Itchy Ankles (Pruritus): Causes and Treatments

Why are my ankles so itchy?

The itchiness in the ankles is medically referred to as Pruritus. In a basic sense, itching is the most typical sign suggesting that a person has a dermatological or skin disorder. It may likewise be a main indication of an internal systemic disorder such as conditions of the blood, diabetes mellitus and worse, cancer. Our bodies’ itch receptors are specifically discovered in the boundaries of the skin, cornea and mucus membranes.

Why Are My Ankles So Hot, Red and Itchy?

  • The skin is the largest organ of our body (it accounts for 15% of our total body weight) and its main role is to serve as a protective barrier. For this factor, we can view itching as a distress signal, signaling that something is incorrect with the specific area of the skin (in our case, the skin around the ankles).
  • Itchy ankles usually indicate a particular dermatological issue (skin illness and conditions) but is can likewise be a symptom of an internal disorder such as diabetes mellitus, issues with blood vessels and, in the most severe cases, occult carcinoma.

As you can see, there are a lot of possible causes of irritation around the ankles, and we will go through each and every one of them in the following paragraphs.

Scratch Itch Cycle

Furthermore, itchiness in the ankle is most of the time accompanied by a resulting rash or skin lesion due to the scratch-itch cycle that the individual affected does. Meaning, if the person feels itchiness, he/she scratches the affected area to eliminate it and the cycle continues and on. However, itchiness is not constantly limited to rashes and skin lesions; there are in fact instances that rashes and sores do not present because of the pruritus fast onset. This kind of pruritus is medically referred to as essential pruritus. It might be severe and can extremely interfere with the activities of everyday living.

What Causes Itchy Ankles?

What are the possible predisposing and contributing elements causing the event of it? Itchy ankles might affect any age groups, might it be the babies, grownups and the ones in their old age. And to put it broadly, the causes of itchy ankles might be categorized into 1.) Extrinsic aspects and 2.) Hidden medical conditions.
The extrinsic elements that might contribute to the advancement of itching in the ankles are as follows, but not restricted to:

  • The first contributing aspect would be the area or the location where the specific lives in. Typically, Asian people are very little affected by itchy ankles as western people are. More often than not, Asian people are more resistant to developing itchy ankles that are brought on by natural factors such as dust.
  • Second of all, the material used in the shoes or socks of the person likewise adds to the development of itchy ankles. As we all understand, these footwears and socks are the main things that mainly is available in contact with the individual’s ankle skin. Materials such as wool have a high likelihood of aggravating the skin, thereby triggering itching or pruritus. Additionally, ill-fitting socks or the ones that are too tight and too restricting on the ankle’s skin can likewise cause pruritus, even if it is not wool.
  • Another common cause of itchy ankles would be the notorious insect bites such as the bites of bed bugs and termites. Treking and exposing one’s ankles in places where pests most likely reside in, increases the risk of a private having itchiness to the ankles.
  • In addition to that, band-aids, bandages and other adhesive materials that may have touched with the ankle’s skin for an extended quantity of time might likewise add to irritation in the area.
  • Likewise, severe temperature such as too much heat (heat rashes) can likewise significantly affect to the advancement of itchy ankles.
  • Finally, cleaning products which contain sulfates might likewise contribute to the advancement of itchiness in the ankles. Moreover, soap products, creams and lotions can likewise be a contributing factor.

Aside from the above-mentioned extrinsic aspects, there are likewise a variety of medical conditions that may precede the development of irritation in the ankles.

Medical Conditions That Cause Itchy Ankles

These medical conditions are as follows, however not limited to:

  • One medical condition that might contribute to itchy ankles would be extreme drying of the skin. Extreme drying of the skin may be due to the consistent use of harsh soap. These severe soaps, if used constantly may strip the ankle’s skin of its natural lubricating oils. In turn, excessive drying occurs, as a result resulting in the feeling of itching in the ankles.
  • In addition, bad circulation to the lower extremities may also be the culprit to experiencing itchy ankles.
    Another contributing factor might be attributed to the itch-scratch cycle. Meaning, when a specific identifies a sensation of irritation, the typical reaction would be to scratch it. Nevertheless, scratching may result in the release of more histamine, triggering further itching; which eventually leads to the worsening of itchy ankles. This condition is medically described as neurodermatitis.
  • Last but not least, xerotic eczema, contact dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, obstructive biliary disease, chronic kidney failure, malignancies, Chron’s disease, Athlete’s foot and cholinergic urticaria are the most common medical conditions that cause the sensation of itchiness in the ankles.

Itchy ankles, if not dealt with effectively and in a timely style may result to a more severe and disconcerting condition. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the methods to treat it. Although, to look for medical attention would be the best and surest way to have the most appropriate treatment (as it differs from individual to person), it is still necessary to be experienced about its treatment in cases of emergency and a doctor’s care is not possible at the time.

So listed below are most, if not all, of the ways to treat itching of the ankles.

Itchy Ankle Cures and Treatment

  • The first method to avoid or treat itchiness in the ankles would be to avoid its causes such as preventing locations where bugs live, decreasing making use of harsh soaps, preventing making use of ill fitting socks and wool products.
  • Another mode of treatment would be the ever-trusty cold compress. By applying cold compress to the afflicted area, you can avoid the event of itching, thereby preventing scratching. The ice bag may be used to the area for 20 minutes, tops, as required. Obviously, extreme care must be taken so as not to cause more damage to the skin.
  • Another common method of relieving itchiness of the ankles would be to apply calamine cream to the affected area. It is easily available in the majority of drug stores. It may be used two times daily or as needed.
  • There is also a mix that has actually been practical in treating itchy ankles. Which would be the mix of ginger juice and oats. Usually, the mix is paste-like in nature and is integrated uncooked in a blender. It is normally used as quickly as the itching is felt and then consequently applied to the affected area two times daily.
  • Lastly, using moisturizing cream with menthol is an efficient method of treating itchy ankles. It soothes the skin and prevents drying along with itching of the ankle’s skin.

Last modified: February 12, 2017

References

The Author

Reyus Mammadli

As a healthy lifestyle advisor I try to guide individuals in becoming more aware of living well and healthy through a series of proactive and preventive measures, disease prevention steps, recovery after illness or medical procedures.

Education: Bachelor Degree of Medical Equipment and Electronics.

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