Itch when running

After about 3-4 minutes of running my torso will start to itch and this itch will then slowly get worse and spread to the tops of my legs. Then, after about 10 minutes, it subsides. The funny thing is this doesn’t happen if I do weights, row, swim or cycle even though I push myself just as much while doing these activities.

So, anyone know why I itch when I run but not doing other exercise? Plus is there anything I can do about it? It’s uncomfortable and though I like to run I often choose not to do it because of the itching.


Could it be dry skin. For some reason this year my skin has been really dry and it’s itching and actually hurting.

The body can act “allergic” to changes in body temperature, producing itchy hives. Exercise is a common stimulus for the hives to break out.

One thing that helps me is to not really have any bare skin exposed to the lower temp. For example, if run in shorts my legs get all itchy and reactive, but if I run in light leggings, I’m fine.

In addition to the other posts, I find I have a few shirts that will cause that (doesn’t go away until I get really sweaty). Oddly the shirt ingredients appear to be the same or very similar, but the quality of the textile must be a little rougher or something. Try a different shirt? No shirt? Maybe a tighter or looser shirt?

No I have quite greasy skin.

That’s interesting thank you, could be it.

I will though this doesn’t really explain why it happens when running but not cycling I use the same gym gear for both.

Admittedly that’s a bit odd.

In my (weak) defense you probably have more torso movement while running (esp vertical). Cycling and rowing are relatively stationary in the torso area. Also, I find I tend to heat up faster while running, though if your rowing and cycling are on trainers indoors then that shoots that theory down too. It find it very easy to overhead on a bike trainer indoors, even with fans.

If it’s an indoor/outdoor thing maybe some sort of allergy is involved?

I get the same thing, and only running, not cycling. Sometimes even get it walking. Doesn’t happen in extremely cold weather or nice warm summer weather, “cool” causes it.

I find this very strange. I get an itch to run every day. I don’t take any days off so I can treat the itch… When I’m injured I have to treat the itch with a bike ride or treadmill workout.

This happens indoor and out. It’s an odd one.

Yep, sounds like exercise-induced hives. My friend gets them from running, but not from other cardio activities that overheat her less…

I was going to ask if you run outdoors - when I run in the cold and wear shorts because I know my legs will heat up, they get itchy. I’m told it’s a histamine reaction.

I used to get itchy hives while walking a long distance in cold weather. I was told to take Benadryl, and that stopped the itching, mainly because it made me so sleepy I stopped taking long walks.

When I first started taking up walking-as-exercise, I would get red itchy, burning thighs about five minutes into it. I read that it could be an allergic reaction so I started taking an anti-histamine right before leaving. It worked.

Now that I’ve been walking on a regular basis, it doesn’t happen anymore. I imagine if I took a long hiatus and then started up again, it would come back though.

Thanks, anti-histamines bought and will be used when I run this week.