If you want to know about itchy lower legs, take a look into how exactly the itch occurs. Itch can be defined as a type of signal that your body sends out to you when some irritant is encroaching on your skin. The irritant stirs up an irritation sensed by the nerve which is turn signals you to scratch off the itch in order to remove the offending. It has been noticed that in most cases the irritant is mainly caused by a buildup of dead skin cells which are not necessarily harmful to the body. However, at times itchiness, especially on the lower legs can be caused owing to an infection or an issue with the circulatory system. If the causes can be diagnosed and the remedies are brought to light, you can deal with this symptom in a better pace.
Itchy Lower Legs – Causes
- Dry Skin
Drying of skin can be blamed on various conditions. It may be a lack of proper nutrition in your diet where the diet lacks ample fatty acids or it can also be due to dehydration or ageing. Genetic predisposition or diseases such as hypothyroidism too can cause skin drying. Excessive usage of soap or excessive showering too can be blamed.
Cure: If you suffer from frequent dry skin make it a point to apply moisturizer or hydration lotions right after you shower. If you expose your skin to the sun rays or the wind too much you are risking your skin to more drying. To encourage a good hydration process within your body drink adequate amounts of fluids each day. The water intake should be enough to allow your body to pass at least 200ml of clear urine each day. pregnant women are more prone to drying of skin which is why anti-itch creams have been introduced.
- Poor Hygiene
At all times you need to wash yourself properly so that the dust, bacteria and skin sweat doesn’t accumulate on the lower legs building up the itch. The buildup of any of these irritates the nerves which in turn work up the sensation of feeling itchy. If heat or your clothing material adds to the sensation, it can cause additional itch.
Cure: If you shower with luke warm water every day the irritants can be scrubbed off your body to avoid itchy lower legs. always use a mild variety of soap so that the dead skin cells and the dirt can be forced out of the skin without destroying the protective fat layers of your skin that protect the skin from drying out completely.
The keratosis condition usually starts with small goose bump like growths on the lower legs which are benign in nature. Within the hair follicles in our body there remains a protein that goes by the name keratin which can be blamed for the cause of this condition. The bumps are usually the size of grain sand and would usually resemble the tone of the skin, possibly a bit more pink than the original skin hue. While these causes itchiness, the presence of these in the skin would change the texture of the skin to something that resembles more to a sand paper since they are hard on touch. This condition is more common during the winter but if you suffer from atopic dermatitis you may experience this condition.
Cure: Kerastosis patients can experience the symptoms fading with ongoing age. For the time being, one can use moisturizers to reduce the discomfort or minimize the hardened appearance. To reduce the reddening of the skin you can use steroid creams. Best cream ingredients for the treatment would be vitamin D, salicylic acid, lactic acid, tretinoin, glycolic acid etc.
Folliculitis is a form of a staph infection that usually targets the follicles of the hair. The lower hemisphere, like the buttocks, thighs and lower legs during this condition is filled with red painful rash like bumps that itch. Some of them might include pus too. Wearing tight clothes or shared clothing items are more likely to develop this condition.
Cure: If you want to get rid of this infection at the fastest possible way, keep a healthy hygiene. If the rashes or bumps still persist after following a proper hygiene opt for acne treatments.
- Cholinergic Urticaria
This condition mainly affects the thighs, arms and upper trunks along with the lower legs. This is basically an allergic reaction to your sweat which irritates the skin and causes the symptoms. The symptom is usually similar to that of bumps or hives and mainly appears right after performing any physical activity like running or exercise. It may also appear after a hot shower. It may even lead to itchy lower legs symptoms for about two straight hours.
Cure: if you scratch the bumps or hives, you are only contributing to making the rash even worse for you. For precaution sake prevent exercising in warm moist weather conditions. If indeed there is a need for it, you can prevent the condition from occurring by taking an antihistamine class of drug half an hour before exercise or warm water shower.
- Jock Itch
Another famous term for jock itch is ring worms that are basically a fungal variety of infection caused mainly by excessive exposure to moistness. The usual areas to appear are groins and genital areas, inner thighs and buttocks. The rash color would tend to be a slight brown as the itchiness sets in and around the affected skin area.
Cure: the first step to cure is to apply anti fungal medication that would clean away the spores and keep the situation in control. Also, keep the groin or the genital areas dry to prevent further risks of contracting this infection.
- Stasis Eczema
Also known as gravitational eczema, statis eczema is often a common cause for those that suffer from disorders of the veins such as thrombosis in the vein or varicose vein. It usually causes reddening or purple hued inflamed spots and patches that appear on the lower legs and are usually very itchy. This rash is progressive in nature and may spread to other parts as well.
Cure: Eczema usually comes with an underlying cause the treatment and cure for which would assist you in treating the outbreaks. Applying corticosteroids on the affected areas during the time of the outbreaks can help you limit or contain the situation. To aid in reduction or precaution of the outbreaks, always elevate your feet as you sleep in the night, possibly by using a pillow support underneath to make it comfortable. To limit the symptom or the effect take precautions against standing for long hours and walk regularly. Wearing compressed stockings help too.
- Restless Leg Syndrome
The restless leg syndrome sounds exactly like the name where one feels a compelling need to move his or her legs constantly. This is accompanied by a slight tingling or itchy feeling. since the sensation acts up during the evenings, involuntary muscle twitching as you sleep in the night may be a common thing.
Cure: don’t opt for trigger agents that might encourage the itch to prevail. These would be caffeinated products, alcohol and such. Some medication types can also be used to minimize the condition. Sleeping meds, opioids, Parkinson’s disease or muscle relaxants are of help. Movement of the legs during this syndrome can offer relief too.
- Other Causes
Runners– if you start running for long time spans especially after a brief or long period of inactivity, chances are that the itchy lower legs symptoms may appear easily. The main reason why this occurs can be blamed on the opening of arteries that causes irritation in the nerve ends thereby causing the itch.
After shower itch- cholinergic urticarial is blamed for the after shower itches where a blood disorder of the rare type known as polycythemia occurs. Drying out your skin while showering, caused by excessive harsh soap usage or excess exposure to water too causes after shower itch.
Insects- often the itchiness in the legs can be caused by certain home bound insects that forms their habitat in your home, like the carpets or the bed sheet. These may cause hives or rash like symptoms. If other occupants of your house are facing the same sort of problem, try pest control for your home.
Allergic reaction- allergens or allergic agents too might be held accountable for the itchy lower legs. Agents like poison ivy or poison oak would definitely be a classic example. If so has occurred, get medical assistance at once.
Underlying disorders- Often diseases or disorders like kidney issues, hepatitis, diabetes or lymphomas may be the underlying cause for the sudden itching of the lower legs. With long periods of exposure to sun or excessive running or walking, you may feel the rash coming on. Even the condition golfer’s vasculitis should be taken into consideration.
Must Know Remedies for Itchy Lower Legs – Tips and Tricks
Apart from the treatments and cures already mentioned above, there are some other remedies that you may want to opt for to get your itchy lower legs condition in control.
To prevent over drying of skin always stick to soaps or cleaners that have a low pH balance and while showering make sure the soap is completely washed out off the skin and no traces are remaining.
If you scratch an itch on the affected skin part, you are worsening the situation where the intense itchy sensation when scratched may even lead to thickening of the skin. The skin becomes darker than the usual complexion of your skin. Also, if you scratch it too hard or vigorously you may tear the skin and cause a scar to appear and if that’s not all, this also exposes you to hyper pigmentation. You may also risk a chance of bacterial encroachment where an infection develops from a simple scratching.
When do itchy lower legs require a doctor’s visit?
If the itch lasts for two weeks or more and the remedies and skin care tips have still not showed any improvement, seek immediate medical attention. If the itchy lower legs come along with bowel movement changes, urinary frequency or fever immediate medical attention is required. The same can be said for extreme tiredness and loss in weight. If the itch is so intense that it prevents you from performing your daily activities like sleeping, medical assistance is required at once.