An extremely itchy stomach as the result of exercise can be both frustrating and embarrassing, and can be caused by a variety of environmental factors and medical conditions. Because scratching can lead to further irritation and infection, it is important to understand why an itchy stomach can occur after exercise and how it can be remedied.
Exercise-related itching can range from mild to severe and can sometimes be exacerbated in hot or humid conditions. Besides the stomach, itchiness after exercise can develop on other areas of the body, such as the chest, legs and neck. It can be accompanied by a variety of additional symptoms, including red or clear bumps, a prickling feeling and small blisters. You also might notice redness or bleeding if the skin of the stomach has been rubbed raw.
An itchy stomach can be caused by poor circulation caused by lack of exercise. Dry skin, which often occurs in winter, also can result in itchiness during exercise. An itchy stomach also can be caused by heat rash, a condition that develops when sweat ducts clog. Chafing, some detergents, harsh soaps and irritating fabrics that do not allow perspiration to evaporate also can result in itchiness. In addition, itchiness can be the sign of an exercise-induced allergic reaction.
Wipe any lingering sweat from your stomach with a damp cotton cloth. Apply a calamine lotion to help relieve itching. Always wear clean, dry, breathable clothing that encourages air flow around the midsection. Refrain from wearing or using products that contain perfumes or dyes. Rub a gentle moisturizer on the skin on your stomach prior to exercising. Take an antihistamine before your workout if you are prone to exercise-induced allergies.
Prevent an itchy stomach by exercising indoors when it is hot outside. Stay in a well-ventilated room with a fan or air conditioner running. In addition, do not overdress when exercising in winter; doing so can lead to itchy, hot skin. If possible, do not use creams or ointments on the stomach. They can block your pores and lead to heat rash or itchiness when exercising.