came across this totally by accident, apparently fate. I've had this problem since I can remember. I used to run 10 miles a day, and the itching caused me to stop; I just couldn't stand it anymore.

I'm also a carpenter/general contractor, so if you can imagine the number of tools that vibrate! Everyone has always treated me like I'm nuts, including doctors, and I am so relieved to find this thread! Hypersensitive histamine receptors? Makes sense. I am a 41 year old woman who does not have a weight problem, but I do have a "picky eater" problem.

My background is English, Scottish, Irish, German and Native American.

Does anyone else have a problem eating a diverse menu as well? I have found out I am a "supertaster", extra taste buds and also nerves around the taste buds. I am wondering if it's related.

By melnjames — On Mar 16, 2010

I have had this same issue since I was about nine years old. I've told doctors about it and I've heard it's weather related, it's the clothes I am wearing and it's a circulation problem.

It happens in hot and cold weather; it would happen if I walked in the park naked and I am not eliminating a circulation problem.

I am diabetic and exercise is vital to my longevity. I decided to start a walking regimen and 1/2 mile into it, I realized why I didn't do it sooner. My upper thighs began to itch. I looked down and noticed they were getting red but I didn't scratch and I kept walking.

I kept repeating to myself "mind over matter. mind over matter." I hit the 1 mile mark and I was still itching but it was numbing and I didn't want to scratch. I wanted to finish my walk. I finished it at 1.3 miles and as soon as I got to my car and sat down, my legs started to turn white again and the itching subsided.

I am going to try an antihistamine tomorrow because I really enjoyed the walk aside from the itching.

Remember: as hard as it may be, don't scratch it! Mind over matter. It did stop itching after a bit. Any other advice?

By anon69539 — On Mar 08, 2010

I am so happy to come across this website. I have been dealing with the "itch" all my life. I am overweight and it always occurs if I skip a day of exercise.

When I was in my 20s I would hate to miss a day and now that I am in my 30s and have gained more weight, the first few weeks of working out have been most unbearable, let alone other issues like back pain.

I will be picking up me some antihistamines tomorrow!

By anon69284 — On Mar 07, 2010

Oh my god, I don't feel like an odd bod anymore. I did think I was going mad. I had dog poo panic and itchy legs when out walking the dog, but just ignored it. It spoiled lots of walks for me. I will now try the antihistamines.

I need to know exact cause. Thinking it is all about circulation, but still can't figure out the dirt panics, but relieved other people have the same thing.

By anon67992 — On Feb 28, 2010

Like everyone else, I am so glad to find that I am not alone - or crazy! I seem blessed because I do not get welts or hives (or the panic/disgust when I see dirty things) like others do, but the painful itch is absolutely unbearable.

When I came inside from walking my dog I wanted to cry because I was in so much pain. After reading this I want to cry because of the overwhelming sense of relief I have that this is not all in my head!

I always have associated this problem with cooler weather (anything under 70 degrees), and have found that wearing long underwear really helps (it cuts down on the "jiggle" and does keep in the heat). But, like another poster mentioned, wearing long underwear when it's 65 degrees is not desirable.

I am going to take the antihistamine advice that so many have mentioned. Interestingly, I just looked up foods with antihistamine properties, and I notice they are all foods that I eat a lot of in the summer (sweet peppers, cantaloupe, tomatoes, strawberries, etc.), are high in these properties.

I wonder if this is just a cool weather problem, like I assumed, or if in the summer I am just getting more antihistamines naturally?

By anon67223 — On Feb 23, 2010

My husband and doctor both thought I was crazy as they have never heard of this before. By the time I got back from walking the dogs today I was sobbing and severely nauseated. I itched so bad and my jeans were too thick to scratch my legs through.

I immediately ran in the house, pulled down my pants and scratched furiously while my husband and two kids looked at me like I was crazy. I took a hot shower. At first it helped then the itching started again. I looked this up and found this site.

When I read Post 101 it was almost as if I had written that myself! I will try an antihistamine before I exercise in hot or cold now. (When I work out at home, I don't itch). It's a relief to know that others have the same issue. I am also on anxiety meds for chronic anxiety. It's weird that a lot of people have anxiety issues related with this.

By anon65552 — On Feb 14, 2010

I think I've read through every single comment, smiling with relief and nodding my head and identifying with it all.

The leg itching during walking was something I thought I would have to get used to (because sometimes I itch and sometimes I don't) but lately the itch attacks have been getting worse, and I've started having the grossed out feelings,accompanied by nausea.

As the itch worsens, anything I look at with a texture to it makes my flesh crawl! Especially tree bark or anything on the ground. I thought I was imagining things!

Thanks everyone for sharing. I've tried all sorts of solutions except the antihistamines. I am hoping they work for me because I enjoy walking. I'm not giving up. Tere has to be an answer!

By anon65193 — On Feb 11, 2010

I have had this problem for my whole life as well. I now take 5 mg xyzal daily and the problem is virtually eliminated. Over the counter antihistamines work, just not quite as well.

By anon65109 — On Feb 11, 2010

I agree with doing something about it. We need to gather data on sex, ethnic origin and whether anybody in your family has the same experience. This will be a start.

By anon64857 — On Feb 09, 2010

we are talking about it. I get it. I have the same problem, so why don't we do something. Create a website and find the solution.

By anon62888 — On Jan 29, 2010

Hey my fellow itchers, I hope I am not making this worse for everybody but I just found out that for those who have a dirty panic as I do, you might have a condition called trypophobia. Basically you have an intense fear of the following things, which results in an all-over itchy feeling and general uneasiness: lotus seed pods, crumpets, pumice.

Just in case you were wondering what causes the "dirty panic" and I do sympathize.

By anon62643 — On Jan 27, 2010

The comments on this post are the most helpful I've ever read. I experience exactly the same symptoms as everybody here, "dirt panic" and all. I'm posting my comment to thank the poster who suggested taking Loratadine (non-drowsy Claritin). I've been doing so for a week now and didn't suffered even once.Thank you again! Nothing can describe the freedom I feel.

By EmWilly — On Jan 19, 2010

Oh my gosh, anon61036 in post #103! I'd forgotten all about vibration but you're right.

A few times when I've tried a vibrating foot massager or back massager I started to itch. It depended on the type of vibration--if it was a soft, rolling vibration I was fine. If it was a hard, jackhammer type then I started to itch. I'd forgotten all about it!

I'm overweight, and a couple of times I wondered whether my body jiggling during exercise caused the itching but I wasn't sure. My favorite kind of exercise is cardio so I'm usually bouncing around. I wonder if I sat on a stationary bike if I would itch as much or at all.

The good news is I've been working out consistently because I'm trying to lower my blood pressure. When I'm regularly active I don't itch, so I've been happily exercising itch-free for weeks now and it's such a pleasure. I've always been fat but I've also always enjoyed exercise (thank goodness).

By anon61036 — On Jan 17, 2010

I have not exercised regularly in years so I decided to go for a walk with my son this afternoon. Not 10 minutes into my walk I get this

awful itching in my thighs. I have experienced it before. It spreads from my thighs to my butt and eventually gets so bad that I get nauseated.

I found out several years ago that it also happens with vibration. Once a chiropractor used a vibration machine to loosen up the muscles in my back and I got that crazy itch all over and became nauseated.

The chiropractor suggested maybe I had over sensitive histamine receptors in my body. Who knows? Good to know I'm not the only one with this problem.

By anon58741 — On Jan 04, 2010

I just posted about my first severe episode of this. I looked up the condition (uritcaria) for more information since I know my mum is 'allergic' to changes between hot/warm to cold.

It said that symptoms are sometimes linked to mycoplasma which is basically a lingering cough (the link on the site says it's a form of pneumonia). I've had a lingering cough since a bad cold about 2.5 months ago. It went away a few weeks before Christmas only to flare up again on Christmas Eve.

I wonder if that contributed to me having such a violent episode on Saturday?

By anon58729 — On Jan 04, 2010

I've had this in the past -- usually when it was cold and usually just on the tops of my thighs and usually subsiding quickly after exercise but on Friday it was terrible.

It was cold out. About freezing maybe 1 or 2 C at the most. I was wearing thick jeans and bundled up well. We went for a long walk out in the countryside. It was a route I'd done before.

About 10 minutes into the walk my legs started itching. By the end of the walk I had already broken my skin from scratching and the itch had spread up to my bottom and down to my lower legs. I had to stop several times and stick my hands down my trousers to scratch. Luckily we were the only ones about!

When I got home I tore my clothes off. It was like I couldn't get them off fast enough. I couldn't stop itching. I took a hot bath because I thought it had to do with poor circulation because my legs were so cold. This helped a bit but my legs still itched even under water. I scrubbed them fiercely to try to get some circulation and to alleviate the itch.

The itching didn't subside fully until about one hour after I got out of the bath, which was about one hour after I finished the the walk.

I didn't (and haven't in the past) had the 'dirt panic' thing that others have. But I do suffer from generalized anxiety and specific anxieties in other areas. Don't know if that's relevant.

This is the worst that my itching has ever been. I know that my mum is 'allergic' to temperature changes and so is her dad. If she puts her warm legs onto a cold floor or switches her hands from hot to cold water very quickly she breaks out in hives.

I had similar hives all over my legs and they were bright red (even before the scratching and yes I did look down my own trousers when I was out in nature!)

It was the strangest thing because I'd never had such a violent reaction before. It has been some time (a few months) since I last managed to get proper exercise so I think the gap probably had something to do with the severity of the reaction but I've also noticed that the feeling has been getting worse as I get older.

I noticed it first in my teens but back then it was only a tingling or a mild itch that went away quickly.

I notice that this leg itching happens only when it's cold. When it's hot and I take exercise I itch all over!

I'll try an antihistamine before our next walk!

Thanks everyone!

By anon58012 — On Dec 29, 2009

Right for the first time in my life I am able to read accounts of other people who have been experiencing this terrible condition. It is the first time anyone other than me has been able to mention in the same breath the experience of itching and the associated dirty panic.

It is a relief to see others saying this because if enough of us can come forward then perhaps, the medical world may just engage more effort and research in this area.

I am 36.5 years and I can never remember in my lifetime when I never experienced this condition. Over the years I have learned to cope with this and when I am visited by the evil dirty panic, I keep reminding myself that I have had this experience hundreds of times before and as far as I am aware I still continue to operate as a "normal" person. Believe you me that self assurance stops me from going totally mental.

I am an engineer by profession, applying that within the investment banking industry, I have tried everything within my ability. That in effect translated to trying to do things differently in as many permutations as possible. For example, I have tried things like marking out what I eat for breakfast, eliminate processed food, meat, bread, drinks, shower gels, creams, lotions, washing detergents, wear more (layers), wear less and on and on and on for all my life!

Sadly none of these things have helped. I was doing this because no one appeared to understand what I am talking about. When I have spoken to doctors about this, I have often got that look that suggests that the doctor is trying to evaluate my sanity status and often feeling that if I go on about this, I might get suggestions of seeking help in a mental institution and of course the result is just a quick, "never mind."

So I guess I decided that I am going to just have to figure out what could possibly be wrong. I have always been healthy and very active in my life. I have never been overweight. I admit that due to work circumstances, there have been months when I have never exercised but I have never noticed any difference either way, perhaps I might pay more attention forthwith.

My experience often starts when I'm either walking very fast or jogging, especially trying to catch a train from work. After anything from two to five minutes, I would just feel my feet, between my toes, becoming damp and warm and then very shortly start to experience itches. The itches very quickly build up from my feet through my ankles, legs and up my thighs and my bottomside.

If I continue the same pace, the itches would spread very rapidly across my entire body. After a while my whole body feels like it's on fire. Being very strong willed I would often just keep on but occasionally I have had to stop besides a bus stop or something and shed tears, wipe my eyes and then continue.

I have no recollection of anything worse than this experience ever in my life. The one thing I dare not do is scratch.

I hope that some proper remedy is found as my daughter, who is five now, appears to have got it and I fear for her to have to live her life the way I have lived with this condition.

By EmWilly — On Dec 25, 2009

It's me again (from posts #45 and #88).

Here are the results of my trying Loratadine (10mg in OTC non-drowsy Claritin) before exercising:

I took it 20 minutes before I began walking on my treadmill, and about the time into the workout that I would usually start itching, I only had the slightest itch and no dirt panic!

The slight itching was no big deal, I finished a one-hour workout with no problems! Placebo effect? Perhaps, but I'll happily accept it.

I'd tried antihistimines before with no such luck but perhaps the kind I tried before didn't have 10mg of Loratadine.

Thank you so much, anon27513 (post #31)!

By anon57514 — On Dec 23, 2009

I am a male 27. I have been experiencing this itch all my life. I also get the grossed out thoughts, when I see certain images.

There was one poster about heart attacks in the UK that used to drive me nuts. it makes me itch from within. One thing that slightly helps with the grossed out feeling is trying to think of milk, or white silk. I don't know why but having an image of something smooth and pure with no jagged edges or shadows, helps calm my nerves.

By anon57455 — On Dec 23, 2009

My experience is just like anon53041.

I laughed my head off because it's like I can picture myself as I was reading your post. Insane, absolutely insane. I have tried to explain to people, they just don't appear to have the interest or appetite of listening to crazy people like me.

Well, like I can just give them this link.

Dirty panic, Oh my God! What is that? For f* sake, what the f* is that? Sorry for swearing guys but I am beside myself every time I think about this.

By anon57077 — On Dec 19, 2009

Wow, what a relief. This is the reason why the people are the are the power. My doctor would have me believe that I am stresses and going psychotic, its all in the mind. Hallelujah.

I was late for work today, had no money in the wallet for the bus, so I had to walk. I ran instead to make up time. I am 22 years old and super-fit, so it was not a problem.

From previous experience with this enemy of ours i tip toed and walked at intervals for 1/2 a mile. Almost like my own scientific laboratory, because i am calculating when my body heats, when i am running fast, when i breathe, and then a tingle in the ankle, so i slow down and take deep breaths and walk.

But i have to get to work, and i hate getting to work late. So despite the tingly sensation i persist because i feel completely strong to run a marathon.

The tingle began to spread through the legs, and the knee is very itchy at this point but i can still bear it. I am hoping i haven't pushed it far by continuously running so i continue my strides as i see a have a long way to go and the time is getting close.

The jeans I was wearing only made the situation the itch was full blown by now. It felt like I had a porcupine and a family of termites inside my skin. Oh i remember like i am seeing a video of it in my head.

The itching almost drives me insane, made even more difficult because my jeans would not allow me to scratch my skin properly because of the thickness. It's like the first sunny day in two weeks and the sea promenade is full of people and there i am walking now with what must have been the most interesting expression on my face not knowing if I should stop, shout or pull my pants down and scratch like mad.

Well i kept on walking, i don't know how i managed to do that, but i kept on checking my watch. I made it to work on time by the way, but i felt sick throughout at work. I felt my brain would explode. i could have happily ripped my skin off and try to see what was causing such distress. I don't pray for bad things but i would be much happier if I was dead than go through this torture.

I will try this loratadine as i have only heard of it.

My question to anyone out there is do you drink it constantly or do you drink it during the show, how does it work? Thanks for reading.

By anon56552 — On Dec 15, 2009

I'll have to pay closer attention to things like weather and time, I guess. I have not really noticed a difference in the severe itching in different temperatures. It's only with walking.

I ride my bike a few times a week and do some fitness classes and never have this problem, but walking brings on intense itching in my thighs and it moves up my torso and even to my neck and sometimes I get dizzy and feel sick to my stomach. I'll have to try the loratadine.

By anon56354 — On Dec 14, 2009

I have had this issue for a number of years. If I haven't exercised for a while and begin walking again, my legs start itching really bad. I've found that I have to adjust my workout in 15 minute intervals and gradually increase my walking time until the itching stops completely. This seems to remedy the problem for me!

By anon56241 — On Dec 13, 2009

I researched my problem today, to finally address this problem. For me it happens in the winter months. Last winter, I stopped altogether from exercising.

I will follow up by seeing my primary care physician because I'm more interested in the physical aspect of this condition. I work for a healthcare/research facility and think it is a condition worth exploring further. I will however try the Loratadine. I really need to exercise. Again, thank you and God Bless you all!

By anon56055 — On Dec 11, 2009

I am so glad to have friends like you who suffer from the same symptoms on my thighs. I used to think it was genetic as my mother experienced the same sensations.

It is very uncomfortable and the worst part of it is when I start to be disgusted by every little bit of dirt around me. I avoid scratching as this makes things worse-makes you feel like tearing your skin apart. Thank you for your comments and I will try loratadine or antihistamine as some suggest.

By anon55414 — On Dec 07, 2009

You need to exercise regularly to avoid that.

By anon54966 — On Dec 03, 2009

This has been happening to my legs/thighs and bottom for years now. Always on long walks in the fall/winter. It happens to my little sister now as well.

I find that moisturizing before walking in the affected areas sometimes helps. I always thought that the itching was caused by getting better circulation to areas that suffer from bad circulation.

Also exfoliating with a body brush in the bath/shower seems to help me, because it improves circulation and gets rid of dry skin.

By anon54710 — On Dec 01, 2009

Definitely try Loratidine non drowsy, and I get mine from Walmart so its the Equate Brand.

Good luck! hope it helps!

By EmWilly — On Dec 01, 2009

I posted the super long comment in #45.

Though I've tried antihistamines before with no positive results, I'm encouraged to try Loratadine. I'd be so, SO happy if it prevented the itching! I'd exercise again!

As I mentioned earlier, the foolproof cure for this disorder for me is exercising regularly daily or weekly. When I do that, I never have itching or disturbing thoughts about filth.

When I stop exercising for weeks or months and try to start up again, that's when I suffer. Then I'm forced to exercise through the agony for however many weeks it takes before I don't have the itchiness and disturbing thoughts anymore.

I'm so glad to have found you folks so I know I'm not the only one dealing with this weirdness.

By anon54439 — On Nov 30, 2009

The only thing that has worked for me, is an antihistamine called Loratadine in 10mg pills. For me, I take it almost every day. Some people may be able to take it early morning on days when you know you want to walk. It's been a life saver for me. I love to get outside and walk! Now I finally can.

Good luck to you all, I know how awful a feeling the "Itch" is! ;)

By anon54264 — On Nov 28, 2009

Thank you so much for all your comments. I thought I was the only crazy one. Explaining this itch to my friends or to whoever I would be walking with sounded like I am crazy. But I am so glad I'm not the only one.

Like anon53300 I'm from Swaziland and I'm in the US for two years studying. I'm 31 and I have had this as long as I can remember. I have never seen a doctor about it.

In the morning today today I was rushing to the train station to attend a conference close to where I live. The itch started and I really felt like scratching myself to death, then there were people all around me so I couldn't do it because they would think I'm crazy. I felt like crying and going back to my apartment but I couldn't do that.

When I got on the train and rested a bit it subsided but it just makes me feel so gross.

I was so determined to find out what wrong with me, if I have some kind of blood disease. I looked up the symptoms and I found you guys. I will try out some of the suggestions written here. Thank you.

By anon53430 — On Nov 21, 2009

I don't know if this thread is still active, but I just need to say "thank you" to everyone who has posted here. I have suffered in silence for nearly 30 years, and it's a relief to have proof that I'm not crazy! This "condition" has affected just about every aspect of my life, and I'm truly not living a full life because of it. And it doesn't help when the few people I've told about it, including my doctor, haven't taken me seriously. If they could only see me in the aftermath of one of these "attacks!"

By anon53300 — On Nov 20, 2009

The definition of relief.

The first thing to manifest is this unique uneasy feeling at every stomp each foot makes as it collides with the ground. Then the itch sets in, slowly, like a colony of ants invading a fresh territory where they crawl in with their tiny feet one by one.

Sometimes it begins with the feet or lower legs; other times it feels like the upper thighs are on fire, before working its way down the length of the lower limbs. The itch grows with every step, its intensity depending on the impact the feet has with the ground. Running therefore is a more painful experience than walking. However, they both have one thing in common: they can be gruesomely excruciating, especially when it’s cold outside.

As if the incessant itching of both legs and thighs is not enough to make you want to tear your skin apart with a barbed wire scrubbing brush, the dirt panic will definitely seal your ultimate long for instant death. The surroundings are suddenly filthy. Everything you look at is dirty to the point of making you nauseous, especially everything even slightly wet.

Decaying plants, dog poop, mud, gum and any type of litter sends you into a massive anxiety.

At that point the itching has climaxed. It just cannot get any worse. It feels like centipedes, millipedes, ants, goh maybe even cockroaches, mice, all sorts, are having a Christmas party on your body. And by this time the whole body has joined in.

You should not dare scratch, unless you don’t know what’s good for you, which seems to be always the case anyway because you cannot resist. The itch is buried so deep in the skin that the scratching has as much an effect as whistling to blow the sun away. Not only is it clearly ineffective, but also highly unpleasant and exacerbates your anxiety, panic and paranoia.

Tears are not very far away by now. That’s how stressed your system is. All you want to do is fly home before the filth underneath your shoes infiltrates your soles and gets under your feet, thus finding its way up to your already severely grossed out body.

When you get home you get out of your filthy clothes and shoes, burn them, jump into the shower and just hope to remember the scrubbing brush because you need a thorough scrub. Or so you think.

Because as soon as I stop walking the itch subsides. What takes a while go away is the dirt panic. I’m still grossed out even right now, sitting on the bed I sleep on every day, looking at this filthy carpet. And it has been eight hours since I walked out of the house and got my dose of what I have discovered to be a very less understood allergic disorder.

The only conclusions I had made were that I hated mud, walking in the rain, near puddles or near wet grass. I thought the filth made me itchy. I was also quite aware that I cannot suddenly break into a sprint, mainly when it is cold, and even then, not all the time. I am still very much convinced that the error is either with the circulation on my legs or my body suddenly adjusting my thermostat. Or both.

I’m more of a writer than a doctor so although I would like to know the body processes leading to this awkward fear of dirt, I’ll leave it like that for now.

Anyway, since the shower therapy, I’ve been sitting here glued to the Internet, my eyes honestly not believing what they are seeing. There are people out there actually suffering from this strange disorder!

Their accounts are so similar to mine they make me want to jump in relief -- itching anxiety, dirt paranoia and all.

I still have no idea what is wrong with me or what causes it but hey, who cares? I’m not alone! Finally I’m not crazy! *doing my sane dance*.

And now I can actually explain to people if I’m ever brave enough to walk in the cold again, that other ‘normal’ people actually do experience this you know. Running? That will be a rumour thank you very much.

Yoga all the way, because, actually, in the moons (I just couldn’t wait to use this – thank you Ken Rowley) when I’m religiously practising it, it either subsides or I just don’t notice it. Whew! Now, let me go back to designing my sparkling clean house, somewhere very far from filth. In Pluto maybe. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Pluto is a planet. I learned it in school. Period.

PS - I'm 25, 1.72m, 58kg, born in Swaziland, Southern Africa and have been living in London for the past four years. I have never been bigger than this and have experienced this for as long as i can remember. -- Her Royal Hotness SL.

By anon53041 — On Nov 18, 2009

I have experienced this itching on my legs and stomach every time i run, jog or bike. And i am glad to know that i am not alone.

i experience them all year round, whatever my clothes are, so i guess it is not because of the weather or type of material of the clothes i am wearing. maybe i will try the antihistamine.

i hate to stop exercising just because of the itch.

By anon52744 — On Nov 16, 2009

I found this site very helpful and most of the symptoms are the exact same as mine except i find it much easier to exercise in hot weather. if i get up early or late evening and walk the cooler air tends to irritate my legs even more.

can anyone help me out with this? i have tried everything from antihistamines to compression tights but it still doesn't work! thanks

By auntyaugie — On Nov 09, 2009

I have read ALL of the comments and today I am going to test some of the suggestions out! I suffered from "itchy legs" for a while now. I went to start walking again and only got .25 miles before my legs were itching so bad, I wanted to cry. I stopped and they got hot as the blood started flowing, everything around me grossed me out and I was ready to pull my pants down and scratch until it bled like a previous time. I just stood there because people were around and I waited and scratched. It felt like I had poison ivy that was aggressive. Now for a long time I thought I was different because my itching was coupled with the "disgust" feeling, but I guess that goes along with it.

So, I am going to lotion up real good (someone stated itching skin that's not moisturized contributes to it), I'm going to stretch at home real good (someone said stretching helps), I am going to eat some apples and some red grapes and take an antihistamine (benadryl) 20 minutes before. I am going to wear loose clothes, and walk slowly not to create too much vibration at once and see if all these suggestions work.

I will let you all know tomorrow. Any other suggestions please let me know as I am trying to become a police officer and need to get in shape ASAP!

By anon51565 — On Nov 06, 2009

Like everyone else who's posted - I feel sad that anyone else is experiencing this, but I have to say that I am glad that I have someplace to relate; I don't feel like I'm crazy!

I went on a walk today - the first in a long while (since I'm recovering enough from my herniated disks) that I've had enough wherewithal.

Within two minutes the itch started at my ankles and then rapidly progressed all the way up to my butt. I only stopped a couple of times to rub down my legs because there were too many people out - needless to say, I felt really self-conscious.

I don't think I made it more than a 1/5 of a mile before I decided to head back to the house. I felt myself go into panic mode and tried distracting myself from the intense itch. I too experienced the 'disgust' with the 'dirty' things around me. Even when my underwear was riding up I felt really gross.

At some point my legs felt warm and starting hurting somewhat. I felt like crying!

I know there have been times before that this has happened.

It's sad, I told my boyfriend when he got home a little bit ago and he just basically told me that it was in my head. Made me feel like crap. If it wasn't for this article and everyone who has posted their story I think I would have agreed with him.

Thank you, everyone who has posted. I hope at some point everyone can get some permanent relief. --Jolee

By anon51289 — On Nov 04, 2009

I am going to give the antihistamine suggestion a go for sure and like some of you I too am hesitant about taking more pills. But, if I can go for a fast walk or run without wanting to claw my skin off after about 5-10 minutes though, I will be a happy woman! I knew I wasn't alone though as my sister also suffers from it so she chooses to exercise in the afternoon as we believed it had something to do with circulation. I am a very active person, play touch football, swim and take part in boot camps without any issues but to go for a simple run is just impossible as the itch is just too much to bear. It is like an itch that you just cannot find sometimes and I am not embarrassed to say that the pain and probably more the frustration of this itch has brought me to tears on occasions. -Rachael

By anon51248 — On Nov 04, 2009

Let me join the OMG I'm not alone queue!

I just came back from a walk and looked for this because I am so tired of this incessant itching! I am 41 and suffered with this since I was a teenager.

I read most of the comments and noticed several question if fatty areas are worse. Until my 30's I was underweight and highly athletic (swimming and weight lifting) yet still suffered this miserable condition so I doubt that is a cause.

I will be trying antihistamines, though. Thank you so much for confirming I'm not mad! --Tam

By anon50267 — On Oct 27, 2009

i am 33 but the itching started when i was 14. it's deep under the skin. thankfully it only affects my thighs. it usually occurs after exercise. i used to play a lot of basketball and every time the itch came. i don't scratch it; i mildly punch my legs. I mainly lift weights now, but anything like walking, using the exercise bike or jogging causes the itch. What else can i do?

By anon50162 — On Oct 26, 2009

I have the same story (without the dirt fear). However, I would like to share my experience with the idea that it is the vibration that causes the itchiness.

This summer something different happened. I was riding my bike along some bumpy paths for about 20-30 minutes. My arms were vibrating and they began to feel a little itchy. I kept riding and got the exact same feeling in my lower, but especially my upper arms, which have a bit of fat on them (not excessive but enough to vibrate my skin). Before you knew it, I was breaking the skin with my fingernails from the itch.

I seriously think this is about the vibration (and maybe something else since people are taking antihistamines and finding that it works). Otherwise, why don't my arms itch consistently when I exercise? Last night I had unbearably itchy legs and my boyfriend noticed that when I walk, I kind of stomp. I don't see that, but he did. We stopped walking for a bit and I used the restroom to scratch my legs and warm them up (they were absolutely stone cold, dunno if that helps). My boyfriend suggested that I walk by dragging my feet and make an effort not to raise my legs off the ground. No itch!

I haven't tested the theory more than that yet. I am certain this has something to do with it.

I know this is weird but I will share since I feel it is all related. Sometimes, when I am in certain sexual positions where my bum will vibrate, I feel the same itch in the area that is vibrating. It's awful.

By anon49498 — On Oct 20, 2009

I can't even explain how glad I am to see that I'm not *crazy*! My husband and I were walking our labs tonight and on our way back I my thighs started to itch just on the insides and the front first, then the back of them, then my butt, then the small of my back, then my stomach. I had to stop probably 10 times just to itch, but its almost like you can't get to the itch because its buried or really deep in your legs. does anyone else feel like that? My husband kept saying, "stop itching! you are going to start bleeding!" But it's just so strong of a sensation that it almost makes you cry, and to be nowhere but in your house with your pants around your ankles with scratching with a wire brush! Thanks for the antihistamine advice :) I'll give it a shot :)

By anon49297 — On Oct 19, 2009

I know why you get itchy when you exercise. I also get very itchy when I exercise, especially after being inactive for a long time. If I start exercising for a couple of months it goes away. Consider it a phantom itch. Your brain interprets it as an itch, but its not a *real* itch. It happens to inactive/unfit people (you don't necessarily have to be overweight to get the itchies either). I am at a healthy good looking weight and it will even happen to me. It is when your capillaries open up to send more blood through to your skin. When you are unfit (not necessarily overweight) and inactive, they collapse and only send minimal blood flow, which is all that is necessary for a sedentary person. When you are active for a long time, say perhaps nearly a year, these capillaries stay open all the time.

By anon48447 — On Oct 12, 2009

I itch when walking or running and have done so since I was very young (38 now). I also have the vibration issues. Anytime something vibrates against my skin, I itch uncontrollably. I thought I was the only one. My husband thinks I am nuts!

By anon47742 — On Oct 07, 2009

I also have this itchy sensation which discourages me from walking. In fact, I can cycle for hours, and nothing happens, but then I walk for 30 minutes, and I am in pain. The other day, something weird happened though. I walked into town, but on the way back, I felt this tingling coming, and knew it wasn't long before I would start to feel grossed out, and even worse, in pain. As I intended to start jogging, I thought, no time like the present to get me home quicker, but after 20 seconds of jogging the pain got worse. It was so bad, I couldn't even move, my thighs were burning like crazy. So I stopped for about 30 seconds, the pain slightly diminished during the respite, and I continued walking for a couple of minutes and thought, I must be a sucker for pain, let's try this again. I ran up a slight gradient and stopped halfway up the road. The pain was tremendous; I couldn't move a single step. Plus I didn't feel so embarrassed because I guessed that people would just assume I stopped to catch a breather during my run, instead of just having no fitness at all. Once I started walking again, the initial pain that built up was considerably less than it would have been if I continued walking home. It meant more severe pain nonetheless, but I'm going to try again. It seems that running had increased the threshold level for pain, or had an immediate effect on my tolerance. Now though, I really want to consider whether I also have allergies to food or clothing. Anything will help. And continually exercising may help. If I felt changes in one walk home just by running and letting it take an effect, I can repeat this every other day until I can walk to and from town without any sensation at all. Hopefully!

By anon47240 — On Oct 02, 2009

I have suffered from this "itchy problem" for most of my life. As long as I can remember, as early as elementary school, I have been itchy. Most of the comments are exclusive to the legs. Wish I could say the same. experience the itch everywhere. I'm talking hands, feet, legs, chest, everywhere. I hate it and it makes me miserable! I know what triggers it, but I don't know what the cure is. I can't exercise if it's hot or cold. I can't take hot baths at all. Any temp. hot or cold will cause extreme unbearable itching which leads to throbbing and sometimes bleeding.

By anon46863 — On Sep 29, 2009

I have had this very same feeling! I always get itchy after taking a few days off from walking more than 5 minutes. The itchy feeling becomes so bad that I feel like I need to cancel it out by inflicting pain. A dirty puddle or dirt or breeze on a cold day makes it so much more worse and I feel as if my clothes and myself have to be washed. It doesn't feel better until I stop moving and the itchy subsides. I've been trying Loratidine and it helps, although, not on a consistent basis.

By anon46740 — On Sep 28, 2009

I just tried the generic Loratadine 10 mg and walked my dog for about 30 minutes -- and there was no itch! Thank you to whoever recommended this!

By anon45905 — On Sep 21, 2009

Post #65- I have the exact same problem and it happened again today. I'm usually a pretty consistent exerciser (walk, jog, run, weight lifting, etc.), but when I take some time off, like I have for the last 1-2 months, I start walking again and have that same itchy legs problem. Today I went on a morning walk and the itching got so unbearable I had to stop numerous times to scratch my legs. Even my stomach got itchy this time. This makes me crazy! I will try to Loratadine, but since I am three months pregnant, I'm not sure if I can take that. I will ask my doctor. I just thought I'd comment and say that I am so glad that I am not the only one who has this strange problem! It makes me crazy!

By anon43822 — On Sep 01, 2009

Hi.I just went for a lunch time walk and have been trying to do each day. I only walk seven minutes but am itching by the end of it. Today I walked for 15 minutes and the extra time made it worse. My itch goes from my feet all the way through my legs, stomach, back, bra line, breasts, neck, back and sometimes face. I walked past a wall that was crooked and could hardly look at it cause it freaked me out. A front garden with old bushes made me cringe. If I walk in the local park where there is a river, at scratch time, the river grosses me out so much. I thought it was just me. I must say that the only time I was able to go and walk with out this was taking an anti-histamine 20 minutes before i walked. I am going to check out MrsKrs response 15 as I think she is onto something as well as others who have mentioned allergy type tablets. This has been hitting me since I was 15. Even now after my walk my head has slight itchy tingling in it. I would describe the itch as my blood boiling under my skin. And everything others are describe, I can relate to so much. I too today thought, I am going to google this again, just in case I can find some new info.

By anon43220 — On Aug 26, 2009

OK so I'm post 30 on this board and I've been reading these every time a new message is posted.

This has been going on for about 10 years and I read Anon40028-post no. 61, about the non-drowsy antihistamine with loratadine. I got this from Walmart it was about $3 and it is *amazing*!

Today is my third day walking for an hour, without any itching. I just take it 20-30 minutes before i walk and I'm fine. Thank you to the person who suggested it!

By anon43142 — On Aug 26, 2009

Am glad to find out am not the only one. Have the same problem. If I have not run/walked on the treadmill for a while and do it for 10 minutes i get the itching so bad. Start with the thigh, goes to the butt, up the stomach. Sometimes i have to stop and run to the gym bathroom to scratch because i cannot stand it. After two days of walking on the treadmill the itching goes away. i have to do it, stop, go scratch and back but for the first day it's too much and i have to stop the workout. And getting myself to walk on the treadmill at least twice a week for 30 minute and no itching. i think my problem is when i stop for a month or longer then i get the itching. It's amazing though, because i have no problem on the elleptical machine/stairs and can even go for an hour or longer even if i have not worked out in over a month.i went one day with my friend and after 10 minutes started itching and i was telling her and she could not understand why she did not have any problem and watching me stop and run to the bathroom to scratch because felt embarrassed to do it with people watching me at the gym. Thanks to everyone for sharing. i feel i am not alone.

By anon42796 — On Aug 23, 2009

I've had the itchy leg syndrome for years! When it occurs, it's so unbearable I have to stop and scratch my legs. Then my legs feel more itchy and it starts throbbing. It's a lose-lose situation, because if I don't scratch then it's itchy and if I do scratch then its not as itchy, but painful.

So I completely relate to the itchiness, but I don't understand the 'dirty/gross' feeling.

If anyone knows what is going on with our itchy legs, please post!

By anon41126 — On Aug 12, 2009

Today was the first day that I noticed the very same symptoms everyone is describing here. I'm in my early 20s from Florida, living in New York City. I put on a pair of jeans Ive worn for years and went walking. I stood in one place waiting on the bus for awhile, just normal. The moment I went walking for 10 minutes, my ankle, thighs and butt bottom started itching like crazy. At first I though it was my shaved hair growing back and itching, but this itch was extreme. I also considered that the jeans were last washed in cheap detergent and although clean, I forgot to rewash them in a better brand. I also went to someone's house and it wasn't as clean as I think it should have been.

The reason, I feel its more than these things is because I felt so freaked out, I felt I was going to lose it. I rushed through the door and showered for like 40 minutes just scrubbing, feeling icky! When I got out, I was repelled at my shoes that had been outside, repelled at my boyfriend for sitting on the bed edge with his jeans on he wore outside. I ended up googling this because I was losing my mind.

By anon40515 — On Aug 09, 2009

Oh my gosh! Thank you everyone! I've been suffering with thei "itch syndrome" since my early 20's and am now 53. And to find others who get that grossed out, irritable feeling with it; I really thought I was alone on this one. People think I'm crazy or lazy. For me, it was a winter time thing for me but starting itching yesterday in 90 degree weather. I was shocked. Thanks for all the tips. I'm going to try them.

By anon40028 — On Aug 05, 2009

I've started taking antihistamines every day when I want to walk. It works amazing for me! I haven't been able to walk so much in my life! Love it! I take a non-drowsy one with loratadine. Works for me!

By anon39330 — On Jul 31, 2009

My skin itches only when walking and running. I found out if I do other workouts it doesn't effect my legs as much or at all. Try doing pilates and stair climbing but If you have this issue I would avoid the walking on the treadmill and jogging outside all together. It hurts.

By anon39231 — On Jul 31, 2009

I too have to say it is a relief to see others suffer from the same thing.I told people and they think I'm just mad! I never had this as a child but when I got into my 20's I started at the gym, I noticed when I ran on the treadmill my thighs and ankles would itch like mad. I would stratch them raw and put cold tissues on them in the hope it would disappear. I then decided to leave out the treadmill as a rule.

Then I was in scotland and it was fairly cold. I had trainers and socks on. I was walking up a hill and started to get the itch around the trainer area.

I'm now in my late 20's. I've had it since but not as bad as yesterday. I was walking into to town to the hairdressers which is about a 25mins walk. It was a warm day but it was quite windy and the wind was cold. I had a skirt on, after walking for about 10 mins I noticed the itch started in my thighs. It got so unbareable, it felt like agony. It was so busy and I just wanted everyone to move out of the way so i could get to where was going quicker. I eventually got to the hairdressers and sat down for 5 mins. I tried wriggling my toes, as I always put it down to bad circulation. It did go away but only after I warmed up I guess.

It's been good to read other stories. Just want to know what I can do to help this. If the doctors don't help, what do we do?

By anon38214 — On Jul 24, 2009

Hey everyone the poster that said to try Loratadine 10mg is right. I took it a half hour before I walk and the tingling goes away. If you take it everyday it's even better.

By anon37979 — On Jul 23, 2009

My boyfriend thinks I'm crazy when I try to explain to him what happens to me when I try to work out or just plain walk. My legs get really itchy, I get an anxiety attack, and can't breathe, and looking at the weeds growing out of the pavement makes me feel so disgusting (dirt panic).

I gained a bit of weight recently and noticed that the movement of the fatty areas seems to exacerbate the itching a lot quicker. Tried to explain to my doctor what was happening to me and she looked at me like I was crazy. I think that it has a lot to do with the circulation because after running or walking for some time I get a rush of heat back into my legs and I feel better after that. However, its very difficult trying to get through it when exercising, especially if the people around you laugh about it. That's just makes it so much worse.

I am so glad I found this because now I can prove once and for all that I am not making my symptoms up. I love being active and haven't been in so long and this just makes it so much more difficult. I have become afraid to exercise. I will definitely try some of the suggestions that I found on here. Thanks to everyone that shared their experiences. My experience now feels validated in this regard.

By anon37952 — On Jul 22, 2009

I'm not sure if we all have the same cause of this problem but I also get extremely itchy legs when I exercise and it is pure torture!! However, I switched from clariton for my regular allergies to Zyrtec and it totally keeps it under control! I didn't realize how well until I forgot to take it for a few days... I forgot how much this can drive you completely insane! Hope this helps some of you.

By anon37699 — On Jul 21, 2009

I live in South Florida and on hot, humid days where it has just finished raining...Ooohh!!! I can't stand it! To see a puddle, or to inhale certain scents outside is the worst. I try walking very slow but the itch is still there. I just turned 30 and experience the itching in the same areas...going to try the Gold Bond and see if it helps. I'm not crazy! Yess

By anon37455 — On Jul 19, 2009

Oh and I forgot to say that I gained weight recently, it maybe the cause of it as well. Let's all lose weight and then report if it still itches.

By anon37454 — On Jul 19, 2009

Yeah my legs itch too. It was usually just in the winter, but today it was hot and I went for a walk (long pants) and everything just itched. What can we do??

By anon37275 — On Jul 18, 2009

I don't want to sound redundant but I have experienced almost every symptom that you guys have been describing.I'm only 15 and it has been happening ever since i was very small. Whenever I tell my friends and family about it they think it's strange and funny. My sister doesn't even like taking walks with me because the itching makes me really aggravated.

It's especially worse when it's cold. But it doesn't bother me as much when its warm out and i'm walking at my own slow pace.


By anon37200 — On Jul 17, 2009

I guess this gets media attention but not very often.

By anon37119 — On Jul 16, 2009

I have this same problem. I hurt so bad and feel so gross that I have to stop. I would love to be part of a study to help others

By anon36736 — On Jul 14, 2009

So what is it? I have had it for years. It seems to be around the vein areas or fatter areas. No one has really answered. It's always walking or running. It's not allergic, heat or cold or pants. It I believe the blood is flowing and causing it to itch. Not sure but it's what I think.

By anon36588 — On Jul 13, 2009

I thought i was the only one!!! man when i take a 10 minute walk outside like if i go to the store or something...especially if I'm wearing jeans my legs begin to itch very badly. it starts in my feet then up my legs then my butt and sometimes even my hands!!! i rush home as quickly as i can and turn the shower on because i feel dirty then hop in the shower itching like crazy!!! but the hot water helps until it stops. then when i get out i glaze my body with vaseline. i thought i was weird or something

By anon35870 — On Jul 08, 2009

I can't believe what I am reading. I have had this problem for years. I have asked people about it and most look at me strange. Although my mother seems to have it sometimes, so I leads me to believe it's genetic.

It doesn't matter what the temp. is outside (although cold is worse) I itch so bad it feels like torture. I notice it is worse as I gain more fat in certain areas. But today, even my *toes were itchy*! It's more of a vibration thing. I use creams and have tried many types of soap. It doesn't matter. It's only diminshed through pressing through the torture a little at a time. I can work up to 1 mile with no problems for awhile, then I add more than that and it comes back although not with the same fierceness it does after inactivity.

I don't want to take benadryl, because i don't feel like being tired most of the day just so I can walk.

I can bike without getting tired, but to walk is bonafide torture. Looking for a magic cure...that doesn't make me tired all day!

By anon35729 — On Jul 07, 2009

I've had itchy legs since childhood. I was a pretty active child, so I don't know if my itch is due to being out of shape. My symptoms aren't quite as bad as those many of you have posted (I don't get the grossed out feeling. Just an uncontrollable urge to itch). Sometimes when I walk long distances, my thighs become very itchy towards the end of the walk. When I run it occurs around 15 minutes into the run. It doesn't matter what I wear either, and it doesn't happen all the time--just once in a while.

The strangest thing is that when I'm playing sports, I don't notice it. Does anyone know why my legs itch when I just run for exercise, and not when I play sports?

By EmWilly — On Jun 28, 2009

The itchy exercise and dirt panic have been happening to me for years. I just turned 31 a few days ago.

It's bad when I do floor or step aerobics or walk on my treadmill, but worse when I'm walking or jogging outside. It only happens after I've begun exercising after long periods of inactivity (weeks or months).

When I begin to exercise after periods of inactivity, the itching begins quickly, but I can exercise through it in about 20-30 minutes. It's agonizing to exercise through it, but I have to or else I can't work out at all.

Luckily for me, the itchiness goes away completely as I become fitter. After two or three weeks of consistent activity, like, walking at least 30 minutes daily, the itching is no longer an issue. That's the only solution I have--get fit and stay fit.

I Googled this problem years ago with very few results. I decided to Google it again today and found many results!

After my last Google search I tried OTC antihistimines to see if they would help but they didn't help me, I still itched. Perhaps they weren't strong enough.

What I'm most excited about finding today is people posting their experiences with dirt panic. In the past, I found threads/articles discussing itching but none about filth panic until today!

For me, a few minutes after the itching begins, filth anxiety begins too. Everything I look at or think about seems unclean, and I get very panicked and irritable.

I obsess about animal feces if I'm walking outside--afraid I'll see some or step in some.

I freak out at the sight of wet decaying leaves on the pavement. Their patterns on the sidewalk disgust me.

I feel like the dirt on the soles of my shoes will move into my shoes and crawl up my body.

I try to figure out what I'll do with my tainted shoes when I get home. They're repulsive since they've been outside touching the ground.

Everything I see is rotting, vile, stinking nastiness. I think about getting home to escape all the filth outside, but then think that my house isn't clean enough either.

While this panic (and it is just that... pure panic) is happening I try to *force* myself to focus on other things or try to talk myself out of it.

I ask myself things like, "What's the worst thing that can happen if you do see dog poop?" The answer is nothing, of course, but this anxiety is nonsensical and there's no reasoning with it.

Even as I'm experiencing these thoughts and feelings, I know they're irrational, but that doesn't prevent them.

A few times, I've been out walking and nearly started crying because I was so panicky and in such anxiety about getting dirty or seeing dog poop or decaying plants. It sounds so silly right now that it makes me chuckle as I type this, but it is no laughing matter when it's happening. It's absolute hell.

There is relief for me, however. Once I make it through my exercise session--past the point of itching after about 30 minutes--then I start to calm down. The thoughts are still there but not as frequent or as powerful so I can talk myself into relaxing.

By the time I return home I'm basically okay with only a tiny bit of residual itch and I'm far less creeped out about filth.

I've explained this to my friends and family and no one knows what I'm talking about. My mom thinks I'm a nutcase with regard to the feelings of disgust I experience.

The itching and anxiety happen when I exercise at home too, but the paranoia isn't as bad at home because I feel like my surroundings are cleaner than outside. I don't worry about animal feces, but I freak out thinking about dirt having been tracked into the house on shoes.

What is this odd psychological effect that can accompany exercise itch? I've read a few explanations about the itching but none about the dirt anxiety. What in the world does one have to do with the other?

By anon34468 — On Jun 23, 2009

I've always been a walker, but did not experience the itchy legs and thighs unless I walked a long distance. If I walked on consecutive days, the itching would not occur on the third day.

Now 51 (female), I run. During training for the 10k, I did not itch at all, maybe because I was consistent. But this morning (about 70 degrees and humid), my legs itched. It was a total surprise. Not my lower legs, but my inner thighs. Even my belly itched a little. I just ran three days ago, and played tennis yesterday, so I did not expect the itching. I kept running through the discomfort, which was not as severe as it sometimes is. I think I will take the daily antihistamine that I've just read about today, and see if that helps.

By anon33947 — On Jun 14, 2009

This is amazing. I just came in from walking with my boyfriend and he swears to never walk with me again because I scratched the whole time we walked. I learned of this when I started running track in 7th grade. Now I am 28. Today if I walk a mile it itches in the first 10 min then stops. Tomorrow I can walk a mile without itching but if I try to walk 2 it starts to itch again. Thank so much for proving my sanity.

By anon33778 — On Jun 11, 2009

wow glad i'm not the only one! i don't get the accompanied disgusted feeling but i do feel incredibly irritable when it happens! it started in highschool when i would take my dog for walks and thought he had fleas. but then it started happening more often and is occasionally so bad that i'll run back home as hard as possible just to take my mind off the itching! it only happens on occasion though, and to be honest, i think using a moisturizing soap helps a lot.

By anon33609 — On Jun 09, 2009

I am so Thankful to see these comments about itchy legs and this gross out feelings. I thought I was the only one with this problem. I agree with the person who said that we should contact Dr. Oz about this. He will know what to do.

By anon31068 — On Apr 29, 2009

It's interesting that someone suggested it could be related to thyroid issues. I have "subclinical" hypothyroidism and other hormone/endocrine problems. In the past year, I've also developed neuropathy in my feet and I wonder if there could be a correlation?

By anon30757 — On Apr 24, 2009

*dances for joy*

I'm going to echo the "glad this is real" sentiment.

The itching for me happens mostly when I wear long stiff pants (like jeans) and I walk for more than about twenty minutes. For me the itch is unpleasant, but the feeling of disgust is the worst! I have to walk to my ballet class because I attend a nearby college and there are points when I just have to look straight up because the dirty puddles on the sidewalk and even the weeds near it are absolutely repulsive.

I do recall having the itching feeling a little bit when I ran sometimes, even when I wore shorts but it was usually on cold, dry, days. I didn't have the feeling of disgust though, ugh, it's so awful! And I find myself just being mad that the world is so dirty!

It's strange, though, because I just went to New York City and walked about half an hour through town to get to a certain store from the train station and I didn't experience this itching sensation at all.

By anon30450 — On Apr 19, 2009

OK this is my obligatory "i can't believe i'm not nuts" and "i didn't know this happened to anyone else" lol seriously i didn't and i never even told this to anyone until i told my wife a few weeks ago because this just didn't make any sense to me

like brian383838 i suffer also from the skin condition Seborrheic Dermatitis so who knows if it's related

i'm 6'2" 34 y.o. 175 pounds grew up in the Caribbean playing football (soccer) all my life and i never noticed this before up until a few years ago though like 3-4 maybe it's been occurring but i honestly can't pin-point when it started. all i know is i was very active as a kid and it never bothered me but maybe i am not as active now. so when i do now like playing a game of pickup soccer i get these itches on my lower body especially me thighs and back of me knees. i even get them when i do light walking. for example a few days ago i took my toddler walking to the nearby park and 5 minutes on i swear i thought i was going to pass out when the itching started with the ball of my feet and mostly where my sneakers touched my foot, ankles man i was just breathing heavy until i got there

took off my shoes and socks right there while my kid was on the slide lol

thankfully i live in socal and only visit nyc from time to time but i have always had this weird reaction to certain patterns, filth and stuff like animal (and human) poop

seriously i can't believe other people had to deal with this and no it's not a cliche`. i am going to try some of the suggestions i've been reading here because i see a little stomach bulge that i need to get rid of sitting around wishing it will go away won't work

wow that was long, ricky

By anon30027 — On Apr 12, 2009

Oh my god!!! I have also had the itching and disgust feeling!!! I experienced it the other day when I walked my dog. I was less than a block away from the house and I couldn't look at *anything.* The smallest specimen of dirt had me skeeved out! I walked in the house and stripped off all of my clothes and scratched until my skin was raw.

It is so embarrassing. People who don't experience it, don't understand and act like I am flippin' crazy.

I have tried everything...Different socks. Different shoes. Different workout clothing. The only thing that work are anti-histamines.

By anon29791 — On Apr 08, 2009

oh my gosh...I'm not alone...I thought I was the weird one!!!

My dad is a doctor and I have about 3 doctors in our family and no one could figure out what this is. I feel disgusted at everything I see when this itching starts. Wow. Just so glad that I'm not alone.

Mine started when I was so young. Can't remember when I started noticing it. But thanks to this I have always been a completely indoor person. I enviously look at people out running and being active. Hope there's a medicine for this disease.

By anon29053 — On Mar 26, 2009

Like most everyone, it's great to see that I'm not alone in this. I'm 30 y.o., and I have experienced this since high school. It does not matter for me what the weather is, warm or cool, nor environment (inside or outside). But it only happens with high impact exercise, like walking or running, as I can ride a bike indefinitely with no problems. It seems to be worse when I have long pants on, but the material is not relevant. I'm surprised that an antihistamine may work as a treatment; I'll have to give it a try.

By anon28659 — On Mar 20, 2009

I have exactly the same thing.

Glad to know that I am *not alone*!

I will definitely try the antihistamine 1/2 before going on a walk. The strangest thing, it doesn't happen every time I walk. But when it does, it is crazy, my legs get really warm too.

Since little I had all kinds of allergies, skin specially when eating certain foods. They are now almost all gone, but the leg, stomach, but specially leg itching, still continues. Hate it! So annoying.

Thank you for listening.

By Queeny — On Mar 08, 2009

Oooh my days!!!! I am am glad that I can tell my family that I am not actually mad!!! Every time I am walking or running the itching starts and it is immediately followed by feeling disgusted/freaked out by any dirt on the side walk. I at times stop and say "I can't stand this!!" As I feel like everywhere I walk there is dirt!! Even gravel or lumps of tar on the road freak me out. This gets worse when I scratch and when going down the hill. I really feel for you guys!!

By anon27513 — On Mar 01, 2009

I have experienced this itching sensation when running for years. This condition has a name: cholinergic urticaria, which is a reaction to increase in body heat. For me it hasn't had anything to do with not having exercised for a period of time, with what I am wearing or with the weather. The only way I have been able to control it is by regularly taking allergy medicine. Articles regarding this condition suggest taking loratadine (Claritine). I personally take Xyzal, and it helps me. If I stop taking it for a few days, the itchiness comes back. And I also get the feeling of disgust for any dirt or litter I see when I get the itchiness, which is the weirdest thing and for that I have not found and explanation yet.

By kjbrad2002 — On Feb 25, 2009

What kind of antihistamine are you guys taking? Does it make you sleepy? I need help fast because I signed up for the Breast Cancer 3Day Walk.

By anon27069 — On Feb 23, 2009

I've been working out on an exercise bike quite regularly for months now, and lost twenty pounds. Now after about fifteen minutes of exercise, on the bike or walking I get the unbearable itch.

Antihistamines do work, but I hate taking more pills. I'm a diabetic and have been able to reduce my medication since the weight loss is helping to regulate my sugar levels. At first I thought I was becoming hypoglycemic (low sugar), but my sugar levels are fine even while the itch is there.

This itch is mostly on my legs, but occurs all over my body. I hope it`s temporary for me, but I feel a sense of empathy for those who deal with this all the time.

By brian383838 — On Feb 04, 2009

This is exactly what happened to me tonight (mind you it is about 30 something degrees outside), I put on some jeans and took the dog for a walk and my legs just started itching like crazy from my ankles up to my waist. It was a little unbearable, and I too started to get that creepy feeling where everything was beginning to creep me out, I thought I was going crazy for a minute. Anyway, I know that I have Sebhoreic Dermatitis, but I am not sure if it has anything to do with it. 2/4/2009

By anon25653 — On Feb 01, 2009

I'm so glad that I am not the only one! I suffered from this leg itch for many years and started taking antihistamines in the morning which has helped.

By anon25521 — On Jan 30, 2009

This is exactly what I've been looking for. When you feel like you're the only one experiencing something, it makes you feel even more like there's something really wrong with you. But finding this discussion board has been very comforting.

I was very active as a kid and never experienced any itching of any kind, but now at 27, probably within the last 3-4 years, wearing jeans has become excruciating after a few minutes of walking. I've tried to explain this to my fiance and my parents but it doesn't make sense to them. I enjoy running, but it is just too unbearable, especially in the winter.

That weird "grossed-out" feeling happens all the time. I've lived in San Francisco and L.A. and I just moved to New York City, and of all of these places NYC is the most disgusting physically, especially underground. Don't get me wrong, the people here are awesome, the town is exciting and fun, but it's just dirty, and I personally can't seem to handle it. It makes me feel like I have a psychological problem because I rush down the sidewalk past all the grime and grit and gum to get to my apartment... so that I can then immediately strip down and vigorously scratch my legs until I'm satisfied. It sounds silly, but it's horrible. Makes me feel crazy!! I can't wait 'til I'm able to relocate.

The most relief I've found is from wearing flowing skirts in the summer (bliss), but I know our fellow males can't really do that (unless you just like to.)

By penny78 — On Jan 21, 2009

Hi, everyone...A couple weeks ago, I left a message on the Oprah Winfrey Show website for Dr. Mehmet Oz (Dr. Oz), explaining our situation.... One person's plea may have no affect. So, do you all think it will do any good if we all leave a message for Dr. Oz regarding our problem? Somebody has to know something definite about what's going on. We deserve to be able to live our lives free of the agony and discomfort of our dilemma. Perhaps Dr. Oz (or the Oprah staff) will take more notice if receive more than one request for help. Yours truly, Penny.

By anon24830 — On Jan 19, 2009

I cried when I read people's comments. It is not in my mind after all. I thought I was the only one who had intense itchiness when out walking (happens in all types of weather) and that associated feeling of being grossed out with anything and everything. Things such as clusters of things such as peas, wriggling worms and so on gross me out as well. It certainly restricts you from walking and being outdoors. I have often had to stop and scratch my body to death while out walking (talk about intense and mind bending itchiness). Hopefully one day someone would actually find out what it is and how we can all get permanent relief from this horrible condition.

By anon23841 — On Jan 03, 2009

I've experienced itchy legs when walking since I was around years old. One doctor suggested taking an oral antihistamine before walk or exercise. I've followed his advice and it works! The antihistamine should be taken at least 30 minutes prior to walking so it has time to take effect.

I always keep a tube of topical antihistamine in my bag as a backup, but it doesn't seem to really help once the itching starts.

By anon23796 — On Jan 02, 2009

Wow, I'm surprised there's so many people that experience this. Mine started back in high school, and no one knew what I was talking about! Not even my doctor.

My experience is very similar as described by others. It is such an intense itch, and it goes from my ankles up to the bottom of my butt. Front, back, sides, everywhere! Occasionally, even my stomach will itch.

I've read all the things about detergents, soap, etc, or possibly foods, and I don't think that has anything to do with what we experience. I don't itch every day, and if I begin to itch while walking, I can slow down or stop, wait until the itch goes away, begin again and maintain a slower pace, and be fine.

Also, I can do low-impact exercises (ellipticals, bike, etc) as long as I want and be perfectly fine. It's just walking and running (high impact) that I experience the insane itching.

For me, I've found using Gold Bond anti-itch will completely eliminate the itching for me. I just apply the powder to my legs and any other spots that experience the itching sensation, go running, and I don't experience any itching at all. The only downside is that I am self-conscious about the powder and sometimes feel embarrassed by it (even though it's hardly noticeable by others). But now that I get to do activities I love to do, the embarrassment is beginning to go away. Plus, I now use extra strength, and so I use even less!

Hope this provides a good solution to you guys...It's worked wonders for me.

By anon23609 — On Dec 29, 2008

WOW...I thought I was the only one suffering from this!

For me, it started right after I was involved in a minor car accident. I'd been sitting in the backseat of a cab that collided with another car. Upon impact, I slid forward and slammed my shins into the drivers seat. My legs, of course, were quite swollen and sore, not to mention bruised, but thankfully, nothing was broken. I had X-rays taken and was thoroughly examined. I was told everything was okay and that I'd just need some time to heal.

Well, the healing process itched like hell, so I paid no mind to that initially. I was just grateful to have no broken bones. I was quite stiff and to be honest, my legs have never felt quite the same since. Once the swelling and bruising went away, every time I walked quickly, walked around for extended periods of time, exercised or ran, my legs would go up in flames and itch like crazy! I'd even find myself scratching my legs in my sleep if I'd been walking around a lot the previous da. This led me to tear up my skin to the point that I had to wear pants instead of skirts because of the scabs and scarring.

To this day, some four years later, I still have the same problem. Because of it, I have come to believe that many of the blood vessels in my legs were damaged in the accident and when I walk a lot, exercise, or run, the increased blood flow sends my legs into crisis mode! I honestly don’t know what to do about it at this point. What’s worse, is that my legs also tend to itch uncontrollably if I sit around for too long and I work in an office LOL. So, I have to move around, but not too much...UGH *sigh*

By arabella1988 — On Dec 15, 2008

Oh my goodness, I experienced this just this evening as I walked into the city center. My legs were itching so badly that I had to scratch them all over and then I noticed there were small circular water stains on the pavements just near to a step made of something with a pumice-like texture, I began to hyperventilate and panic and I thought I was going to scream then my eyes began filling with tears. I have never been so afraid/repulsed as today. Is there anybody who knows what causes this? Like Penny78, I am iron-deficient anemic and I am a carrier for sickle cell trait.

By anon21877 — On Nov 23, 2008

I am glad to know that I am not the only one that experiences itchy legs. I get this itch when it is cold; I have no problem when it's warm or hot. It get it on my legs, butt and lower back and abdomen. Today, before I went for a walk, I put as much moisturizer on my legs and all the other parts that tend to itch. It didn't help and I had to cut my walk short. I like to walk but the itching is unbearable!

By anon20766 — On Nov 06, 2008

Imagine living in gross New York City and experiencing the leg itch/disgust with disgust. It is excruciating! This is especially the case when walking in a subway station. There is so much grim, black gum and filth of all natures that you focus in and and drive yourself crazy associating with the itch.

By chocolate — On Oct 29, 2008

Finally I am not NUTS. I started experiencing itchy legs when i was 12 years old. I am now 36 and it happens each time that I walk or run. I love to run but that is not in my things to do right now because of this itchy legs. Each time I try I will have to stop for a couple of minutes. It doesn't matter whether its warm or cold. I have lived in the tropics as well as in the US it happens during all seasons. I hardly go for long walks and when you are walking with friends and you stop and tell them they look at you very funny. I hope someone has a miracle out there.

By anon19613 — On Oct 15, 2008

I am so relieved to see that I am not the only one whose legs itch after trying to walk or run for exercise. I have recently gained weight and have not worked out consistently in a while. I just started a walking plan today and I had to cut my workout short. I immediately ran to yahoo to find out what causes this itch. I itch in my thighs, butt, and lower back; which is where I gained the most weight. I will press through my workout because this is for the birds.

By anon19481 — On Oct 13, 2008

this is MrsKrs, I posted some great answers to our shared problem, but they removed it b/c it contained o/websites so basically my advice to everyone is to look up natural antihistamines b/c that is our cure! I researched this a great deal online and turns out it's an actual allergy within our limbs...well of sorts. The capillaries in our veins freak out and respond very rapidly to keep up with our body's need to increase our body temperature/blood flow and they press on our nerves which causes the crazy itchy feeling, and my opinion also causes some kind of psychological response to link a visual cue to all the minute and numerous affected nerves. Anyway, antihistamines will relieve this feeling. I have been eating apples and red grapes and taking a benadryl before walking and it has really helped!! I am so thankful! Do your homework folks, their is relief in sight!

By anon19447 — On Oct 12, 2008

Same here. I get increasingly itchy legs anywhere there's fat actually. It happens when I haven't done med-high impact exercises for awhile. I think it's the combination of the impact and the circulation of blood through fatty areas. I also get that freaked out "feeling of disgust" where anything remotely unclean causes me to absolutely panic. One day I was on a beautiful hike but as things progressed I couldn't take it. It was also a horse trail and the horse droppings all along the way made me absolutely insane. I started running past them and not breathing when I passed them because I couldn't stand it.

The good news is that with enough impact exercises it eventually goes away. But that first time after a long time of not having run - is like torture.

By anon19399 — On Oct 11, 2008

oh my goodness! you'll never know how thankful i am to read this. I thought I was the only one that got itchy and then grossed out by garbage or mud on the sidewalk. I just got in from a walk and went to Google right away because the itching and feeling of disgust was so bad. I wish there was an answer but at least i'm not alone....

By anon19186 — On Oct 07, 2008

I experience the same thing -- my legs get itchy when i walk or run. It happens more so when it is cold out, and more so when I am wearing jeans. It is often worse when going downhill.

The strangest thing is that I also get this "feeling of disgust" mentioned by other posters, and I cannot believe that others actually share this experience. When my legs are itching, any piece of gum on the sidewalk or oily or muddy puddle will completely and utterly freak me out and make me itch more! It happened on time on a very dirty city street and I thought i was going to lose my mind -- I almost started crying because i felt that the filth was just surrounding me and just grossing me out so badly -- it makes you want to jump into a hot shower immediately. Bizarre!!! Can any doctor tell me what this could be?

By jman12 — On Oct 01, 2008

OK, so I have had this issue as well. I consider myself a pretty fit person. What has helped me is taking a reactin in the evenings. My walk is usually in the mornings. When I take that reactin I don't have the problem. Of course, you should talk to your doctor first. Just a suggestion.

By anon18868 — On Sep 30, 2008

i have always had this also... i can work out on an elliptical machine for an hour and have no problem.

reading all these things has really confirmed my opinions about the symptoms. anyone that suggests it is clothing, detergents, etc.. is crazy and has obviously never experienced this kind of thing before. I

if i run, in the first 5 minutes i get an itch from the back of my knees, up through my thighs, my butt, my waist/torso, all the way up my stomach to right under my ribs.

it is the worst itchy feeling ever.. thankfully, i know I can push through it. tonight it lasted five minutes before it went away. it is very hard to push through it. the itch is soo deep and strong and all over. from past experience though I know that if I continue to work out/run for a period of time over a few weeks, the itch will eventually be defeated. it takes a higher level of fitness to get past it. what I found strange though is now I am in very good shape from doing the elliptical, but just changing to running immediately triggered it. you'd think the muscles would be used to the exercise. when i started kicking my legs up while running, the itch intensified very quickly. this is consistent with what someone else reported in regards to feeling it even more when "bouncing" down a hill.

i have talked to doctors about this before, and they think I am nuts. glad to read that sooo many other folks are affected. it makes walking outside in the cold impossible.

By MrsKrs — On Sep 24, 2008

The bouncing for me too, like jumping off something to get on the ground or jumping rope AAAGGGHHHH!

By anon18393 — On Sep 22, 2008

i came from a country in Asia and our weather is not as extreme as like here in the US. Our summers are hot but humid and we don't have winter time. I first experience this itchiness while walking during my Kindergarten days and i hated it so much because i love walking even up to now that I am 29 years old the itching hasn't stopped. even though i still experience the itching i try to bear with it and walk miles to go to places. I just find it embarrassing at times that i have to stop from time to time just to rest my legs. and have people staring at me while i relieve myself by scratching and having all of these start again as soon as i resume walking. i thought i was the only one that has this because my roomie is a doctor and even she cannot give me answers.

By anon18366 — On Sep 21, 2008

It is so good to know that I'm not the only one who suffers from this. I first noticed it about 10 years ago. Whenever I go out walking, especially in cold weather I get a terrible itch. As everyone has noted scratching makes it a lot worse. Like penny78 I also get a feeling of disgust/nausea associated with puddles, wet leaves and dirt at these times. All I want to do then is get back indoors! For me it's definitely to do with poor circulation as if I do regular exercise the episodes stop. So starting a new phase of exercising can be a bit daunting knowing I have to go through the itching.

Another thing I've noticed is it's more likely to occur the more I bounce (e.g. bouncing down a hill or jogging). Anyway as more people report this phenomenon online the more likely there'll be a proper investigation by the professionals.

By penny78 — On Sep 17, 2008

Great lead article and comments! I'm not happy to see there are others experiencing this rather uncomfortable itching phenomenon. You all have my deepest sympathy. I've been dealing with this itching nonsense since about five years old. I remember doing a lot of crying while walking. It has been a complete and utter misery. So much so, I can't wait to die. I don't enjoy my life. I hate going out for a walk even though, like "Anon15194", I don't mind doing so. Up until four years ago, I cringed at the thought of walking more than a block, especially in the wintertime, when the itching was guaranteed to occur every time I took a step outside. I rarely would get more than a few steps before my skin began to sting (maybe 'pinch' is a better word). I can't tell how many tears I've shed because of the discomfort. When I try to explain to someone what I'm feeling it's impossible, no one gets it; they say then just scratch. I can't. What happens for me is that on cold days (that includes temps below 75 degrees and days when the humidity is moderate to low) sometimes as soon as I get outside, my skin will either immediately begin to sting and pinch or one block along, I get this warm feeling on my lower legs that works its way up to the thighs, quickly becoming a faint throb like a vibration. And not a comforting one. Then my legs start to itch and sting—no warm feeling. By this time I'm three or four blocks along my destination. Then I feel pins and needles with a pulsing heat and if I dare scratch—It's very tempting—I'll get increased stinging and pinching and the heat really turns up (not a comforting warmth, let me tell you). Now if I stop at a corner to cross the street, the feeling subsides a tad bit but soon as I take another step—WHAM!—the sensations continue on as before. And it's more than just the sensations. I haven't described them all that well. There is a weird visual correlation that sets the itching off (all seasons) or makes it worse. Seeing filth on the ground—even a piece of gum on the sidewalk—dog poo, vomit and stains on the sidewalk sends me into a panic (I've had to live in some nasty environments) and the ultimate killers are dirt, mud and filthy black snow. They send me into near heart failure because if my skin wasn't itching before then, it will be by then. Seeing filth—just knowing it is there—no matter the season makes my skin react. Hell, it's itching right now just talking about. I originally thought this was an indoor thing, but two years ago, I stepped into a mall department store on a hot summer day and five steps in my skin immediately protested (there was no air conditioning). There was no itching, my skin went straight to stinging and pinching quicker than I've ever known it could. Talk about having a comfort zone snatched away. Since I moved into my current apt. the itching hasn't been as often nor as bad, but last winter was edgy and already this summer, my skin's been reacting. So now I'm worried, because I don't have money for testing and probing. Never have. I had to walk seven blocks in 28 degree weather. I'd wear five or six layers (including undies) and a heavy men's leather coat that came nearly to the ankles. By the fourth block I could feel the stinging begin. My body does two things. It either gets too warm or it doesn't retain heat. I can't figure out how to dress from one day to the next. It's a crap shot. I got to work one day, my fingers were red, swollen and throbbing and warm against my face but my thighs were cold and red. Taking a shower is an ordeal, as well.

I think the itching is from a combination of things it's the chlorine in the water (and rusty water pipes), the chemicals in the soap, as well as the dyes in the clothes, the rough textures (of jeans), the vibration of walking as "Tintelina" mentioned, even having something touch my skin just moderately, will later cause my skin to react first in that exact area. This isn't fair. It really isn't. I want to enjoy walking without constantly being in fear when or if the itching will occur. Oh, by the way, I agree with "anon17830" that it may be circulatory in nature. That coupled with pollen allergies, the fact that I have iron deficient anemia (incidentally, I don't think iron pills work) and have Sickle Cell Trait is giving me quite the work-over. Lotions and creams are useless—you can't possibly strip naked in the middle of the sidewalk to apply it and using them beforehand is pointless. However, using liquid baby soaps, baby detergents and not allowing shampoos and conditioners to rinse onto my skin (in the shower) did seem to help.

By anon17830 — On Sep 08, 2008

I've been experiencing itchy legs when walking (under certain conditions) for about 15 years. For me it occurs when temperatures are cooler (usually cooler than 70 degrees outside). As I'm walking and my body begins warming up from the exertion, my legs begin to itch, and they feel cold to the touch, even though I feel warm "inside". The itching can occur whether my legs are exposed or covered by clothing (ie wearing shorts or pants). The itching stops within a minute or two of me stopping walking, but will begin again a few minutes after I resume.

It took me a long time to finally figure out that my "condition" has to do with temperature, and not with what I'm wearing, whether I've shaved my legs, or lotions etc. I tried wearing different clothing while walking, I tried not shaving, using lotion, not using lotion, and every combination of these; it made no difference. What does make a difference for me is the temperature I'm walking in. If it's warm or hot out, I don't experience any itching whatsoever and can walk/jog as much as I want. If it's cool, the itching is inevitable as soon as my body begins to warm up (usually within 15 min.). If I'm jogging, it happens more quickly, but the itching goes away once I break into a sweat.

I personally feel, and this isn't based on anything but my own experiences, that this type of itching is some type of circulatory issue--when my body temperature is rising because of exertion, something triggers the itching. If I'm working up a sweat, the itching goes away during that time. The doctor I spoke with regarding this suggested that I "warm-up" indoors, which would mean getting to the point of sweating before going out and taking a walk. This helps, but for me it also kind of defeats the purpose--by the time I'm sweating, I'm not always ready to then go take a walk.

I've read that one possible underlying cause for this could be thyroid hormone issues. This is interesting because I have Graves disease (a form of hyperthyroidism), however I've been treated for it and my thyroid levels have been normal for years, yet I still get itchy legs. It makes my wonder if the cause could be related to Graves, but just not the factors of the disease that affect the thyroid.

By anon15194 — On Jul 04, 2008

I experience this annoying itch too. I've gone to my doctor, and a Natropath, and received no answers. It happens in any weather, and yet not all the time. I've tried different clothing, with no success. I've taken different supplements to help circulation, with no success. It's very frustrating. I wish someone knew a way to combat this evil itch, I love walking so much, but some days I just can't. And it's really frustrating!!

By tintelina — On Mar 01, 2008

My skin itches from the combination of the skin being cool and the vibration from the steps. It doesn't have to be particularly cold outside. It can be a pretty warm day, but the skin might be cool still, and that, combined with the jiggle from the the walking makes it itch. I've thought of buying some kind of special long underwear or pants that are designed to keep heat in, but I'd rather find out the root cause and see if I can correct it. Long pants in the heat of summer isn't too comfortable.

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.