Is itchy skin a symptom of diabetes?


Quick Answer

Itchiness, also known as pruritis, can be a symptom of several different skin conditions that are associated with diabetes, according to Cleveland Clinic. Sometimes, the development of skin problems, such as itching, is one of the first noticeable signs that a person has diabetes.

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Is itchy skin a symptom of diabetes?
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Full Answer

Fungal infections, particularly yeast infections involving the microbe Candida albicans, are a common complication of diabetes that causes skin itchiness, explains the American Diabetes Association. Fungal infections typically appear as red rashes surrounded by scales and blisters. Yeast infections are most likely to occur in moist folds of the body, such as the vagina, under the breasts, between fingers and toes, around the groin and under armpits.

Although the exact mechanism is unknown, there seems to be an association between high blood glucose levels and frequency of vaginal yeast infections in type 2 diabetics, reports Everyday Health.

Because of its negative effect on blood vessels, diabetes can also cause itchy skin problems because of poor circulation to certain parts of the body, particularly to lower legs and feet, according to Cleveland Clinic. In order to relieve itchiness, doctors recommend that diabetic patients use moisturizing lotions on dry areas of their bodies, wash themselves with soaps designed for sensitive skin, and avoid taking hot showers.

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