Itchy lower legs

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Blueberry

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Itchy lower legs
« on: August 17, 2020, 05:22:30 PM »
I've had itchy lower legs on and off for years. The first time I recall I must have been in my mid-20's and I even went to a doctor's but got a misdiagnosis. Insect bites, he said. Have you spent lots of time in long grass? I hadn't. I was doing a student holiday job working in a factory full-time. "There must be insects in the factory." There weren't. But that was his diagnosis: insect bites, though there were no bites on my legs.

I have been looking for these symptoms on the Internet in the last little while and finally got a diagnosis, I think: stasis dermatitis aka varicose eczema which is basically ankles and/or lower legs getting red, hot, itchy, inflamed (and even worse if you don't eventually treat it) due to poor circulation and with that poor blood flow back to heart for which there can be varied causes. Not just obesity or too much sedentary activity!

I've always had poor circulation, since childhood. The response from M when I got cold hands and feet, followed by chillblains, was that I needed to do more exercise. I can remember her saying that when I must have been 6 yo. I grew up in very cold winters btw. When I come to think of it, I was always being told as a child that I needed to take more exercise for this or that reason - mostly to cure some physical problem or because I was 'too fat'. Though I wasn't fat. No wonder I've got an allergy to exercise and/or go into flashbacks during exercise classes of most types!

In one of the multiple recent free trauma seminars, they mentioned how in early-childhood trauma the whole physical body slows down so it doesn't digest properly, the blood doesn't flow properly, and things like that. I know that's what happens physiologically in a dangerous situation so that you can fight the wolf or flee from the sabre-tooth tiger. It seemed that with infants or toddlers the effect is immediate and turns chronic quite early on whereas with an older child or adult, the chronic stage doesn't happen so early. Or something like that. Don't quote me on it. It would make sense though for some of my not very serious but nonetheless bothersome physical symptoms I've had since early childhood.

These itchy lower legs can go ulcerous and start oozing etc. if left untreated for way too long. Mine are unlikely to start oozing next week or anything. But it seems that I shouldn't just be putting up with it the way I was brought up to or at most slogging through punishment remedies that aren't actually working (more and more exercise and blaming myself for not doing enough, though doing more than just the occasional triggers me into such exhaustion + possibly pain that I can hardly do anything), I ought to be going to a doctor's. There are natural remedies to at least relieve the itching or help the whole situation to not get worse, like elevating legs every 2 hours, putting cooling poultices on my legs, even wet-wrapping them overnight (which is a bit of a long-drawn out procedure in itself).

For somebody like me with not enough energy and stick-to-it-iveness for whom very basic daily physical self-care is too much (so that I do some on some days and not on others or I manage my basic daily physical self-care but nothing else or almost nothing else, well, I'm feeling less overjoyed at probably having something else that needs regular care and attention. I hardly get by energy-wise as it is.

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Hope67

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Re: Itchy lower legs
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2020, 08:16:41 AM »
 :hug:

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C.

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Re: Itchy lower legs
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2020, 12:30:03 PM »
That sounds so uncomfortable.  I'm sorry that no one took you seriously as a child and it sounds like the words and advise you received just made things worse.  I too am becoming aware of childhood somatic trauma symptoms that still follow me today.  Although painful, becoming aware, at least for me, has some healing just in itself.  I commend your courage to be true to who you are in figuring this out, what it is and what you need to do to feel better.  To me, it sounds like you are on your way towards more healing.

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Kizzie

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Re: Itchy lower legs
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2020, 04:39:03 PM »
  :yeahthat:   and    :hug:

We so need more info about how trauma impacts us physically and effective treatments! 


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notalone

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Re: Itchy lower legs
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2020, 01:28:35 AM »
 :hug:

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Blueberry

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Re: Itchy lower legs
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2020, 11:40:20 AM »
Thank you all for responding. It helps.  :hug:

Now it's whole body itch with the legs no longer as bad as they were. The itches feel like burning itches, if that makes sense. I haven't been to a doc yet for various reasons but am using some of the natural methods I read about for itch relief. I remember now the skin medication I was prescribed when I got this during holiday season and had to go to the hospital (all doctor offices closed), well the prescribed ointment made everything worse. So, don't want to deal with that rn. 

Underlying reasons probably a mix of physical (based on poor circulation + old, old bruise on lower leg that never healed properly) and emotional (toxins coming out thru skin). It's good to get those toxins out so knowing that helps to put up with the itches, sometimes. And especially helps me not worry so much about my physical health or having to wet-wrap own legs every day for life, as in extreme cases of eczema. Wet-wrapping involves a lot more than just wrapping wet towels around your legs. I have been doing the latter. I'm very relieved that I seem to not have to do the former, or possibly only when there's a flare up. Then, it could be useful. But their are also poultices I could be doing (and have done in the past) that help draw toxins out, while also giving me rest because you sit or lie down for a couple of hours with the poultice on. It works better if you're calm and relaxed (as much as possible, that is).

C., welcome back to the forum :wave: and thank you for posting though we haven't 'met' yet. Yup, becoming aware is always an important step for me and constitutes part of my healing even. You're right, I'm definitely on my way to more healing atm.

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blues_cruise

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Re: Itchy lower legs
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2020, 11:11:11 AM »
Hey Blueberry, so sorry to hear this has been troubling you. Itchy lower legs is something that happens to me too and they're always dry. Was actually at my wit's end with it a couple of months ago when I had a particularly itchy flareup. I do have sensitive skin and have always assumed it's due to shaving and not moisturing enough (and to be fair, I'm sure it exacerbates it), however I've also noticed that my right calf gets quite swollen from time to time and I've had some tingling and weird sensations under the skin which almost feels like a crawling sensation, which is a bit disturbing. I'm also thinking a circulation issue might be at play and keeping an eye on it in case it gets worse. I know trauma can manifest in the body in so many ways and this could be one of them.

The poultices sound like they could be a positive thing perhaps both physically and mentally because you could incorporate it with some self-care, such as reading a good book or having a nap. I hope you've been able to find some relief since your last post and that the natural methods you are using are having a positive effect.  :hug:

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Blueberry

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Re: Itchy lower legs
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2020, 04:13:03 PM »
Thank you blues_cruise. It actually has got better since the end of the hot weather.