ZocdocAnswersWhat is causing the itching on the back of my legs?

Question

What is causing the itching on the back of my legs?

I have pretty bad itching on the back of my legs and my buttocks. It isn't there all the time but when it is it is so bad. Could it be from a toilet seat or something? Can you catch a rash from a toilet seat?

Answer

The first step in sorting out what is causing itching of the skin is to figure out whether there are any skin findings associated with the itching, such as a red rash, bumps on the skin, or dry or cracked skin. If these sorts of skin findings are present, then the condition usually can be treated with some simple topical medications with advice from your doctor. I would suggest that you start by seeing either your primary care doctor or a dermatologist, if you have one. They can look for any skin clues as to the source of the itching and help you figure out what to do next. Much skin itching is due to excessive dryness from eczema, which can usually be cleared up with good moisturizing and topical steroid creams. Minor skin infections, such as folliculitis, can also cause itching and will be easy for your doctor to differentiate from each other on examination. If your doctor cannot find any obvious skin findings on examination, then they will probably want to proceed by getting some simple blood tests. This is because itching without skin findings is sometimes associated with chronic medical problems, such as problems with the liver or kidneys, and these will need to get ruled out.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.