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Can High Sugar Levels Cause Itching

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Manage Blood Glucose Levels

How to Manage High Blood Sugars

For long-term skin health, actively manage your blood glucose levels. Chronically elevated glucose levels can damage blood vessels and nerves over time weakening the skin. More immediately, elevated blood glucose levels can dry the skin and undermine the bodys ability to fight off infection by disrupting blood circulation.

Disseminated Granuloma Annulare Causes Skin Itching

This skin problem causes raised, bumpy, or ring-shaped spots that are skin colored, red, or red-brown. Disseminated granuloma annulare most often occurs on the fingers and ears. Some people report mild itching. Typically, medical treatment is not needed because the rash usually disappears on its own without leaving scars. But ask your doctor if a topical steroid, like hydrocortisone, could improve your skin problems.

Itchy Dry Skin And Rashes

One of the most common diabetes-related skin symptoms and a sign of elevated glucose levels is dryness. Your lower legs are usually the first to develop dry skin and subsequent itching. Controlling the itch should be a priority. This will allow you to minimize scratching, which is important because diabetics can have a harder time healing and fending off bacteria if the skin is broken or inflamed.2 Stabilizing diabetes and glucose levels can also help reduce dryness and itching.1

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Diabetes Can Affect Every Part Of The Body Including The Skin

In fact, skin problems are sometimes the first sign that a person has diabetes.

Some are cause for concern, while others may simply be a cosmetic issue . Regardless, you should keep an eye out for changes in your skin and talk to your doctor about any concerns you haveits better to be safe than sorry. Luckily, most skin conditions can be prevented or easily treated if caught early.

Some of these problems are skin conditions anyone can have, but people with diabetes get more easily. These include bacterial infections, fungal infections, and itching. Other skin problems happen mostly, or only, to people with diabetes. These include diabetic dermopathy, necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum, diabetic blisters, and eruptive xanthomatosis. Expand the items below to learn more about each skin condition and discover helpful skin care tips.

Bacterial Skin Infections Need Immediate Treatment

Diabetic Dermopathy

Although anyone can get bacterial skin infections, people with diabetes are more prone to them. Typical bacterial skin problems that tend to trouble patients include eyelid sties, boils, nail infections, and carbuncles deep infections of the skin and the tissue underneath. Usually, the area around the infection will be hot, red, painful, and swollen. Treatment with antibiotic creams or pills will usually clear up these skin problems.

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Why Diabetes Can Cause Dry Itchy Skin

Medical Review By: Richard Levine, MD

If you have diabetes, you may know it can affect your heart, kidneys and nerves, particularly if the disease is poorly controlled. But did you know it can also cause dry, itchy skin?

An estimated 79% of people who have diabetes mellitus, the most common form, experience skin issues such as dryness, itching and infections. These can develop at any point during the course of the disease. In some cases, they may even be the first sign that a person has diabetes.

Apart From Usual Diabetes Symptoms Like Frequent Urination Feeling Very Hungry Thirsty Weight Loss Numb Hands Or Feet There Are Several Signs Of The Disease That One Can Spot On Skin

Parmita Uniyal

With each passing day, each one of us is more at risk of diabetes than a couple of years back. No longer the disease of elderly, diabetes is being diagnosed in children, teens, young people – basically people of any and every age. Diabetes cases are rising across the globe and as per estimates, India has 77 million diabetics which is expected to rise to over 134 million by 2045. As our modern lifestyle allows us little time for physical activity and preparing healthy and nutritious food at home, this could be a deadly combination for development of diabetes which needs life-long management and puts us at grave risk of life-threatening complications related to kidney, heart disease, nerve diseases and oral health, to name a few.

Diagnosing the disease early on and starting medication while introducing lifestyle changes is the key to tackle diabetes. Apart from the usual symptoms like frequent urination, feeling very hungry, feeling thirsty, losing weight, numb hands or feet there are several signs that one can spot in skin.

If you are having certain skin issues or diseases, chances are they might be the result of uncontrolled sugar levels.

Dr. Rinky Kapoor, Consultant Dermatologist, Cosmetic Dermatologist & Dermato-Surgeon, The Esthetic Clinics opens up about diabetic skin conditions and their common symptoms that one should be aware of:

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Good Blood Sugar Control Treats Digital Sclerosis

About a third of people with type 1 diabetes have digital sclerosis thick, tight, waxy skin that develops on the backs of the hands. The finger joints stiffen and become difficult to move. Sometimes this skin problem occurs on the toes and forehead as well. Rarely, knees, ankles, or elbows may stiffen. Again, good blood glucose control is the only treatment. Moisturizer may help soften the skin.

Darker Area Of Skin That Feels Like Velvet

Top 10 Prediabetes Symptoms You MUST AVOID (Reverse Prediabetes)

A dark patch of velvety skin on the back of your neck, armpit, groin, or elsewhere could mean that you have too much insulin in your blood. This is often a sign of prediabetes.The medical name for this skin condition is acanthosis nigricans.

Acanthosis Nigricans

Often causing darker skin in the creases of the neck, AN may be the first sign that someone has diabetes.

Take action
  • Get tested for diabetes

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The Connection Between Diabetes And Itchy Skin

Diabetes can make the body lose too much fluid through urination and evaporation through the skin. The result: dry, itchy skin that can be bothersome and sometimes uncomfortable.

Itching, especially in the lower legs and feet, can also be caused by poor circulation, which is common with diabetes. Some people experience a skin reaction to their diabetes medication or insulin injections.

In addition, itching can be brought on by diabetes complications including nerve damage, kidney disease and liver disease. Certain medications for other health problems common in people with diabetes, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, can make the skin itchy, too.

Scientists suspect that those with type 2 diabetes may be vulnerable to itchy skin for yet another reason: Their skins barrier function is impaired. Exactly how and why this happens is still being studied.

What Is Stasis Dermatitis

For stasis dermatitis, the valves within your veins become weaker due to the lack of blood flow. Eventually, blood can actually leak from your veins into the muscle, fat, and skin tissue in your legs.

Stasis dermatitis usually develops in the lower part of your body your legs, feet, and eventually your calves. It can develop in other parts of your body, like your hands, arms, and face, too.

A complete list of symptoms for stasis dermatitis includes:

  • Severe itchiness
  • Swelling that increases towards the end of your day, and decreases while you sleep
  • Very visible varicose veins
  • Crusty, red skin
  • Dry, cracked skin
  • An overall heaviness or soreness in the affected area, especially after standing or walking for a longer period of time
  • Painful to touch, in more severe degrees of the condition

The condition usually gets worse if ignored, and you may notice those areas of skin become thicker and harder over time and become more visibly red and irritated.

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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.
  • How Can I Prevent Diabetes

    Glucometer Reviews

    The best thing you can do to prevent skin problems is to keep blood sugar levels within the range recommended by your healthcare provider. Proper skin care can lower your chances of getting a skin rash, infection or wound thats difficult to heal.

    Take these steps to prevent skin problems:

    • Check your skin daily for signs of rashes, redness, infections or sores.
    • Use warm water and moisturizing soap in the shower.
    • Pat skin dry with a towel , making sure to dry in between fingers, toes and skin folds.
    • Apply fragrance-free moisturizers after showering while skin is still damp and soft. Look for creams and ointments with ceramide to help skin retain moisture.
    • Apply creams containing 10% to 25% urea to cracked, dry heels at bedtime.
    • Prevent dehydration and keep skin hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids.
    • Treat cuts and wounds immediately with soap and water. Use antibiotic ointments only if your healthcare provider gives the OK. Bandage the wound daily. Call your provider if you notice signs of redness, pain, drainage or infection.
    • Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air in your home.

    A note from Cleveland Clinic

    Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services.Policy

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    What Are The Symptoms Of Skin Conditions

    Between 51.1 and 97 percent of people with diabetes will experience a related skin condition, according to a recent literature review. Although the symptoms will vary depending on the skin condition, there are some common symptoms that people with diabetes should be aware of, including:

    • changes in their skin
    • injuries or irritation to the skin surrounding insulin injection sites
    • cuts or wounds that are slow to heal
    • cuts or wounds that appear infected

    High Blood Sugar And Your Skin

    In serious cases, high glucose in the blood can set off an immune system response and release cytokines into the bloodstream. These cytokines are associated with inflammation and can lead to itchiness in diabetics, just as they can affect people with eczema or viral rash.The worry is that diabetics with itchy skin are at risk of nerve damage, so if youre diabetic and get itchy, please do check in with your diabetic team!Diabetes are also more at risk of dry skin, and that in itself can cause itchiness. High blood sugars pull fluid from the body and the skin loses the moisture it needs to repair its defences. A compromised skin barrier will lead to further moisture loss, damage and cracked skin. And that, in turn, leaves the skin more open to infection and external irritants which can cause inflammation and itchiness.

    Its a vicious circle of dryness, damage and itch!

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    Diabetes And Skin Infections

    Studies suggest that more than half of people with diabetes will develop a skin infection at some point.

    Scratching and dryness can create cracks that let bacteria in. Its not unusual for people with diabetes to develop bacterial infections such as folliculitis, boils and carbuncles.

    Itchy fungal infections are also more likely in people with diabetes, possibly due to high blood sugar. Infections caused by the yeast-like fungus Candida albicans often crop up in areas with moist folds, such as the armpits, groin area, under the breasts and between the fingers and toes. Infections caused by mold-like fungi called dermatophytes include ringworm, jock itch and athletes foot.

    How Diabetes Affects Skin Health

    Type 2 Diabetes: How can high glucose levels harm your body?

    Diabetes skin problems are a common complication of both type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes approximately a third of patients with diabetes will develop a skin disorder related to the disease at some point during their lifetime. Many skin complications, such as certain types of rashes and blisters, can directly manifest from diabetes or allergic reactions to insulin or diabetes medications. Other types of skin problems, such as fungal infections, skin irritation, and dry skin, can occur in otherwise healthy patients but tend to affect those with diabetes more frequently.

    Hyperglycemia is behind most skin problems caused by diabetes. An excessive amount of sugar in the blood prompts the body to pull fluid from other cells to produce an adequate amount of urine to remove the sugar, resulting in xerosis . Skin that is dry, inflamed, and irritated can likewise result from diabetic neuropathy a result of nerve damage, particularly in the feet and legs. Early diagnosis and treatment from an experienced skin specialist are key to dealing with diabetes-related skin conditions, managing resulting symptoms, and preventing other health complications.

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    Modify Your Diet Before Calling Your Doctor

    Bergamo says if youre having some of these subtle symptoms try a low-carb diet of protein and green leafy vegetables. Avoid sugary drinks and drink at least 2 liters of water for a few days to see if these symptoms get better.

    Subtle symptoms could be just that youre eating too many carbs and your body cant handle it, Bergamo says. It doesnt necessarily mean you have diabetes, but its a wake-up call that maybe youre headed that way.

    If you have any symptoms that are frightening such as sudden numbness, weakness or chest pains, call your doctor immediately.

    Are you concerned about diabetes? Talk to your doctor about having your blood glucose levels tested. Need a doctor? Find one near you.

    Treating Fungal Infections In People With Diabetes

    A fungal infection is not something that will simply go away on its own. Youll likely find the itchiness and burning so unbearable, youll be desperate for treatment.

    Here are three guidelines for managing a fungal infection:

    Improve your blood sugar levels

    Using medication to treat the area affected by fungus growth will only do so much if your blood sugars are still persistently high. You need to address your blood sugars. If they continue to be high, you will likely continue to face fungus issues.

    Unless your high blood sugars were a temporary issue you had to endure , you should call your diabetes healthcare team immediately to adjust your medications and reduce your blood sugars as quickly as possible.

    Get the right medication for the right type of fungus

    You may need to consult a dermatologist or your local pharmacist to be sure youre using the right anti-fungal treatment option for the type of fungus youre dealing with.

    Treatments for yeast infections are fairly obvious , but more severe yeast infections may require a visit to your gynecologist and a prescription-strength treatment option.

    There are topical ointments, capsules to swallow, suppositories, lotions the list goes on and on so you need to make sure youre using the right treatment for the right type of fungal infection.

    Improve your self-care skin habits

    For instance, you could:

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    What Causes A Diabetes Rash

    For people who dont have diabetes, a skin rash may be the first sign of high blood sugar or prediabetes. Your healthcare provider can help you take steps to prevent diabetes.

    If you take medications for diabetes, a skin rash may indicate that you need to adjust treatments to lower your blood sugar levels. Some other rashes result from reduced blood flow to your extremities .

    Symptoms Of Itchy Skin In Diabetes

    Common Skin Problems Linked to 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 toitchy 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.

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    Diabetes Can Cause Neuropathy

    Diabetes can cause nerve damage called neuropathy, a common diabetes complication. Sometimes the damage causes a loss of sensation in the feet. If you step on something and injure your foot or develop a blister, you may not be able to feel it. An open skin sore called a foot ulcer can develop and could get infected. Take a look at your feet every day to make sure they are not injured in any way.

    Yellow Reddish Or Brown Patches On Your Skin

    Necrobiosis Lipoidica

    This skin condition often begins as small raised solid bumps that look like pimples. As it progresses, these bumps turn into patches of swollen and hard skin. The patches can be yellow, reddish, or brown.

    You may also notice:

    • The surrounding skin has a shiny porcelain-like appearance
    • You can see blood vessels
    • The skin is itchy and painful
    • The skin disease goes through cycles where it is active, inactive, and then active again

    necrobiosis lipodica.

    Take action
    • Get tested for diabetes, if you have not been diagnosed.
    • Work with your doctor to better control your diabetes.
    • See a dermatologist about your skin. Necorbiosis lipodica is harmless, but it can lead to complications.

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