As the season of mangoes and ice creams has arrived, so has the weather of itchy, dry, and sweaty skin. Summer makes our skin dry and itchy due to dehydration, constant humidity, and dry loo (wind). Everyone has to go through the aftermath of this season, but it becomes worse for the people dealing with diabetes. Not only do they have to regulate their diet, but also they have to be conscious of their skin because dry, itchy skin is one of the symptoms of diabetes.
What is itchy skin?
Itchy skin is an uncomfortable and irritating feeling that creates an urge to scratch your skin at a specific part of the body, persistent itching can cause discomfort, infection, and pain. Itchy skin can be a result of dry skin, fungal infections, or skin conditions. Itchy skin leaves rash or hives. Itching is often a sign of diabetic polyneuropathy, which is an ailment that grows when diabetes leads to nerve damage. Skin disorders that develop as a result of diabetes may also result in itchy skin.
Causes Of Itchy Skin In Diabetes-
- Conditions leading to nerve damage cause itching due to diabetic polyneuropathy which is one of the reasons for itchy skin. The earliest signs of polyneuropathy include itchiness, tingling, and burning in the affected areas.
- Inflammatory substances like high levels of cytokines that circulate in our bodies lead to itching.
- Skipping or forgetting your diabetes medication can also result in extreme itchiness.
- High-level consumption of carbohydrates or dealing with chronic stress can cause itchiness.
- A person with diabetes is at risk of nerve damage due to increased cytokine levels and may have to face persistent itchiness.
- Failure of certain organs like kidney failure or liver failure may also cause itching and is common in people having diabetic complications.
- Adverse side effects of a new medication may cause itchy skin in diabetes patients.
- Due to poor circulation, people with diabetes experience itching that occurs lower down in the legs.
- Fungal Infections – The itchiness associated with the growth of fungus can often feel like an extreme burning along with extreme itchiness.
- Having dry skin can be severe enough that creates a great deal of uncomfortable or painful itching and burning.
- For people with diabetes, poor blood circulation is a known complication and the utmost reason for itchy skin.
Symptoms of Itchy Skin In Diabetes
- A person with diabetes-induced itchy skin may experience redness, roughness, or itchy bumps on the skin which further leads to scratch marks.
- Red itchy spots on the skin or painless blisters, Light-brown, round-shaped scaly patches like age spots, appear and cracked skin.
- Type 1 diabetic patients develop hardened, thick, waxy skin on the backs of their hands.
- Stiffening of finger joints occurs making movements of fingers difficult.
- If a person has peripheral neuropathy, they are more likely to experience itching on the lower parts of the legs.
- Small brown bumps on your eyelids, neck, armpits, or groin can be visible.
- People who are overweight or have obesity may have Acanthosis Nigricans which causes dark, velvet-looking bands of discolored skin.
- Loss of sensation, usually in the feet or hands is another symptom of diabetes itchy skin.
- Women suffering from diabetes have lower leg rash. The rash may be itchy and painful.
- A Tingling sensation might occur with itching in diabetes patients.
- Skin conditions or infections may lead to itchy skin.
- Ulcers may develop in the skin and it might take a long time to heal which further increases the risk of infection.
- It is suggested to consult a doctor if itching persists for weeks or it can cause an itchy skin allergy.
Treatment of Itchy Skin In Diabetes
Uncontrolled blood sugar levels can lead to conditions that can cause damage to the nerves and poor blood flow in the body, hence leading to itchy skin. Here are some home remedies to cope with itchy skin and experience relaxing sensations.
Remedy for itchy skin at night
- Cetaphil or Eucerin is one of the best lubricating and alcohol-free skin creams for itchy skin.
- For itchy skin at night with bumps on the skin, it’s suggested to avoid caffeine and alcohol before going to bed as they widen your blood vessels and warm up your skin.
- Take a bath in lukewarm water and baking soda before going to bed.
- Usage of warm water and moisturizing soap is recommended.
- Prevent dehydration and keep skin hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids.
- Use mild soaps and body wash.
- Try adding aloe vera gel or natural aloe vera to your bedtime skincare routine.
- Have a drink or tea made of basil leaves as it contains eugenol, which is a very effective topical anesthetic.
- Applying mint to affected areas can reduce itchiness and give you a cooling sensation.
- Essential oils like chamomile oil, clove oil, lavender oil, neem oil, and so on are some of the best essential oils for treating itchy skin.
Indian home remedy for skin allergy
- Nothing can replace the medicinal values of tulsi, the utmost reason it has been used for decades now in medicines is because of its vibrant medicinal aspects. Regular intake of tulsi with warm water will flush out toxins thus reducing itchiness.
- Coconut oil reduces inflammation and can be used to heal dry and cracked skin. For itchy skin, the treatment uses coconut oil all over your body as it softens your skin and reduces dryness.
- Comprising anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, Apple Cider Vinegar is the best alternative for itchy skin allergies. It helps to detoxify the body and balanced skin pH levels.
- Lemon contains vitamin C and has bleaching properties that prevent skin irritation and reduces itchy skin.
- Mix oatmeal in water and apply the mixture on the irritated skin and keep it for a while, it moisturizes your skin and reduces discomfort and irritation.
- Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is also an effective antiseptic agent that helps relieve dry and itchy skin.
- Applying sunscreen whenever you go out is a healthy regime as it neutralizes the adverse effects of exposure to the sun.
Home remedy for itchy legs
- Keep your legs well moisturized by applying a moisturizer several times a day.
- With its essence of anti-fungal properties, baking soda is an effective treatment for itching.
- Applying cold compression to itchy legs for 10 to 20 minutes at a time throughout the day can diminish itchiness in the legs.
- Add Epsom salts or baking soda to a bucket of water and put your legs in for 15- 20 minutes, it will instantly lower the itchiness.
- Practicing Wet Wrap Therapy can be beneficial. It involves applying water-soaked fabrics to the area of itching.
- Use anti-itch creams that cover hydrocortisone. This drug prevents inflammatory reactions in the body and can help calm the itchy skin.
- Regular usage of moisturizers that contain beeswax, coconut oil, and mineral oil can lower itchy skin conditions.
- Eczema is a skin condition that makes your skin red, patchy and itchy. Using colloidal oatmeal baths, topical emollients, and anti-itch creams may help cure the itchy skin condition.
Can Diabetes Cause Itching All Over The Body?
Yes, diabetes can cause itching all over the body starting from your fingers to your toes. It is a known fact that people suffering from diabetes tend to experience itchy skin more often than those without the condition. Constantly having itchy skin is one of the common symptoms of diabetes. Adverse effects of certain medications can also lead to itchy skin. The cause of diabetes-related itching is diabetic neuropathy or peripheral neuropathy. These are complications of diabetes that progress when high blood glucose levels cause harm to nerve fibres, particularly those in the feet and hands. Other complications of diabetes may result in kidney failure or liver failure causing itching all over the body.
8 Natural Remedies For Itchy Skin
- Use apple cider vinegar to treat itchy skin.
- Aloe vera gel works wonders for your skin.
- Basil leaves are one the best alternatives for itchy skin.
- Mint reduces itchiness and cools down your skin irritation.
- Oatmeal is another remedy that is used for dry and itchy skin
- Itchy skin can be prevented by regularly using essential oils like neem oil, clove oil, or lavender oil.
- Lemon has bleaching properties and can diminish itchiness instantly.
- Coconut oil is one of the best substitutes to treat itchy skin.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, diabetes can cause itching as itching develops when diabetes leads to nerve damage, a condition called polyneuropathy
High blood sugar levels cause dry skin further leading to itchy skin. Extreme itching, therefore, can be a symptom of diabetes.
Yes, high sugar causes itching as it induces the flow of sugar in your bloodstream and poor circulation.
Yes, people suffering from diabetes can get itchy skin as it is one of the symptoms of diabetes caused by polyneuropathy.
Colloidal oatmeal with warm water is the best option to drink when itching persists for a longer time. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties reduce skin irritation.
Yes, if your blood glucose levels are too high it can cause regular genital itching.