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Becky asked...

Hi there, I have really itchy lower legs. They aren't constantly itchy but they randomly get itchy, around night time more so than any other time. Where I scratch so much it causes my skin to bleed which then makes me legs very sore for a few days. This has been the situation for around 2-3 years now, though it's not been constant, it could be like it for a week and then stop or it could be one day and then not be like that for 2 months, etc. I hadn't made any changes to my washing powder or moisturiser that could have caused this. Since getting itchy legs, I have tried many dry skin cream, etc but still I do get itchy episodes. These are located to my lower legs only, and mainly on my shins (I used to suffer from eczema on my arms when I was younger but otherwise no other skin issues). Is there something you can recommend to help this or do you know what could be causing this/what it is? Many thanks, Becky

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The Answer

I am sorry to hear of your experience with your itching condition

 Treating the itch may require you to underpin the cause e.g.  Sun exposure and Allergy.   

There are self-care tips which can help you overcome the itching such as:    

  • General nail health
  • Patting/ tapping affected area rather than scratching
  • Cold compress/ flannel on the affected area for 10 minutes each time when required
  • If relevant, minimising spicy foods, alcohol, caffeine as these influence the blood flow and are linked with itching symptoms.
  • Bathing with cool/ lukewarm water, avoid hot water
  • Minimising bathing time to less than 20 minutes
  • Reduce perfumed soaps, shower gels and pat skin dry after bathing rather than rubbing.
  • Avoid tight fitting and irritating garments e.g. wool  and wear cotton whenever possible

 

Something to take into consideration would be if you are taking any medication at the same time, as this may possibly be linked to your symptoms.   

Eurax cream is an anti-itching component, it is usually recommended to be used two to three times daily and its affect lasts between 6 to 10 hours.  

Another option would be antihistamine tablets / topical cream, however it would be prudent to speak to  your local chemist prior to using  these.

If symptoms fail to improve after a week of putting the above measures to practice,  I suggest you speak to your GP regarding this matter in order to assess the causes and investigate how best to overcome them going forward. 

I hope this is of some guidance to you

 

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses  

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