Friday, March 09, 2012

allergic to running?

I know many of us have made the joke that we must be allergic to exercise because our skin gets red and hot and we start to get short of breath and we sweat. I've definitely made the joke, but have never really been serious.

But this week, something strange has been happening after I run: I get small, itchy hives. I'm fine when I run - there's no itching. But when I get home, I get really itchy within about 15 minutes of coming back inside. And when I look at my skin where I'm itchy (mostly my thighs and my "trunk" but today it was also right behind my knees), there are little hives (and claw marks where I've been scratching) turning redder and redder.

I've had a couple of hives before after running, but they were always right where my sports bra hit my skin and figured it was a reaction to a new laundry soap (I tend to be sensitive to some soaps). But this week they've been more spread out than just my bra line and more than just one or two. I haven't changed my laundry soap and I'm not wearing anything new or weird...I'm just randomly getting hives after I run. Clearly, I'm allergic to running.
not itchy before, during, or after this picture.
According to the always reliable wikipedia, the cure for hives after exercise is "regular exercise, i.e. every day or two." That's what I'm already doing. So is the cure to exercise multiple times a day? My course of action for now will be to shower as soon as I can after running, to put lotion on the itchy areas, and to take an antihistamine if needed. Hopefully this is just a fluke thing and it is just a weird thing that is happening right now and will go away soon.

Hopefully I'm not actually allergic to running. That would make me sad. (and uncomfortable because I don't see myself stopping just because of some itching)


Anonymous said...

Is it only in the colder weather?

Double Bellybuster said...

Sounds very familiar.

Consider hitting the naturopath for a food sensitivity test. Reactions can be worst when the body is stressed as running does to it. If it is this, then it is easy to juggle pre-run meals (or all meals if severe) once you know the cause.

It is wheat and eggs that cause me similar issues.

Good luck.

Leigh said...

Could it be the detergent you are using on your clothes? Maybe when you start sweating, the sweat and detergent are irritating your skin. Hopefully you aren't actually allergic to running!

Stephanie @ Athlete at Heart said...

In the spring and early summer, as soon as I come in from running I'm sneezing and stuffy and miserable for hours afterwards. My seasonal allergies never cause symptoms any other time but I suck in so much more air, including allergens, when I'm running that they hit me full force.

Try taking benadryl or another allergy medicine before running and see if it helps!

Laura said...

I always hate it when something like this comes up as you have to play detective as to why it is happening.
Since it is where your clothes are, I'd start there...not just detergent but your actual soap, moisturizer etc.
Hope it goes away and doesn't come back.

Anonymous said...

I get it too. Only happens when I workout or run. I have heard of other people getting it. I mostly get it on my thighs, behind my knees and the indents of my elbows. Goes away after an couple hours.

So you aren't alone.

Kirst said...

I didn't mean to click anonymous. It was me Kirst.

Cotter Crunch said...

been there!! i had to change running gear and all. Wiki... he doesn't know. haha.

Nicole @ Haute Runner said...

that would be horrible!! hope you figure it out!!