Diabetes & Itchy Skin

Diabetes & Itchy Skin

Diabetes can lead to various complications. One of them is skin problems. In fact, most people with diabetes will experience skin problems at one point in their lives. Everyone can develop skin problems, but for people with diabetes, a seemingly small problem could develop into something worse. A very common skin condition amongst people with diabetes is itchy skin.

Causes for itchy skin

Itchy skin is usually an indication for dry skin. This is caused by dehydration. People with diabetes have very high blood glucose levels. The body wants to get rid of the excess glucose build up in the blood and starts secreting fluids. This affects the whole body, and causes the skin to become dry. A part from high blood glucose, the itching can also be caused by poor blood flow or a yeast infection.
When a poor blood flow is the cause, the itching will occur at the lower legs and feet. A yeast infection will most often develop under the breasts, around nails, between fingers and toes, in armpits, under foreskin and around the vagina. Avoid scratching the skin when it itches because this could lead to cracks. When harmful bacteria invade these cracks, a serious infection can develop.

How to treat an itchy skin

Monitoring blood glucose levels and making sure they are not too high is the most important factor in preventing diabetic skin problems. A doctor can help you with this. Furthermore, proper skin care is important to prevent itching. Make sure you wash your skin with a mild, soap-free product and dry the skin carefully afterwards. After bathing or showering, you can use a moisturizing lotion to help keep the skin supple and moist.