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12 Causes of Itchy Legs


Jan has been researching and writing about health and nutrition for several years.

Itchy Legs

Itchy legs

Itchy legs

Many things can cause itchy legs. Itchiness is the skin’s way of letting us know that some kind of irritant is present, but irritants can range from minor hygiene issues to fungal or bacterial infections.

When trying to identify the cause of skin irritation it is important to distinguish between itching, pain, and tingling. Itching can have a number of causes. Pain may be due to an injury, and tingling may be a neurological condition.

Below are some of the major causes of itchy legs. If your itchiness is persistent, consult a physician.

When Itchiness Is a Concern

If your legs itch, it is more than likely due to dryness or some other mild irritant. Consult a doctor, however, if you experience any of the following:

  • Your leg has been itchy for two weeks or more.
  • The skin is red or inflamed even when you haven't been scratching.
  • You have other symptoms, such as fever or fatigue.

Otherwise, read on for common causes of itchiness in the legs.

1. Dry Skin

Dry skin is often itchy but it is usually a temporary discomfort.

Dry skin is often itchy but it is usually a temporary discomfort.

Dry skin is often itchy. Generally, dry skin can be controlled through environmental factors. It is usually temporary and appears in response to a dry, hot environment. Severely dry skin is divided into a series of inherited disorders called ichthyosis.


Skin becomes excessively dry when its loses it natural oils. Too-frequent showering and excessive use of soap can bring this condition on. Other causes are dehydration, swimming, dry weather, cold weather and heating systems, excessive sun exposure, and laundry soaps containing perfumes or dyes. There are inherited conditions, including hypothyroidism and Sjögren’s syndrome, which can cause very dry skin. As we age, our skin becomes dryer, so itchiness is a common problem for older people.

Treatment and prevention

  • Creams containing lactic acid and urea as well as ointments containing petroleum jelly, applied immediately after bathing, will help the skin retain moisture
  • Limiting baths and showers, as well as use of soap, can prevent dryness
  • A humidifier to add moisture to a dry room
  • Detergents without perfumes or dyes
  • Wearing gentle fabrics, including silk and cotton
  • Hydrate. Drinking enough fluid (excreting at least 200 ml of clear urine in the morning can be considered as a sign of good hydration).
  • Avoid direct wind and sun exposure.

2. Chicken Skin (Goose Bumps)

Keratosis pilaris on an arm.

Keratosis pilaris on an arm.

These are not the same goose bumps that people experience when they are cold. With this rash, the hair follicles on the thighs, upper arms, or elsewhere on the skin thicken and develop into itchy bumps. The condition, medically known as keratosis pilaris, appears as goose bumps that are skin-, red-, or brown-colored.


Keratosis pilaris is a build-up of keratin. It is a hereditary condition but generally disappears by the age of 30.

Treatment and prevention

  • Keratosis pilaris bumps can be treated so they disappear, but they almost always reappear. Dryness can worsen the condition.
  • Creams containing alpha-hydroxy acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid, or urea may help by both moisturizing the skin and loosening the dead skin cells to help clear hair follicles.

3. Folliculitis

An isolated folliculitis, or infected hair follicle.

An isolated folliculitis, or infected hair follicle.

With folliculitis, the hair follicles on the skin become infected. The resulting bumps are usually red and itchy. They can also be painful and may be filled with pus. Generally they appear on the thighs or buttocks, often in athletes who wear tight sportswear.


This rash is usually caused by the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus (staph infection).

Treatment and prevention

  • With proper hygiene, the bumps should heal on their own within several days.
  • If the rash persists, over-the-counter anti-bacterial soaps or ointment (containing the antibiotic mupirocin) may help.
  • For widespread infections, oral antibiotics may be the most effective treatment.

4. Leg Itch in Unfit Runners

When we take a long break from exercise and then go for a run, we may notice intense itchiness in our legs and abdomen. This condition is called "runner's itch" and usually affects the thighs and calves the most.


Runner’s itch occurs when arteries and capillaries have collapsed due to inactivity and then re-open when we exercise. The blood vessels opening up can irritate the nerves adjacent to the capillaries.

Treatment and prevention

The condition should dissipate with training.

5. Acne

Acne vulgaris, in this case on the arm, can also appear on the thighs or buttocks.

Acne vulgaris, in this case on the arm, can also appear on the thighs or buttocks.

Acne is a cluster of pimples with occasional whiteheads or blackheads. They can appear on the thighs or buttocks and may or may not be itchy.


Acne may occur due to poor hygiene, psychological stress, or inappropriate diet.

Treatment and prevention

Increasing exercise and water intake and avoiding fatty foods will help get rid of acne.

6. Cholinergic Urticaria (Hives)

A hives reaction after contact with a conifer tree.

A hives reaction after contact with a conifer tree.

Cholinergic urticaria or hives is a bumpy rash on the thighs, upper trunk, or arms and can be triggered by a range of different events or activities. Generally brought on by sweating, hives can appear after exercise, bathing, staying in a hot environment, or even emotional reactions such as excitement, shock, laughter and stress. The rash may appear a few minutes after the start of a run or shortly after a hot shower, and can be intensely itchy for 30-120 minutes.


Hives are thought to be caused by an allergy to one’s own sweat.

Treatment and prevention

Avoid running in hot weather and stop running when itchiness appears. If possible, do not scratch. Scratching aggravates itching. Oral antihistamines, taking at least 30 minutes prior to shower or exercise, may prevent hives.

7. Itchiness After Showering

If your skin loses too much of its natural lubrication during bathing, it may become itchy and tight.


Too-frequent hot showers and overuse of soaps that remove the protective skin fat and oils.

Treatment and prevention

Try showering with lukewarm water instead of hot or warm water. Use soap sparingly.

8. Jock Itch

A fungal ringworm rash similar in appearance to tinea cruris, or jock itch.

A fungal ringworm rash similar in appearance to tinea cruris, or jock itch.

Jock itch, also known as tinea cruris, is a fungal infection of the skin. Most often this condition affects the inner thighs, genitals, or buttocks. Jock itch appears as an extensive red or brown itchy rash.


Moisture and warmth encourage the growth of fungus.

Treatment and prevention

  • Antifungal ointments or, in persistent cases, oral antifungal medications
  • Keeping groin dry (wearing light and comfortable clothing) and washing with an antifungal soap

9. Poor Hygiene

When dried sweat and dust remain on the skin, they are broken down by bacteria and yeasts and can irritate the nerve endings in the skin. Heat and rubbing by trouser fabric and socks can aggravate this sensation.

Treatment and prevention

Bathe regularly. Try to use lukewarm water and mild soaps, not hot water, to avoid removing the protective fat layer from the skin.

10. Itchy Pants Syndrome

This fancy term describes itchiness from wearing new, unwashed pants or trousers.

Cause: Irritating substances in unwashed fabric.

Treatment and prevention: Bathe and wash clothing.

11. Eczema

A case of complex eczema.

A case of complex eczema.

Eczema is a group of conditions that cause skin inflammation and irritation. Nearly 20 percent of infants are afflicted with eczema but most outgrow it by their tenth birthday.


It is unknown what causes eczema, but it is thought to be an overactive immune response to irritants.

Treatment and prevention

Untreated, an itchy eczema rash may become infected. Lotions and creams, applied when the skin is moist, can help the skin retain moisture. Cold compresses also relieve itching. Hydrocortisone (1%) cream, or prescription creams and ointments containing steroids, may also be prescribed to reduce inflammation.

12. Stasis Eczema

Stasis (gravitational) eczema appears as rough, reddish, purplish, swollen, itchy skin on the lower legs. It is most common in cases where there are circulatory problems, including varicose veins, vein thrombosis, or other blood vessel-related disorders.


Inflammation from circulatory disorders allow for fluid build-up. Fluid leaks out of the veins into other tissues, causing itching and irritation.

Treatment and prevention

  • Corticosteroids, including hydrocortisone, can help to treat the rash.
  • Wearing compression stockings and avoiding standing may help prevent this condition.

Other Causes of Leg Itchiness

Wool, and other fabrics, can irritate legs and feet.

Wool, and other fabrics, can irritate legs and feet.

  • Certain fabrics like wool, when worn as trousers or socks, can sometimes irritate the legs or feet.
  • Mineral and vitamin deficiencies that can be associated with generalized itch: iron deficiency (anemia), vitamin C deficiency (scorbut), deficiency of one or more of vitamins from B-complex, and rarely, vitamin A or K deficiency. NOTE: if you have normal blood levels of these nutrients, it is unlikely the nutrient supplements will help relieve itch.
  • Soaps, shampoos, lotions, creams or other cosmetics can irritate the skin or cause contact or allergic dermatitis.
  • Allergies of any kind can cause itch that can affect predominantly legs. Typical symptoms are bumpy or patchy red swollen rash (hives) or more rough, scaly rash (eczema--in contact allergies).
  • Moist feet from wearing boots or waterproof shoes for prolonged time, can enable yeast to grow between the toes, which can lead to extreme itchiness.
  • Prolonged sitting, standing or walking can lead blood to pool in leg veins, which can cause itch and discomfort in lower legs, especially in people with varicose veins.

Mosquito bites

Several mosquito bites on a leg that have been scratched and inflamed.

Several mosquito bites on a leg that have been scratched and inflamed.

  • Mosquito and other insect bites can cause local redness and itch, which usually goes away in several hours to few days.
  • Leg swelling of any cause (heart, liver or kidney disease, venous thrombosis, elephantiasis) can be associated with itchiness.
  • Liver disease, bile duct obstruction, chronic kidney disease with high blood phosphate levels can cause itchy skin, including itchy legs. Many individuals on hemodialysis experience itch.
  • Contact with a nettle causes burning sensation, redness, and slight swelling, which can be followed by itch that lasts for several hours.
  • Small cuts and scratches may itch while healing.

Restless Leg Syndrome Causes

Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is a little-understood neurological disorder that strikes more women than men. The sensation is a tingling more than an itching that creates an urge to move the legs. The sensation comes on when the legs are at rest, especially at night, and can make sleep difficult for some.


It is not known what causes RLS, but it is a neurological, not dermatological, condition. Magnesium or iron deficiencies may cause this syndrome.

Treatment and prevention

Movement and avoiding caffeine and alcohol may ease symptoms.


For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. To avoid itch from the shower, it is best to use:
    • Hot water
    • Warm water
    • Lukewarm water
    • Cold water
  2. Runner's itch:
    • Improves with training
    • Worsens with training
  3. A common cause of itch in the groin is:
    • Bacterial infection
    • Yeast infection (jock itch)
    • Viral infection
    • Scabies
  4. An appropriate treatment for staph folliculitis is:
    • Popping follicules
    • Steroid cream
    • Mupirocine cream
    • Emollients

Answer Key

  1. Lukewarm water
  2. Improves with training
  3. Yeast infection (jock itch)
  4. Popping follicules



Cheryl E Preston from Roanoke on September 10, 2020:

Thank you for this information it is very beneficial. My legs often itch when I'm nervous.

Rotsucht from Everywhere on July 19, 2019:

This article doesn't just give you a great overview of itchy legs, it also lists most differential diagnoses. I like that you mention serious systemic diseases such as liver disease. Itchy skin in pregnant women should always be taken seriously!

Brad on April 05, 2018:


Interesting article and pretty detailed with photos.

I grew up in Manhattan, and Long Island.

I had eczema when I was a child, and my doctor said as you have mentioned that I would grow out of it.

While that didn't happen, until I was in my 30s, and had move to S CAL, and got divorced.

The move to CA lowered the frequency of attacks. The only thing that actually work were the cortisone pills. But you can't take them more than several weeks with a reduction in dosage each week.

Anyway, my divorce and possibly that I was in my thirties really ended the Eczema.

I am disappointed that Eczema has no real cure, and that skin doctors rake in the money providing the same treatments we can find on the Internet.


Andy on October 28, 2017:

My legs just started itching recently. At first I thought it was from a case of fleas since I cat sit regularly, but I've done multiple flea tests and all of them came back negative. I don't experience any tingling in my lower legs, but the itch is so extreme it's causing me to scratch the skin off patches of my lower legs. However, lately I have been in intense emotional distress && imbalances in moods due to things happening around me. Is there any link between the intense itch and my emotional state?

Fred mulsop on March 23, 2017:

I don't run anymore

Jim Laughlin from Connecticut on March 19, 2017:

my itchyy legs are from a disease called complex regional pain syndrome. It is an absolute nightmare. I wrote a Hub about it.

GreenMind Guides from USA on December 25, 2016:

Great hub, really informative, on a subject I never realized was a problem for people! Now I know, thanks!

Heather on November 11, 2016:

My lower legs have been itching for almost 2 years. If I scratch it, I can't stop scratching because it itches so bad. I went to the Dr. & they prescribed me some steroid cream. The cream works, but every time I stop using the cream the itch comes back. I hate having to depend on steroid cream all the time, plus it is expensive. Is there a way I can make this go away for good.

Jan Modric (author) from Europe on November 03, 2016:

I'm not sure - itch is aggravated by heat and sweating.

Sahana from India on October 15, 2016:

Very informative. I experience itchiness in skin especially at night. There are no rashes or anything. Why does it happen?

Zieg on October 09, 2016:

I have very itchy balls and they always itch when I am out and around other people and I cannot scratch them. When I get home I take my pants down and really give them a good scratching. It is quite a relief I can tell you that. I sometimes use my wife's comb to scratch them it feels really good and the itch goes away. Anyone else have itchy balls?

Jan Modric (author) from Europe on September 22, 2016:

I also don't know. Sometimes it's from clothes. If it goes away with walking, it may be the blood congestion in the leg veins.

Aleruiz on August 31, 2016:

Hi, I recently started itching for a couple days now. Something I've never dealt with before until now. The itching is on my hips, inner thighs and the bottom part of my things. This usually happens when I'm sitting or sometimes when I'm doing nothing. I scratch so much on my hip to where I have a bruise now. The only way I could calm down the itching is by putting lotion. I read your article but can't seem to figure out which one it could be.

gepeTooRs on April 02, 2016:

Hello, Neat post. There’s an issue with your website in web explorer, might test this? IE nonetheless is the marketplace chief and a huge part of people will miss your great writing because of this problem.

Jan Modric (author) from Europe on March 22, 2016:

student, in diabetes, itch is more likely in the groin and in armpits, because of fungal infection. Itch in lower legs is more likely from vascular problems.

student on March 15, 2016:

This is way more common then I expected it be. My legs itch from my knees down so bad sometimes and there is no stopping it when it starts. The only remedy I have found is a tube of antihistamine cream. Nothing else helps, not medicated gold bond, not hemps lotion, not aveeno, or eucerin. I have wondered if it has to do with diabetes... I've never been diagnosed with it, but wander if thats the problem.

Jan Modric (author) from Europe on March 07, 2016:

Ahlam, I don't know, it can be a mild fungal infection, for example.

Ahlam on March 05, 2016:

Hi, I mainly itch on my thighs and sometimes legs but it's uncontrollable on my thighs, it's happened ever since I was in elementary-middle and Stopped for a while in high school and just started to occur again ....

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on January 01, 2016:

Great hub, Jan. No wonder this is a popular hub. It's so very useful with tips on how to prevent dry itchy skin. Thanks for sharing.

Jan Modric (author) from Europe on November 13, 2015:

Geegee, tingling usually has a neurological origin - so if you think this is different from itching, you may want to see a neurologist. The underlying problem could be a nutrient deficiency....If the tingling started in feet it could be peripheral neuropathy...

Geegee on November 12, 2015:

About 3 weeks ago my legs started itching uncontrollably at night... Now they itch all the time. There is no rash, and the only redness is from my scratching my legs. They also tingle. I've had allergic reactions before, so I know this is something else. I've tried lotions, cream, and ointments. Nothing seems to help. Do I go to a dermatologist or is this something else?

Jan Modric (author) from Europe on October 06, 2015:

Cynthia, calf itch without rash is common. I was experiencing it after showering from no obvious reason. I believe it may be related with the level of physical activity (maybe to little?) or with stress or food, in the sense that when you eat a certain type of food in excess or if something bothers you, it can irritate the skin. This does not mean, you need to check for food allergies or intolerances or to do some blood tests; it may be just some diet imbalance, which you would be probably aware of, if it was the case.

Cynthia on October 05, 2015:

I have recently noticed that the back of my left leg more especially the calf area is itchy. It's something recent and I don't know what causes it. I read the info above and the comments too, and I don't think it's soup, detergent. If it was then why would it target one area continuously and what puzzles me more is that there's no bumps, redness or any other abnormalities on my skin. What could be the cause, please help. Campus clinic probably wont tell me what is the cause

Jan Modric (author) from Europe on October 01, 2015:

If the bumps come and go within hours, it may be hives, which speaks for allergic reaction. This may be either psychological or reaction to a certain food or drug.

CG on September 30, 2015:

My chest, under arms, lower legs get itchy. Not sure if it is social anxiety or what. Many times it happens starting working out but I think it's more panic related. I get little pimples on arms at times as well but they come and go. Can you help?

Wong on September 17, 2015:

I applied white vinegar to the area and it stings like hell. BUT, the itch has subsided leaving small bumps behind. the bumps are only concentrated on my right leg. my left leg has a few bumps only. my elbow's bumps are no longer itchy after applying vinegar too/

Jan Modric (author) from Europe on September 17, 2015:

If bumps are only random, they could be bed bugs, yes. If the bumps create patchy areas, it could be an allergic reaction to something.

Wong on September 17, 2015:

1 day ago, my legs were super itchy and little bumps have appeared today. it is super itchy and more seem to have appeared today! now my elbows are itchy too. the bumps are random and small and is more apparently felt when u run ure hands across the skin. is this bed bugs bite?

franie on August 31, 2015:

i have had lower leg itch for years, i have tried every lotion thats been made,they will help for a while and stop i have seen my dr. i have had blood test and all is good i hope someone can help me i have no rash on my legs, they feel dry, but if i put lotion on it burns.

Jan Modric (author) from Europe on August 21, 2015:

Tammy, if the rash timing is related to the period in which you take the medicine, the two can be associated - or not, but it's possible.

Tammy on August 20, 2015:

2 years ago I started breaking out in a rash. When I am on my legs for a long periods of time and start to sweat the bottom of my legs burn and itch then I have a red rash which disappears in 2 days. I'm wondering if it is my high blood pressure medicine?

Jan Modric (author) from Europe on August 19, 2015:

Bumps suggest "cholinergic urticaria" or, maybe, a true allergic reaction to clothes, shampoo, cream... (?)

Erica on August 19, 2015:

A few days ago I started itching trall bad on my skin specially my highs and arms follow by legs and back and stomach!!!! There's no sign of rash the minute I start scratchin it get bumpy looks as if a mosquito bit me everywhere !!! Yesterday went to bed and woke up with severe itch on my leg and thighs!!! Any suggestion thank you!!!!!

Feanieplava on August 14, 2015:

I am now not certain where you are getting your info, but great topic. I needs to spend a while studying more or figuring out more. Thanks for wonderful info I used to be in search of this info for my mission.

Jan Modric (author) from Europe on August 11, 2015:

Stephanie, if the itch is symmetrical, then it is not necessary connected with ticks @ 7. I'm not saying it is not, but this may be a coincidence, because itch in lower legs alone is quite common. I was thinking it could be physical urticaria (cholinergic urticaria), so you may want to research this a bit.

Stephanie on August 06, 2015:

I have had chronically itchy lower legs that are SUPER sensitive to the point where after walking through some long grass with only a couple blades tickling them, I am in complete severe agony, scratching until bleeding. mosquito bites do not leave my legs in a few hours or days. It's WEEKS I continue profuse itching even after scratching beyond bleeding. Flea bites are worse! It is the craziest thing because I didn't know that others for the most part do not experience this -and I thought everyone did! It looks like a machine gun was cut loose on my legs and it's embarrassing because people are rude and the rest are paranoid I may be contagious and passing on some weird condition no one can pronounce! I was bitten @ 7 by several ticks on my lower legs and those same areas are what is affected 40 years later. Actually most my adult life it's been a problem. My feet and lower legs are also swollen an hour or 2 after waking up and remain that way all day. They appear deformed. I have no insurance so don't tell me to go consult a doctor. I need to know how to deal with this myself. Thanks.

Linh Fujikawa from Los Angeles on July 08, 2015:

Cholinergic urticaria, I believe I have something similar to this condition. When I run or walk for too long, my legs get really itchy and hot. I need to stop to let them cool down, and it will stop. I find that if I place a lot lotion or cream on my legs before taking a long hike or run or walk, they will not flare up

Al on April 24, 2015:

1/2 -1 tsp Vegetable oil (Soybean oil) taken morning and evening seems to help me. I tried Vitamins A & D, and Vitamin E and that worked for a while, but then the itching intensified. The ingredients of these Vitamins all had Soybean oil, so plain soybean oil seems to work so far.

Jan Modric (author) from Europe on March 18, 2015:

Warmer and slightly moister environment in bed can worsen itch of any cause. Without knowing the cause or more symptoms, I really do not know what medicine could help.

Alpesh J MAcwan on March 18, 2015:

I have problem of itching legs , hand and back side at night specially. When i itch... my legs, hands and back side become red. Please give proper medicine to solve my proble.

Jan Modric (author) from Europe on December 31, 2014:

It may be that sitting/lying on the back, combined with a full bladder, increases pressure to the muscles and nerves in your "pelvic floor."

You may also have hypermobile tailbone (coccyx), which bends excessively when you lean backward. It may help if you use U-shaped wedge cushion when sitting, also in the car, and try to lean forward.

buttercuptx on December 31, 2014:

I AM UNIQUE!!My itching problem is different from all of the other folks problems that I read here..It occurs when I'm in bed or reclining in the passenger car seat while my honey is driving..this began about 10 yrs. ago when we traveled a my feet mainly..scratching didn't help.. but RUBBING WITH PRESSURE by using the opposite foot and ankles together would ease it up some...this continued until, he could pull off to a rest area and let me go in and PEE!! Go figure!! I still have that problem, but now this deep deep itching has moved up into both knees, in the kneecap itself and behind it!! I have to rub them "HARD" together as well.. once I go totally stops!! does anyone our here experience this very different deep itch problem?? Causes??Solutions? There are times when you cannot relieve yourself..and it will continue throughout entire leg and foot....unbearable!! :-)

scottie on November 23, 2014:

I have had this problem every winter for many years,worse at night. My problem area is ankle to knee both legs, to get relief and some sleep what i do is soak a towel in cold water squeeze it out, wrap around your leg cover with plastic bag hold in place with rubber band. It works for me hope it is helpful .

Mutafire on October 15, 2014:

I think it is a winter problem, i have had a good run of summer and i have not had itchy inner thighs...but this month, October, the itching is back.... after i take off my long pants, after arriving in my room... shower, creams do not work, but i try to stay calm and soon enough, it goes away... i will go with the Vitamin supplement, maybe it is something to do with vitamin deficiency

Laura on August 17, 2014:

I have the same problem..mine usually happens right after showering and I'll share my home remedy that seems to help me each time! ..ICE! I fill two ziplock bags with ice and hold them on my legs to sooth the itch. I usually have to sit with the bags for about 5-10 min but it definitely helps! It's the only thing that I've found that sooths the itch instantly. Hope this is able to help some of you. Trust me, I know how miserable this is. Cortizone cream has also helped me.

Jan Modric (author) from Europe on July 10, 2014:

I have few hypotheses, nothing more:

1. When you stop exercising, the blood pools in your lower leg veins; if you have venous insufficiency (varicose veins), this could cause itch. But then you would also get itchy legs after prolonged standing, for example.

2. When you undress your pants, your legs get exposed to light. Certain lotions can trigger photosensitive reaction. This would be much more obvious after exposing your legs to sun.

3. Allergy to sweat. Not very likely, I think.

4. A psychological problem related to gym.

Now, you can do few experiments to find out, is it gym, pants, hot shower, exposure to light or sweat, which causes itch.

1. You can try to sleep in those pants and undress them in the morning. Would this trigger itch?

2. You can change the soap, shampoo, lotion or cream you are using...

3. Right after gym,you can try to expose your legs to sun.

4. You can exercise in other pants.

5. You can try some other exercise, in some other place, but with the same pants.

6. Use lukeworm water when showering.

Aaron on July 09, 2014:

It could be a slow trigger because of that,but it doesn't happen until 30mins -1hr after I undress my pants and it wont happen all the time. It seams worse if I shower straight after taking long pants off, as soon as I'm out of the shower I get itchy

Jan Modric (author) from Europe on June 16, 2014:


what exactly triggers itch? Undressing the pants?

Aaron on May 14, 2014:

Hi I am 22 year old male ,About 2 years ago I started doing gym and after about a year of doing it my legs started to itch, but they will randomly do it. It mostly happens after I take off my work shorts which are long dress pants.. Although I do get the odd occasion when I jump out of the shower or even doing nothing will trigger it. While my work pants are on I don't get anything and sometimes putting my work pants back on seems to solve the problem , only sometimes though.. I don't get any rashes or bumps on my legs but if I don't scratch or rub my legs the itching turns into a stabbing pain, the areas affected on my legs are from the knee to just above my ankles ... Now I still work out occasionally but I never seem to get it while I'm working out or even hot or cold or even wet, I've tried using creams to moisturize my legs and I atleast get it once a day..I can't figure out the problem! Do you have any clues? Or do I just have to stay in long pants/jeans all day. Hope to hear from you

Jan Modric (author) from Europe on April 01, 2014:

Brenda, I don't know, but if you are under severe stress it could be "bumpy hives," which is stress-related allergic reaction.

Brenda on March 31, 2014:

About 3 days ago my lower legs and my lower part of my arms have been itching like crazy there are bumps that almost look like mosquito bites and once scratched are red and when scratched a lot of course they turn into sores I am 49 yes old I've never had this problem before, I had a hysterectomy 9 yrs ago and I don't do anything different I'm under a lot of stress so I need Help with this short of going to see a physician!!!

Jan Modric (author) from Europe on March 08, 2014:

I can't say much without more detailed description. It could be staph infection (folliculitis) or yeast infection (jock itch). A doctor of general practice should be able to make a diagnosis without tests, I guess.

anonymous on March 08, 2014:

My legs itch a lot and so does my buttocks I see small bumps in the areas I itch what is this and what should i do?

Jan Modric (author) from Europe on February 01, 2014:

Amei, please, visit a doctor.

amei on February 01, 2014:

Please somebody help me my hairs are started to remove from my legs in winters and I found red spots on my legs I am really confused is it a serious problem

Jade on November 06, 2013:

I itch my legs to the point where they bleed most days I'm only 21 it's been going on now for well over a year I wake up and need to itch when I'm in the bath I itch it's all the time at night is the worst as that's when I make myself bleed I have woken my partner up from the sound of me scratching my legs I moisturise everyday drink plenty I have no idea why I itch

jim on October 02, 2013:

see this

jim on October 02, 2013:

I noticed that people with bladder control problems have similar itching in areas where urin touches the skin and introduces toxins. this may be part of the problem for those with itchy lower legs. I notice itching in the lowere left leg if I sit in my car or walk a short distance it is an itch that you can not stand.

Anni on September 17, 2013:

You might be dehydrated, I know I don't drink as much as I need to and that's when my legs are itchy but when I drink more it goes away

gypsy d on March 02, 2013:

Hi there, i saw this post and as it is identical to my problem, as i to used to work was a welder fabricater, i cant explain it any better BUT when i shower and jet my lower legs with very hot and i do mean "very bloody hot" water, the sensation is the most pleasurable until it becomes unbearable but it does bring some temporary releif. It is always intense and starts near my ankles and as I scratch it's like it moves up my legs to below the knee - the relief of scratching moves up my leg from the initial place it started. It hangs around for a few days and then goes. After the first scratching episode I can't scratch it again, it burns and is red and the skin is sometimes broken. I have had times where I thought it must be gone, but inevitably comes back and I realise I have had this for a long time.

hot pepsi cola on November 16, 2012:

ok so this same thing is happenig to my daddy and its getting really red and bumpy i think his skin is just dry because we live on a farm it has a lot of weeds and things so maybe an allergic reaction to something on our farm i am not sure what this is i hope it ends soon i care about my daddy! any idea's of this what should i do to help my daddy??? 0_o

ron2u on September 08, 2012:

i have had small red bumps on my thighs and buttocks that have itched in any type of weather, on and off for at least a year {i'm sure it must be longer}. i drink a lot of ice tea, but little water. i have noticed that when i have to urinate, my skin in those areas, is extra warm. so it is either a urology problem or dermatology problem i think.

Jan Modric (author) from Europe on May 14, 2012:


one sign that speaks that the itch is connected with with prolonged standing is that the itch is milder after vacations or few days without working.

Debbie on May 12, 2012:

For the past month or so I have had itchy legs (tshe shins and on and behind my knees and on my ankles also, especially in the middle of the night and after showers. I can't believe so many of y'all have this problem. I began searching the net with low expectation of finding an answer. I didn't even think I'd runacross anyone else with this odd problem. I mean no rash or anything just intense itching lol and occurring mainly in the middle of the night of all times!Completely drives me mad! Well anyway...

I read on and and seen this post from hannnah:

"my legs are itchy, mostly at night, and on the calves of my legs only underneath, i get little ranom bumps, not a lot, and they are really any color except the color of my skin, i have tried using all sorts of lotions, but nothing helps, except if i put hydrocortizone, that usually helps a lot?? any suggestions or thought?"

So I used her suggestion and the itching stopped immediately but not sure how often I will have to do this or for how long but its something for now. A bit of relief :) Thanks Hannah for the suggestion. From Debbie

Leigha on May 04, 2012:

My legs will have that achy feeling even when I'm off work for awhile. I've had that feeling for years but only had the job, that requires me to stand all day, for a year. I appreciate your reply!! :)

Jan Modric (author) from Europe on May 03, 2012:


is it better on Saturdays or Sundays or during vacations when you don't need to stand for many hours?

Jan Modric (author) from Europe on May 03, 2012:


itching in Polycythemia vera is a known issue. Please contact your doctor (specialist) for an advice.

Jan Modric (author) from Europe on May 03, 2012:


just a warning: long-term use of hydrocortisone cream may permanently thin the skin.

Jan Modric (author) from Europe on May 03, 2012:


yes, it can be stress. Just try to change something and do what is right in your life intuitively and see if it helps.

Jan Modric (author) from Europe on May 03, 2012:

Li Girl,

I suggest you to read more about dermographism and "cholinergic urticaria." It's true that this condition can go away on its own after some time and there are things you can do to help go it away (diet as you feel it's right for you, coping with stress...)

Jan Modric (author) from Europe on May 03, 2012:


have you tried to shave your legs for some days?

Jan Modric (author) from Europe on May 03, 2012:


are you on a wheat-free diet?

Leigha on May 01, 2012:

I've noticed that my legs have recently started itching at night really bad. Once when I was half asleep/half awake I was scratching my legs so hard I woke up with some scratches! I'm not sure what's wrong but my legs have aches and pains that has been going on for years. But the itching just recently started and it's driving me crazy. I'm 22 and work in a place that requires me to stand for long periods at a time. I've only been working there for one year and the itching recently started. I'm not active as I should be, and I also don't eat healthy food enough. Oh also, when i put lotion on my legs it helps just a little. Please help.. Thank you!!

Trish313 on April 29, 2012:

I've solved my itchy leg problem!

I'm 65 and fortunate to have very good health apart from agonising itching on my lower legs for the last few years, mostly at night but occasionally during the day too, and I'd HAVE to scratch my legs raw, even though it hurt, otherwise I'd never sleep. I've eaten healthily and avoided chemicals as much as possible for a long time, but assumed I had some sort of allergy so carefully monitored my diet etc. I could sometimes go for quite long periods without itching, without really knowing why. Then a few months ago when it returned with a vengeance I realised it was a winter thing, which made me wonder if I was deficient in vitamin D. I started taking 500iu of D3 and noticed a huge improvement, so I knew I was on the right track.

Hooray for the Internet! I did lots of research on vitamin D3 from both sunshine and supplements and discovered that there is an epidemic of vitamin D deficiency, causing large numbers of diseases, including allergies, and that it is safe to take large doses if it cannot be obtained naturally from sunshine. (Sunscreen blocks the beneficial rays that produce vitamin D on our skin, and for much of the year, depending on where you live, the sun is loo low for those good rays to reach us anyway.) It is highly recommended to get your D3 levels tested to see if you are deficient.

I increased the supplement for a few weeks, and added vitamin K, and am thrilled to report that I am completely itch-free and my previously scabby and scarred legs have healed. It's a very wet Spring here in the UK and I can't wait to get my D3 naturally from the sunshine. But I will definitely be taking supplements again next winter.

I really hope this helps others who are suffering like I did, but please do your own research on the benefits and dangers of sunbathing and supplementing with vitamin D. There's masses of information out there. Good luck!

Marilyn on April 26, 2012:

I have the itchy legs after a shower. I try to rise off in the coldest water I can stand before I get out and that helps a little. I was recently diagnosed with Polycythemia Vera, ( I have too much blood) It usually hits men over 50 years of age. Well, it hit me at 55 and my daughter has had it for about 10 years and she's only 35. Nothing helps and it does feel like an eternal itch. I just know one thing. It drives me absolutely crazy! I take an allergy pill every day for nasal reasons. Nothing helps,pills, creams, lotions, just waiting it out.

Kristin C. on April 22, 2012:

I have had lower leg itch for 2 1/2 years now. I live in Texas. I'm 43 years old. It started right around Christmas time. My Dr gave me Rx pills for antifungal, it didn't work, then he gave me Rx ointment, didn't work either. I have no bumps or marks. Haven't changed the way I shave, shower or anthing. My husband thinks its in my head but its not. The only relief I get is if I rub hydrocortizone cream morning and night--if I do that every day then the symptoms go away. If I skip even 1 day the symptoms are back. Ive basically been putting the hydrocortizone cream on for over a year now. I've not put it on several times just to see if the itch would come back and it always does. I wish there was a permanent cure for this. Its so frustrating. Good thing hydrocortizone cream is cheap. Benadryl, vaseline, any other cream I tried did not work. Only the hydrocortizone cream does. Maybe this will help some of you get relief. Good luck.

a.patka.s. on April 19, 2012:

My itchy legs are all over and at random times.. even after I shower, wake up, have clothes on or take off. I have changed my body wash for this, went through all lotions for sensitive skin and now using body oil. Not sure what it can be. I heard it could be stress related, any thoughts about that?

LI Girl on April 16, 2012:

About a year ago I started feeling itching and burning and the appearance of red blotches anywhere on my body the more I itched the worse it got!! It feels like fire burning from the inside out on your skin. I didn't know what the heck was going on? This came out of no-where. I was told I have Dermagraphism. It is the absolute worst! It happens when pressure is applied to ones sking in one form or another such as towel drying, dog jumping, putting on clothes etc... It can happen at anytime on the scalp to the tip of my toes. I feel for anybody that has to go through this. I was told it could last up to 10 years but usually goes away on it's own. :(

Terri on April 12, 2012:

I have itchy legs all the time most likely because all the hot showers and baths I take. I have leg hair that grows fast and have to. Shave my lower leg at least once or twice a day. Any advice how to stop the itchyness and also not have to shave everyday?

geraldine on April 09, 2012:

have very itchy legs in which when i itchy them then go red in which then my legs become bursed i have allergis to wheatplease help

Jan Modric (author) from Europe on April 02, 2012:

Will, yes they can be side effects of antibiotics. I suggest you to see your doctor as soon as possible.

Will on April 02, 2012:

Hi, iv just got back off holiday, been on long dose of antibiotics and my legs get the occasional itch and slight burn, also when i get out the shower i notice under my skin on my thighs it looks as tho i have a slight purple and yellow effect, my skin in general all over my body is a lot redder, iv also been suffering with ocasional stomach pains, diahrrea and thrush in my mouth, could it just be my antiobiotics i took 3 weeks ago?

S. Knecht on March 30, 2012:

I can relate to the gal that said that her itching was so bad, that she had even thought of cutting off her legs. I have multiple sclorosis, & my feet tingle full time, & that is how I felt,but just when you think its as bad as it can get, it gets worse, because now I have the severe itching from my ankles to my knees! HELP

Jan Modric (author) from Europe on March 26, 2012:


one possible trigger of your itch is increase of temperature of your legs. You can try to sleep in a colder room or have your legs less covered. It's possible you suffer from "cholinergic urticaria," (I recommend some online research) in which symptoms are triggered by change in skin temperature and sweating. You can also try to change your diet intuitively and think if you can do something about eventual stress. Cholinergic urticaria may go away but you need to identify and remove the triggers.

Jan Modric (author) from Europe on March 26, 2012:

Lunafs, if your legs are realy swollen, you should see a doctor. Think, when did you notice your symptoms for the first time. Was it after starting using a certain medication? Have you identified some triggers or relievers of the symptoms?

Amy on March 26, 2012:

I'm 18 and i have a very similar problem, for as long as i can remember whenever i go to bed at night my legs start itching really bad, mostly my lower thigh and behind my calves, it gets really bad, and nothing stops the itch, i know is not the bed, because we bought a whole new bed set, covers, matresses and everything, and nothing sems to work. :( the only way it stops is when i finally kind stay up any longer and end up falling asleep cause of how tired i am from staying up all night scratching :( after a while of scratching i start to get little red bums and dots on my legs

Lunafs on March 24, 2012:

I have burning hot,itchy,swollen legs,I've tried,hydrocortizone,benadyrle,aveeno,ice bags,and nothing works all the time,they'll work for alittle while,then my legs start itching like the devil,once I itch them they stop itching!!!!for a day,then start again,I can't let them get warm or it makes them worse,I have type 2 diabetis which runs high...creams don't help either,makes it worse...I also have high blood pressure,which is controled by meds,I don't use salt.I'm over weight,age 57,I clean my legs twice a day with cool water only...what to do?

Stanley on March 16, 2012:

Try driving for a few days without the car heater turned on, no matter how cold it is.The heater particularly when it is directed on the feet and legs sends heated dust particles onto legs and ankles.Rub a good quality moisturising cream into the legs. It solved my problem.

Jan Modric (author) from Europe on March 15, 2012:


it seems that you may have either "cholinergic urticaria" (after hot bath) or allergy to a certain substance in water. Allergologist can perform appropriate tests.

Emma on March 08, 2012:

Hi im 21 for a few years ive been really itchy after bath/shower within this time ive moved 3times ad happened everywhere I get a red bumpy itchy rash I think its the water has I cant drink it from tap without tummy upset but if its boiled first im fine well this episode im having the rash has stayed for a week Dr give me allergy tablets it stopped the itching but the rash is still there I only have to touch it ad it start itching again rash even on my scalp :(

Petra on March 04, 2012:

Did any one notice when you bathe you raley scrub your ankles and calves and when you do they start to itch cause that happens to me all the time

Jan Modric (author) from Europe on March 03, 2012:


I can't say is it hives or some sort of dermatitis, such as nummular dermatitis, but, I guess, a dermatologist can say.

Jan Modric (author) from Europe on March 03, 2012:


maybe it is chicken skin (keratosis pilaris) - see above in the article.

Jan Modric (author) from Europe on March 03, 2012:


it may be chicken skin (keratosis pilaris). It can be removed (by a dermatologist), but it often appear again.

Jan Modric (author) from Europe on March 03, 2012:


it sounds as an "exercise-induced anaphylaxis" or "cholinergic urticaria" even if you don't have any rash. Sometimes the reaction occurs when you eat certain food (fish, nuts, alcohol...) and then start to exercise within few hours after eating. An allergologist can tell more.

Jan Modric (author) from Europe on March 03, 2012:


contact dermatitis came on my mind, but - see a dermatologist.

Jan Modric (author) from Europe on March 03, 2012:


being well hydrated is fine, but drinking large amounts of water (that would make you urinating every couple of hours) may not be necessary. At winter, dry skin is a common cause of itching; other than that: see a doctor.

Jan Modric (author) from Europe on March 03, 2012:


if bumps themselves are persistent (night and day), it's less likely from running or any acute alergic reaction.

Acne, staphylococcal folliculitis, contact dermatitis or chicken skin (hyperkeratosis) may be possible - a dermatologist can say.

Jan Modric (author) from Europe on March 03, 2012:


I don't know. Allergy (hives) or a local problem with circulation came on my mind. A doctor can tell more.

Jan Modric (author) from Europe on March 03, 2012:


if bruising is not caused by scratching, I recommend you to see a doctor: GP or a dermatologist.

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