Does diabetes cause itching?
People with diabetes experience skin itching at higher rates than those without the condition. Ultimately, itching can lead to excessive scratching, which can cause discomfort and pain.
A study of nearly 2,700 people with diabetes and 499 without diabetes found that itching was a common diabetes symptom. An estimated 11.3 percent of those with diabetes reported skin itching versus 2.9 percent of people without diabetes.
A person with diabetes should not ignore itchy skin. Dry, irritated, or itchy skin is more likely to become infected, and someone with diabetes may not be able to fight off infections as well as someone who does not have diabetes.
There are a variety of treatments available that can help to reduce diabetes-related skin itching so that a person can be more comfortable and avoid other skin complications.
Causes of diabetes itching
There are many reasons why a person with diabetes might experience itching more often than someone else. Sometimes itching can result from damaged nerve fibers located in the outer layers of skin.
Often, the cause of diabetes-related itching is diabetic polyneuropathy or peripheral neuropathy. This condition occurs when high blood glucose levels damage nerve fibers, particularly those in the feet and hands.
Before the nerve damage occurs, the body experiences high levels of cytokines. These are inflammatory substances that can lead to a person's skin itching.
Sometimes, persistent itchiness may indicate that someone with diabetes is at risk of nerve damage, so the itchiness should never be ignored.
Also, people with diabetes can expe Continue reading