Non-geeky issue with itchy ankles

For the last 15 years, from time to time, I’ll get super itchy ankles with patches of red spots or nothing really visible at all. But the itching is maddening. I’ve seen several forums talk about possible causes (chiggers, bed bugs, mosquitoes, fleas, polyester socks, unknown irritants, etc., none of which are true in my case) and a variety of cures such as zinc oxide and anti-fungal lotions. I still don’t really know the cause (I suspect it is related to lack of hydration or too much salt), but I found a way of relief, and it may work for you.

I put a large plastic storage tub in the bathtub and run hot water into it (not too hot, no point in burning yourself), and soak my lower legs for 30 minutes. No epsom salts or oils, just water. The point here is to hydrate the skin. After about 15 minutes or so, I notice small white threadlike skin flakes floating in the water, similar to skin that flakes off after a sunburn. Bring a book or listen to music while soaking, it can be dull waiting. Don’t skimp on the time…

Afterward, I use a bit of Gold Bond “Intensive Healing” and/or “Maximum Relief” lotion on the spots. No itching at all that night or the next day. The next evening, I repeat the process, and by three to four nights the spots are generally gone.

I guess this could be a form of dehydration or eczema, but the hydration seems to stop the itching and speed healing. The lotion may help keep the hydration of the skin and, of course, help prevent itching.

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