woman with itchy legs

Causes & Remedies of Itchy Legs

Read our guide for everything you need to know about what causes itchy legs & how to treat them.

Causes & Remedies of Itchy Legs

Why Do I Get Itchy Legs?

We know how nice it feels when you finally manage to scratch itchy legs, but persistent scratching can further damage the skin, leading to more irritation and discomfort. The best way to soothe your itch is by learning what causes it and preventing it altogether. We’ve created this guide to help you to understand what causes itchy legs, how to treat them and how to avoid them.

Causes & Remedies of Itchy Legs

What Causes Itchy Legs?

Knowing what causes itchy legs can help you to understand how to avoid them in the first place. Here’s a list of the most common causes of itchy legs;
lady curing itchy legs

What Causes Itchy Legs?

1) Dry Skin

Dry skin is a common cause of itchy legs. Dry skin often becomes flaky and irritated, encouraging people to scratch, but doing this can cause redness and further irritate the area. Dry skin can be caused by the climate - in hot weather, your legs lose moisture through sweat, which become dry and itchy if not replaced, and in cold weather, the low temperature causes our skin to flake and itch. Excessive cleaning and hot showers can also lead to dry skin and itchy legs as this strips the moisture from your legs causing them to become dry and develop into itchy legs.

lady solving her itchy legs

What Causes Itchy Legs?

2) Allergic Reactions

Allergic reactions can be displayed in many different ways and caused by many different things. An allergic reaction that some people suffer from is itchy legs. Signs of this may be shown as a rash or enhanced redness, which becomes very itchy. Allergic reactions causing itchy legs are often a result of contact dermatitis, which is a form of reaction caused by coming into contact with a specific substance. Skin may be allergic to a range of substances;

Fabric softeners 

If you think this could be you, seek medical advice from your GP.


itchy legs from shaving

What Causes Itchy Legs?

3) Shaving Rash

Have you ever wondered ‘why are my legs so itchy after shaving?’. Sharp razor blades used when shaving your legs can scratch causing microtears in the layers of your skin and this leads to irritation. As a result, some people suffer with itchy legs and ingrown hairs for a few days afterwards - both equally as annoying. It is more common for people with sensitive skin to suffer with itchy legs after shaving and so soothing products and loose clothing should be used afterwards.

medical conditions causing itchy legs

What Causes Itchy Legs?

4) Skin Conditions or Medical Conditions

There are a wide range of skin conditions that can cause itchy legs. With all skin conditions, be sure to seek medical advice if you are concerned. 

Eczema - this is the most common skin condition and causes red, irritated and itchy skin around the body. Over 15 million people in the UK suffer from eczema, so don't worry, it is very common. 

Psoriasis - another skin condition that can cause itchy legs. The main symptoms of Psoriasis are dry, red and silvery patches on the skin. These patches can flare up and become extremely itchy. 

Diabetes - also a common cause of itchy legs. Diabetes can cause poor blood circulation, which leads to the skin becoming dry and itchy. Although it is a normal symptom of diabetes, if you are concerned, be sure to speak to a doctor.

itchy legs from insect bites

What Causes Itchy Legs?

5) Insect Bites

Insect bites can be painful and extremely itchy. They will often appear red and swollen around the affected area. Although it's hard to resist, itching an insect bite can make them much worse. Most bites will clear up within a couple of days if left untouched, however, irritated bites can become infected and require medical attention. If this is the case, be sure to see a doctor as soon as possible. 

Causes & Remedies of Itchy Legs

How To Treat Itchy Legs

Now we know what causes itchy legs, it’s important to know how to treat them. Here are our top 3 tips to help treat your itchy legs and provide you with some relief:

  • Keep Your Skin Hydrated - Itchy legs can be caused by dry, flaky skin, so ensuring your legs are hydrated will prevent them from becoming itchy. Try the NIVEA Express Hydration Body Lotion to deeply moisturise your skin for 48H. We suggest moisturising after you shower, to replenish your legs’ moisture. Understanding your skin type will also help to understand which moisturiser your body needs.

  • Cool It Down - An effective way to relieve itchy legs is to apply something cold to the affected area. Whether it be a wet cloth, an ice pack or frozen peas, chilling the itchy area will help to reduce irritation. (TIP: Keeping your moisturiser in the fridge will help to cool and hydrate your itchy legs at the same time). Try the NIVEA Naturally Good Aloe Vera Body Lotion, made from 98% natural origin ingredients, to gently soothe your itchy legs. This will also help with itchy legs after shaving.

  • Medical Creams - If you suffer from a skin condition, some forms of treatment may not work. If so, medical creams and ointments might be the solution. Be sure to consult a doctor for their advice on the correct creams and ointments to use for your skin condition. In the meantime, it would be advised to avoid any known irritants that give you itchy legs.

woman preventing itchy legs