ZocdocAnswersWhen I run or do exercise of any kind, I experience extreme burning and itching all over my body - why?

Question

When I run or do exercise of any kind, I experience extreme burning and itching all over my body - why?

There are no welts and no red patches, etc. It is really annoying and I cannot exercise for over 12 minutes at one time. I do not have dry skin, and I wear cool clothing when I exercise. This burning & itching only happens when I exercise, and continues for about 30 minutes after I stop. Could I have sweat allergies? Or any ideas on what the problem is?

Answer

You have already thought pretty hard about this problem, obviously, as you have already looked for welts, red patches, etc. This is helpful information, because one of the most common causes of burning sensations with running would be a variety of exercise-induced urticaria (hives), in which the skin breaks out in response to the physical stimulus. However, if you never have anything like hives or heat rash, then this narrows down the possibilities. The possibility that I think is the most likely, is that you have a bit of dry skin or eczema - even if you don't think you do! There are forms of eczema that are very chronic and low-level; for example, if you notice that the hair shafts in your skin are very prominent, this could be a sign of dehydration of the skin from eczema even if you have no other symptoms. I would, therefore, suggest that you try an aggressive regimen of moisturizing the skin daily with a good, thick moisturizer. If that doesn't work, then you should see your primary care doctor or a dermatologist, either to formally diagnose eczema and suggest stronger treatments, or to consider alternative possibilities .

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.