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Itchy Bumps on Legs

There are numerous reasons behind the occurrence of itchy bumps on legs. The article briefly describes some common ones along with a few ways of natural treatment for the same.
Kalpana Kumari
Poor hygiene is the major cause of itchy bumps on legs. Dried sweat and old skin cells that are not removed for a prolonged period are the ideal shelter for microbes.

Bacteria and fungi can grow and cause skin conditions that involve mild to intense itching. The affected skin region generally develops bumps, which may or may not be inflamed.

Several types of dermatitis and infectious diseases may cause itchy bumps on legs, leading to pain and discomfort. The commonly observed causes, as well as some natural remedies to deal with the symptoms have been provided below.
Causes of Itchy Bumps on Legs
► Atopic Dermatitis
Atopic dermatitis is the most common type of eczema, and is often simply referred to as eczema. It is manifested through intense itching, scaling, inflammation, and loss of the upper layer of the skin. In case of chronic atopic dermatitis, lichenification occurs. It is described as the thickening of the skin with accentuation of lines of skin to form a crisscross pattern. Atopic dermatitis commonly affects children, and leads to the formation of itchy bumps on ankles and feet. In adolescents and adults, it forms itchy skin bumps on the back of the knees.

► Contact Dermatitis
Contact dermatitis is a skin disorder that is caused by contact between skin and some irritant. Such irritants are those substances that are found to be foreign by the immune system of the body. Some examples are poison ivy, poison sumac, or poison oak, as well as certain chemicals present in body lotions and skin creams. The identifying sign of contact dermatitis is the eruption of blisters at the site of contact with the irritant. Dermatologists often perform patch test to determine contact dermatitis.

► Discoid Eczema
Discoid eczema is a type of eczema that mostly affects adults. It can occur on any part of the body but is commonly found to affect legs. It is characterized by the formation of severely itchy patches that become sore. The patches are somewhat square or oval in shape with well-defined edges. They are susceptible to bacterial infection and require immediate attention.

► Varicose Eczema
Also known as gravitational eczema, this condition arises when deoxygenated blood is not transported efficiently upwards from the legs. Such stasis of venous blood results in itchy bumps and lesions, ulcerations, and may even lead to open sores on the legs, especially on the ankles.

► Prurigo Nodularis
Prurigo nodularis is a dermatological disorder that is characterized by the formation of hard crusty bumps on the skin. The bumps are 1-3 cm in diameter and intensely itchy in nature. They may constantly itch, more often at night and on getting touched by clothes or by hands. Sometimes, the itching ends only when scratched to the limit of bleeding or pain.

► Psoriasis
Psoriasis is considered to be an autoimmune disorder that is mediated by T cells or T lymphocytes. It is characterized by the formation of symmetrical, inflamed and scaly plaques that itch and burn. The common area of occurrence are shins and knees. Psoriasis is more commonly observed in fair-skinned people, and is extremely rare in dark-skinned people.

► Scabies
This a contagious disease caused by mites called Sarcoptes scabiei, which burrow into the skin. This results in the formation of itchy red blotches, with the intensity of itching being higher at night. Although any part of the skin may be infected, the common sites of infection include the regions between toes and fingers, as well as knees and elbows.

► Athlete's foot
Also known as tinea pedis, it is an infectious disease that specifically affects the feet. The causative agents are fungi belonging to the genusTrichophyton. The symptoms include scaly or flaky skin accompanied with itching and pain. Inflammation and blister formation may also occur. The infection may also spread to other parts of the body.

► Cellulitis
This disease is the result of a bacterial infection that may occur due to the skin microflora, or due to external bacteria. Such infection leads to inflammation of the skin layers, thereby causing itchy and painful rash on the skin. Face and lower parts of the legs are the most commonly affected sites. Individuals with a weak or compromised immune system, as well as those with wounds, blisters, or cuts and cracks in the skin are more susceptible to cellulitis.
Natural Treatments for Itchy Bumps on Legs
The natural treatment for red, itchy bumps begins with the practice of good personal hygiene, so as to prevent complications as well as the spread of infections, in case of contagious diseases. It is extremely essential to keep the affected area clean and dry. Also ensure to drink lots of water, about 8-10 glasses a day, to help detoxification and keep the skin hydrated.

The following remedies may help to alleviate the itching sensation, and the associated pain (if any).

Exfoliate the skin thrice a week, preferably with a homemade scrub. An example can be a paste made with gram flour and yogurt. Apply it on the skin and allow to dry for about 10 - 15 minutes. Scrub it off well with plenty of water.

► Twice a day, apply a layer of cucumber juice on the affected area of the skin. Rinse it off with cold water after 15 - 20 minutes.

► Soak your legs in a tub of water mixed with 2 - 3 tbsp. of baking powder. You can replace baking powder with oatmeal or cornstarch to get the same result.

Apply fresh milk or clarified butter on the affected area to keep the skin hydrated, and rinse it off after 15 - 20 minutes.
You may enhance your body's natural ability to treat a wide range of disorders including itchy bumps on legs. This is possible with a strong immune system, which can be achieved by following a healthy diet, and exercising regularly. However, in case of severe itching, it is always advisable to visit a dermatologist to sort out the causative factor, and start the appropriate treatment, rather than ignoring the condition.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this HealthHearty article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical professional.