Itchy Skin May Be a Warning Sign of Type 2 Diabetes

It’s winter, and one of the tell-tale signs of the season often emerges as dry and itchy skin. However, did you know that these symptoms can also be warning signs of Type 2 diabetes? It’s true.

Pruritus, which simply means “itching,” is a common symptom of diabetes. While it’s always a good idea to keep your skin moisturized, there are common conditions associated with diabetes that may cause your skin to itch, crack, and peel.

There are various underlying causes that can lead to diabetic pruritus. Here are three of the most common chronic conditions.

Poor circulation. Individuals who experience itching in the feet and lower legs may be experiencing the result of poor circulation. Poor circulation causes narrowing and hardening of the blood vessels, which, in turn, causes noticeable itching on the surface of the skin.

To lessen the severity of the itching, consider taking the following action steps:
• Eliminate the use of tobacco
• Adopt a regular exercise routine
• Keep blood glucose levels in check

Fungal infections. Fungal infections are common in individuals with diabetes and are treated with medication. Because different fungi respond to different medications, it’s best to discuss the best course of action to take with your medical care provider.

Common symptoms of fungal infections include dry, red, and cracking skin, blisters or breaking down of the skin, and itching. Because high glucose levels in the body enhance the growth of these infections, you’ll want to be diligent about keeping your glucose under control to prevent fungal growth on the skin. Also, keeping your skin clean and dry will go a long way in warding off fungal infections.

Fungal infections commonly thrive in these areas on the body:
• Armpits
• Groin area
• Between fingers and toes
• Under the breasts
• Around the nails
• Around the corners of the mouth

Pay close attention to any irritation on your skin in these areas that does not go away within a few days. If the condition worsens, contact your medical healthcare provider immediately.

Diabetic dermopathy. Diabetic dermopathy is most noticeable on the thighs and shins, although it may appear on other parts of the body. Caused by inflammation, it manifests as light brown, reddish oval, or round scaly patches.

It is caused by the inflammation of tiny blood vessels under the skin, and there is no known treatment that provide lasting results. Often, the dry patches will heal on their own, but it may take months or years to see improvement.

Controlling your blood sugar levels will go a long way toward avoiding diabetes-related skin problems; however, there are other steps you can take to prevent or manage dry, itchy skin.

• Avoid extremes in temperatures. Extreme hot or cold can damage the skin.
• Use a daily moisturizer to curtail dryness.
• Drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated.
• Use SPF 30 or higher when you’ll be in the sun for prolonged periods of time.
• Clean cuts and scrapes thoroughly to avoid infection.

Keep in mind that there are various other skin conditions that can persist due to Type 2 diabetes. Discovering the underlying cause can help you manage symptoms.

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Maurice O'Reilly

4 years ago

I found this article very informative/ I was further surprised that this article was not published for readers like me to purchase some pills/vitamins/ointments etc/ please keep up the good work so that readers like myself can greatly benefit from the articles which may be published henceforth/ A BIG THANK YOU

Lionel Miller

3 years ago

I have a rash on my stomach and legs


3 years ago

Anybody inow if this looks like type 2 diabetis


3 years ago

hair loss on your legs this looks more like a heat rash


3 years ago


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