Why Do Diabetics Develop Itching Arms?

Diabetics are more prone than non-diabetics to skin infections that may cause itching, reports the American Diabetes Association. Itching on the arms can be caused by fungal infections, dry skin, poor circulation or several diabetes-related skin infections.

Poor circulation is usually the culprit for localized itching, according to the American Diabetes Association. While it most commonly occurs on the legs, any body part can develop symptoms.

Rashes, depressions and bumps can indicate an allergic reaction to insulin or diabetes pills, states the American Diabetes Association. If insulin is injected, the itching and rash are normally worst near the injection site.

Poorly-managed diabetes can result in a patient developing eruptive xanthomatosis, warns the American Diabetes Association. It appears as firm, yellow, round bumps in the skin ringed in red. These bumps may be itchy and appear on the back, legs, arms, hands, feet and buttocks. This skin infection usually appears in men with Type 1 diabetes who have high cholesterol levels and is treated by bringing down blood sugar levels.

The American Diabetes Association also suggests that folliculitis, infection of the hair follicles, or carbuncles, deep infections that penetrate through the skin to the tissue beneath, may be responsible for excessive itching on the body. If a bacterial infection is causing the symptoms, the skin may be hot, red, swollen and painful.