What Is Runner's Itch And How Do You Get Rid Of It?

If you've ever come in from a workout — especially a hot, sweaty run — and noticed that your skin felt itchy all over, you're not alone. Runner's itch is a common problem in the endurance sport world, but the good news is that typically, it's not serious.

There are several reasons that this itch may be occurring. The first is simple skin sensitivity, and could be brought on by a new detergent or soap, or even a scratchy fabric in your running clothes. Dry skin can also increase your risk of feeling itchy during a workout (via the Wired Runner).

You may also be experiencing a mild allergic or histamine reaction known as exercise-induced urticaria. No, you're not allergic to exercise, but you may need to start taking an antihistamine before you head out the door. This problem is caused by your body's response to exercise, which causes histamines to be released, which leads to that feeling of itchiness (via UPMC).

How can I deal with runner's itch?

If you're new to running or coming back after a long time off, you may be experiencing this itch because as you begin to work out, your capillaries and arteries expand, which can lead to a feeling of itchiness. In that case, slowing down may help alleviate the itchiness. But if you're a regular exerciser who's just started to experience this feeling, do some detective work.

The solution to dealing with your runner's itch obviously depends on the cause of it. If you believe that it's a skin sensitivity issue, switching detergents or considering a more moisture-wicking, sport-friendly fabric for your workout gear may be the answer. New to running? A longer warmup might help your body ease into the feeling of exercise and avoid the rapid expansion of your arteries. As you exercise, slow down if you notice the itch starting. Afterward, if you're still itchy, you can try using topical creams like aloe vera or taking an oatmeal bath to soothe your skin, but symptoms should subside on their own fairly quickly. If they don't, talk to your doctor (via Healthline).