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Skin Care and Diseases

Extreme itching while walking

07/09/2008

Question:

I experience extreme itching whenever I walk for exercise. Pretty much the only unaffected area is my face. It can happen whether I am sweating or not--and starts right away. I have tried taking an antihistimine prior to walking, use detergent that is fragrance free, wear all cotton etc. and so far nothing seems to help. This happens in all seasons, doesn`t matter if shorts or sweat pants etc.

I take Lipitor for high cholesterol (hence trying to get some exercise). I am not overweight--more like one of those thin but have high cholesterol types. Can you help? I love to walk but this makes it very difficult!

Thanks!

Answer:

This is interesting. With exercise, there is a condition known as cholinergic urticaria in which people get hives secondary to the physical exertion. However, you are experiencing itching without any apparent hives/rash. And it seems like the antihistamine also did not help, although sometimes one kind is more effective than another in terms of controlling pruritus/itching. This can not be addressed via an online/email inquiry. A visit to the physician is necessary to establish the history better and the association of symptoms with physical exertion.

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Response by:

Elma D Baron, MD Elma D Baron, MD
Associate Professor of Dermatology
Director, Skin Study Center
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University