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Old 01-24-2014, 11:59 AM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 3,582
Itchy lower leg, no rash. WTH?

Dope is not my doctor, yadda yadda.

For about a week now, my right leg has been itchy. Only my right leg, only below my knee to about halfway down my shin, mostly on the front and outside of my leg, worse in hot water, lotion doesn't help. No rash, no reddening, no weird skin changes, just the itch. I'd compare it to poison ivy. If I can leave it alone, it fades and then grows over a period of hours, if I scratch at it, it gets much worse. When i'm in a hot shower, it gets much worse.

In eithero f those situations, it takes maybe 15 minutes to halfan hour to settle back into 'normal' itchy levels.

Ideas for what the hell it could be?

Many thanks!
Old 01-24-2014, 01:00 PM
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: The side of a hill.
Posts: 832
I have the same thing in both legs. Drives me nuts, hoping someones has answers too.
Old 01-24-2014, 01:18 PM
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Join Date: May 2000
Location: Obama Country
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I have bouts of terrible itching in my lower legs similar to what you describe, which I attribute to dry skin. WebMD has some suggestions, including using a moisturizer (not just lotion) daily and taking lukewarm showers limited to 10 minutes once per day.
Old 01-24-2014, 01:21 PM
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Location: The Sunflower State
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I had something like this the other night, although putting some lotion on before I went to bed seemed to help somewhat. Are you staying hydrated? Be sure you're drinking plenty of fluids. People don't realize how dehydrated they can get in the winter when the air is so dry. In cold weather I tend to drink a lot of coffee and tea (stuff that keeps me warm, but makes me pee a lot) instead of plain water, which I should be drinking more of.
Old 01-24-2014, 01:24 PM
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Rsveräsçutrå
Posts: 922
Bad circulation? Nerve impingement? IANAD yaddayadda

My mom would swear to me she had bedbugs (she did not) but it was arterial blockage in her legs and her spinal stenosis causing the weird itching all the time.
Old 01-24-2014, 01:29 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 1,329
Originally Posted by SpoilerVirgin View Post
I have bouts of terrible itching in my lower legs similar to what you describe, which I attribute to dry skin. WebMD has some suggestions, including using a moisturizer (not just lotion) daily and taking lukewarm showers limited to 10 minutes once per day.
Same thing here. Mostly with my lower legs, but also everywhere else to a lesser extent. My doctor prescribed

1) lukewarm (not hot) showers

2) air dry (not towel dry) afterwards

3) apply a good moisturizer immediately after the shower while still wet

BTW, my doctor told me that this was not something he learned in (using his words) "doctor school". This was something he learned while fighting dry skin himself.
Old 01-24-2014, 01:44 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: NC
Posts: 4,850
There's a reason eczema is called "the itch that rashes".
Old 01-24-2014, 03:11 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 7,583
I have the same thing. No actual rash, no redness (until after the scratching). More often on my right leg, but sometimes on both. Scratching makes it worse, and hot water, too just like you said. Sometimes I am good at resisting the urge to scratch, but I usually fail. Sometimes I find that I've been scratching in my sleep and scratched my leg to bleeding. At one point it was so bad that my right shin was nearly always a bloody mess (usually in the morning from night scratching) or just a mass of scabs. I went to the doctor who prescribed Triamcinolone ointment. It kept the itching at bay long enough for me to heal. After that, regular applications of Eucerin cream (not the lotion, cream) mostly keeps it at bay. When it gets really bad, I go back to the Triamcinolone.
Old 01-24-2014, 03:39 PM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 3,582
Did your doctor say what it was, Rhiannon?

If it's dehydration, that's a bummer. I was feeling really good about my new year's resolutions to drink more water, and keep my skin moisturized. Hmph. That is sounding like it tho - it's been hella dry and cold here the last few weeks, and my lips are constantly chapped, even using balms like crazy.
Old 01-24-2014, 03:48 PM
Just Lovely and Delicious
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Northeast Ohio
Posts: 23,763
I have this. It's been flaring up lately because it's hella freaking cold outside. I figure it's from the extreme temperature exposure on my lower legs, even though I'm wearing pants. Everything else on my body is always covered pretty well or close to my core, but not my lower legs.

Anyway I use Goldbond Healing Skin Therapy Lotion, feeling like aloe is the key, and it works pretty well for me. I use it every time I shave my legs (I'm a lady-person) and if I have itchy problems inbetween I do it more frequently. I also switched to the Wal Mart brand of the same stuff, it seems to work just as well.

It appears to keep the problem at bay. It did take a while of regular application to make it really feel like the problem went away.

I am totally scratching my leg right now, thanks :P
Old 01-24-2014, 03:51 PM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 3,582
Happy to share.
Old 01-24-2014, 05:27 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 7,583
Originally Posted by Lasciel View Post
Did your doctor say what it was, Rhiannon?

If it's dehydration, that's a bummer. I was feeling really good about my new year's resolutions to drink more water, and keep my skin moisturized. Hmph. That is sounding like it tho - it's been hella dry and cold here the last few weeks, and my lips are constantly chapped, even using balms like crazy.
She said it could be caused by lots of things but most likely dry skin since there's not real rash. Yeah, she said to stay hydrated, but for me, I always drink a ton of water anyway, so I don't think it was dehydration. More likely just the dry, dry weather.
Old 01-24-2014, 05:36 PM
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: F.O.S.O.N.E.
Posts: 19,903
I'm also prone to itchy lower legs in the winter. The OP's problem is almost certainly winter dry skin. Use a good moisturizer/lotion for a week and get back to us.
Old 01-25-2014, 01:14 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Lethbridge, AB.
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Whatever you do, don't just scratch it, week after week, month after month. My husband did that, and he has a big patch of lumpy, red scarring now that will probably never go away.
Old 01-26-2014, 02:26 PM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 84
Running a humidifier might help. I find it helps more than lotion in the winter.
Old 01-26-2014, 02:38 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Lethbridge, AB.
Posts: 48,816
Oh, another thought - my legs often get itchy after I shave them, but I find that lotioning them up right after a shower helps more than lotion later on.
Old 01-29-2014, 07:38 PM
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Garage & Lab
Posts: 1,234
Been there...still doin' it. This is one of those weird areas where I accept the Woo and anecdotes in spite of my general commitment to hard scientific proof in medical matters.

For me it started in the early 80s when I was in the bicycling class for PE. We'd spend 2 hours before school riding about 25 miles around town and all but the coldest winter mornings would have us in a good sweat -- then we'd go to the rest of our classes. Instead of water, I'd fill my bottle with Sunny Delight (back when it was the new fad that all the kids drank) because it was sweet, not as boring as water, and didn't freeze on those cold winter mornings. [Now that I think of it, it was like Ethylene Glycol that I could drink!] In the summer I had two bottles; I'd freeze one for two days and the other would thaw while I was riding so I'd have a really cold drink plus the sugar rush to help me ride. The problem was that I couldn't squirt my back to cool down like the other guys in class.

When my legs were getting scaly and spotty and itchy, the pattern seemed to fit the grid-pattern of the elastic in my sport-socks and I figured it was because I was letting my ankles get too cold or wind-chapped on my morning rides.

Years later, many years after I had stopped cycling, I still had the splotches and itches. I was looking up Eczema and came to realize the problem wasn't external, but internal. I stumbled across a couple blogs and articles that were correlating corn (maize) consumption with eczema severity and flare-ups. So, just to see for myself, I cut corn out of my diet as much as possible -- no more canned corn, popcorn, Cheetos, Fritos, Doritos, corn-bread, cornflakes, or drinks with corn-syrup in it. I wasn't perfect about it (there's a bit of corn on English muffins and pizza crusts and fried chicken coatings and lots of cereals and a whole lot of other things that you wouldn't expect to be made with corn products), but I cut about 90% of the corn from my diet and found that my eczema faded and my ankles stopped itching. After a month of being mostly corn-free, I had some popcorn at the movie theater. By the time I got home that night, I had itchy ankles and a runny nose -- clear and classic allergic reactions and the only thing different in my life was the corn. I've replicated the change numerous times, avoiding corn for weeks and having skin and nasal reactions within hours after eating corn.

In recent years, even though Monsanto and Friends claim there's absolutely no difference, the GMO corn seems to have made the problem worse. In fact, there were some squelched papers suggesting allergic reactions would be exacerbated by the GMO variants of corn, but the phenomenon has been mostly dismissed or glossed-over as psychosomatic or hysterical.

I'm not suggesting corn, per se, is your problem. I would, however, suggest that the problem may be dietary and systemic and that you might wish to find out for yourself by cutting certain things (corn, wheat, milk, peanuts, various other known allergens) out of your diet for a month at a time -- long enough for residuals to wash out of your system -- and pay attention when re-introducing them. It's an experiment that takes a long time and a lot of patience and careful attention. It's also an experiment you can do for yourself (keep a journal or log book) with or without a doctor's supervision and it may pay off in comfort and health.* Come back and tell us what kinds of results you discovered, too!

Now I tend to generally avoid corn products. I don't eat corn-on-the-cob or canned corn or Doritos. It turns out Sunny Delight has the highest concentration of High Fructose corn syrup of any drink available (and I find it too syrupy-sweet now-a-days anyway) so I don't drink that any more. I do, however, drink soda that has High-Fructose corn syrup in it, and once in a while I can't resist Cheetos or Fritos. Before I go see a movie, though, I make a point of taking a Zyrtec and it seems to stave off the worst of the skin and nasal reactions to a bag of popcorn (or a handful of Cheetos or Fritos, for that matter). The key for me is in knowing in advance what will cause a reaction and taking steps in advance to minimize the problems.


*Some guy on Dr. Oz was featured for his book on extending your life in minuscule ways. He claimed you could add a few years to your life by flossing your teeth regularly. His logic was that inflamed gums caused by lack-of-flossing required the heart to pump just slightly harder-than-normal to get the blood to the gums for the inflammation, and flossing helped avoid the inflammation so your heart wouldn't have to work harder-than-normal (on that issue) and wear out that much faster. IF that guy's claim is correct, then avoiding the skin inflammation that goes with eczema would be another way to minimize an unnecessary load on your heart.
Old 01-29-2014, 09:14 PM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 3,582
Well, Grestarian glad you found something that mostly works, but I was actually popping back in today to say that I grudgingly overcame my nearly pathological hatred of moisturiser and lotion and have been greasing my legs up with cetaphil for the past week or however long it's been, and it has worked amazingly.

I wasn't willing to cut out the hot showers, but I started to let my legs drip dry, and i slathered them up while they were still wet, left the lotion to soak in for half an hour, and then tucked my legs into thin cotton sleep pants to keep my skin away from the scratchy sheets.

I still get a little twingey in the actual shower, but otherwise - blessed relief.

I will say I can't wait for the weather to warm, because yeargh, lotion. *shudder*

Last edited by Lasciel; 01-29-2014 at 09:14 PM.
Old 01-29-2014, 10:00 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: No Gum Here
Posts: 2,912
Well, just to add an anecdote, I also got my itching under control by cutting out wheat. I only realised the connection when I had weet-bix for breakfast for a week, and my eyes were itching so much they crusted over in the mornings.

Taking an antihistimine also helped for days where I just had to have a burger.
Old 07-13-2017, 01:44 PM
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 1
My solution was Vitamin B

Hi everyone. I have a solution for you. I had this problem from about 2005 to 2009. Uncontrollable itching; no sign of a rash. I would itch until there was blood. It started out in a very small area on my upper left outer calf but as the months and years went on, it spread to both calves and outer thighs as well.

I went to many different doctors: two dermatologists (one thought it was all mental; the other said he could not diagnose the itching without seeing a visible rash), an allergist, a neurologist, and a few other doctors I forget.

Finally, I just wrote down every single thing that people recommended online and went through and did them all. The solution that worked for me was Vitamin B. I started taking liquid Vitamin B (liquid because apparently the body absorbs it better). I can't find the original post now but from what I recall, the person said that, for whatever reason, your skin is not allowing your legs to breath or sweat properly, and that you may have trouble absorbing Vitamin B. He or she recommended Vitamin B supplements so I started taking them and after maybe a few days, I was walking around and felt a foreign sensation in my legs. It was air hitting the sweat beads and cooling my legs. I realized then that the original poster was right. My legs hadn't sweated in so long that I forgot how it even felt.

SOLUTION: Liquid Vitamin B and increasing the amount of Vitamin B-rich foods in your diet (eg, red meat).
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