Itchy Ankles

Last reviewed by Dr.Mary on October 3rd, 2018.

Itchy ankles can be defined as a feeling that causes an individual to scratch the skin of the ankle. Itchy ankles can become very serious at times so proper care should be taken of the ankles. Itching of the ankles is a common condition which can be caused by various reasons. Sometimes, it also depends on the region that the individuals live in. Asian individuals are most resistant to dust as well as other natural causes of itchy ankles.

Individuals who live in western countries are extra sensitive and very often get allergic reactions to many substances in their environment.

Symptoms of Itchy Ankles

Symptoms of ankles which are itchy include:

  • Swollen ankles
  • Ankles feeling numb
  • Rashes


There are many and different reasons for ankles to be itchy. These can include changes in weather, illnesses, and problems with the skin as well as using certain medications. If it is left untreated, itchy ankles may become vulnerable to damage from scratching. This can ultimately lead to an infection.

Causes of itchy ankles without a rash include:

  • Skin which is dry
  • Ankles which are swollen due to hypothyroidism, heart disease or kidney disease
  • Old injury of the ankles or surgery
  • Intestinal parasites – which will also cause gastrointestinal symptoms
  • Varicose veins
  • Peripheral neuropathy caused by diabetes – usually itch occurs at night
  • Cleansing products which have sulfates
  • Psoriasis. An itch which appears years before any rash

Causes of itchy ankles with a rash include:

  • Heat rash
  • Reaction to plants while walking with sandals or barefoot
  • Cholinergic urticaria
  • Athlete’s foot which is a fungal infection. Discoloration or scaling is also normal.
  • An allergic reaction to socks causing hives or eczema
  • Stasis eczema
  • Scabies mites, chiggers, dust mites
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Bedbugs
  • Nummular eczema

How to treat Itchy Ankles?

There are several steps to the treatment of itchy ankles, and they include:

  1. Stop the itching by using an ice or cold pack on the affected area. By applying ice to the area which is itchy, it can keep the skin cool and thus stop the itchy sensation. It will also help the individual from scratching frequently. The ice pack can be placed on the itching area for 20 minutes at a time whenever it is needed.
  2. The itch can also be treated by applying a mixture of ginger juice and oats. Ginger contains a powerful substance called gingerol that helps reduce inflammation, redness as well as itchiness of the ankles. It will also soothe any rashes in are around the areas of itching. One can prepare the mixture at home by adding one peeled ginger root and one cup of oats uncooked in a blender and turn on to blend until a paste is made. Apply this paste to the ankles two times a day as well as at the first sensation of itching.
  3. You can also apply calamine lotion such as Caladryl to your ankles. These lotions are fast acting as well as being very soothing to the skin while reducing irritation as well as the itching. Apply this lotion to the areas twice a day as needed. You can buy calamine lotion at any local drugstore.
  4. Apply moisturizing lotion which contains menthol. Menthol, as well as other ingredients in moisturizing creams, can soothe and cool the itching of ankles. It also can prevent the skin from drying as well as cracking. Apply the lotion very generously to the areas which are affected or when itchiness begins as well as before sleep. A good lotion for this is Aveeno Skin Relief lotion with menthol.
  5. Make an appointment with a dermatologist for help with the itching. The doctor can also diagnose the cause of the itching as well as offering advice and treatments to manage the itchiness.

For mild treatment of ankles which are itchy antihistamine pills can help. For eczema as well as psoriasis steroid hormones can be used.

Other ways to help itchy ankles are using hot water, ice as well as Epsom salts.

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