DermTV - Prevent Exercise Itching [ Epi #297]

Uploaded by dermTVdotcom on 24.03.2011

[music] Hello, I’m Dr. Neal Schultz
and welcome to DermTV.
During... or even right after exercise, itching on your face, scalp or neck
happens to a lot of people and when it does, its really annoying. It’s
cause isn’t so much related to the particular exercise you do… but it's
more related to how intensely you do it. Simply, the more intense the
workout, the more you itch. When you exercise, your muscles use energy for
the muscle contractions that move your body. Very simply, the MORE you do,
and the faster and harder you do them, the more energy you use. That’s what
burns calories which then impacts on weight loss... Hooray!!! But
unfortunately, muscles are somewhat inefficient in their use of those
calories. Well, that inefficiency creates heat in those hard working
muscles… and that heat then spreads from the muscles and starts to raise
your body temperature. In your body’s eternal effort to maintain
homeostasis, meaning keeping things “normal”... and maintain a constant
98.6 internal temperature,.. it brings blood from the inside of your body
which is starting to rise above 99 degrees, it brings that 99deg blood to
your relatively cooler skin which is normally, somewhere between 80,& 90
degrees. By sending more, warmer core blood to your relatively cooler skin,
the extra core heat is dissipated easier to the outside air and that helps
maintain normal, internal temperature… by preventing it from rising. So far
so good… this all makes sense and as someone who loves to exercise… I’m in.
But when we bring that heated blood to our skin, that heat causes a small
amount of inflammation, or just plain irritation, in the skin. To deal with
the “annoyance” of too much heat, your body tells special skin cells to
release their histamine as part of the body’s way of fighting and
correcting this “unnatural”... increasing skin temperature. Finally, It’s
the release of this histamine in your skin that causes the itching. OK…
that was easy… just kidding…. but why's the itching worse on your face,
scalp and neck.., compared to the rest of your body. Actually the itching
can occur anywhere… and does… but it happens much more on you head and neck
for 3 reasons: first… the shape of your head and neck have a very high
surface area compared to their volume, which makes heat loss much more
efficient. Remember, mom always said to wear a hat in cold weather. She
knew this stuff! Second… there’s a very rich network of blood vessels in
your face, scalp and neck... which bring a lot of blood there, and that
maximizes heat loss..and lastly… your scalp sweats a lot because of your
hair and the sweat plays a minor role in the itching. So whats the best fix
to help prevent exercise induced itching? I bet you want me to say “don’t
exercise!"... Sorry that’s not an option! Instead try taking a non-sedating
antihistamine like over the counter Allegra, 60 mg, one hour before your
workout. Exercise is great for your head, your heart and your body and now;
its itch free!