Does Diabetes Cause Itching?

Diabetics are more prone to itching and skin infections. If you are a diabetic and have experienced itching and discomfort for the past few days, this article will tell you the reason why. Diabetes causes itching, skin disorders and a whole lot of other health complications. Diabetes affects every part of the body and your skin is no exception.

Localized itching

It may be caused due to dry skin, poor circulation or yeast infection.

Causes of Itching

Most diabetics experience severe itching in their legs. The primary cause for this is poor circulation. Itching might occur due to different causes like:

  • Fungal infection:

    The yeast like fungus

    Candida albicans

    is responsible for itchy rashes, scales and tiny blisters. Fungal infection occurs in areas where the skin is moist and warm. Common problem areas are skin folds between toes and fingers, skin under the breast, groin, armpits and skin around the corners of the mouth. Uncircumcised men may develop infection under the foreskin.

  • Allergic reactions:

    Sometimes, insulin and diabetes medications may cause allergic reactions and itching. If you experience any itching after taking your insulin dose or medication, consult your doctor immediately.

  • Eruptive Xanthomatosis:

    This condition causes small, yellow enlargements on the skin. These enlargements lead to itching at times. Men with Type 1 diabetes are more prone to this condition. Common areas where these blisters may occur are legs, arms, feet, hands and buttocks. These blisters disappear once blood sugar level is under control.

Other diabetes-related skin conditions cause rashes, skin discoloration and thickening of the skin. But they do not cause itching and often heal by themselves.

What can you do to prevent itching?

Early detection can help in quick treatment and relief. The following tips can be helpful to prevent itching.

  • If the humidity is low, avoid taking bath daily.
  • After taking bath, leave some water on your skin. Don’t dry your skin completely.
  • Always pat your skin dry after taking bath. Avoid rubbing the skin with a towel or cloth.
  • Use lukewarm water for bathing.
  • Moisturize your skin regularly to prevent dryness.
  • Keep your body well hydrated by a regular intake of water and juices.
  • Wear cotton underwear as it allows air to circulate and doesn’t irritate the skin.

If you notice any abnormal or excessive itching, let your doctor know about it immediately.

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