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People with diabetes very often experience unbearable itching. This is a common side effect of high blood glucose, which is a determining factor in diabetes. If you suffer from this, read our article to learn how to calm irritation.
Why does diabetes scratch the skin
Itching from diabetes mellitus on the entire surface of the body and burning is considered an unsurprising phenomenon, similar symptoms shown in the photo often accompany this disease. With increased sugar, glucose settles in small blood vessels, as a result, the development of microangiopathy can be observed in diabetics. Later, kidney function is impaired and vision problems appear.
The skin immediately reacts to the disastrous process that occurs in the patient’s blood, the skin quickly loses elasticity and dries up, begins to peel off actively, due to a violation of the natural defense functions, high sugar provokes skin itching in diabetes mellitus.
Typically, with type 2 diabetes, hands itch, itching appears in the lower extremities, genital area, throat, ear. Itching and burning can be observed on the mucous membranes, dandruff often develops in men and women with diabetes mellitus, because of which the head begins to itch.
With a diabetic itch, a diabetic often feels such signs of diabetes as burning, discomfort, and integuments are pulled together. Before treating itching with diabetes, it is important to find out the root cause of the disease and eliminate it.
It is also required to normalize the glucose level in the patient's blood.
Skin pathologies in diabetes
Diabetics often develop various skin diseases. To get rid of itching in type 2 diabetes, on the recommendation of the attending physician, the previously prescribed therapy is changed to adjust the level of sugar in the blood of a person.
If treatment for diabetes is not started in a timely manner, the symptoms of the disease intensify, a high concentration of glucose leads to the formation of vesicles and numerous sores throughout the body. Diabetic itching is felt in the inguinal region, in the region of the lower extremities, and the eyes and chin itch.
All pathologies on the skin are formed due to primary or secondary causes. The primary cause is a violation of the process of removing harmful substances and toxins from the body of a diabetic, which is why angiopathy is observed. Secondary factors are accompanied by the appearance of inflammatory processes and purulent formations on combed wounds. As you know, with elevated sugar, the process of eliminating sweat is disrupted, due to which an environment appears that is very favorable for the reproduction of bacteria.
Including pruritus in diabetes can occur after taking any medication. As a result of urticaria or an allergic reaction, the diabetic has itchy eyes, men have a rash in the penis, itching in the ears and lower extremities is observed.
The itching of the skin with diabetes, as the main indicator of metabolic disorders, may be accompanied by the following factors:
- With a metabolic disorder and a violation of the process of fat metabolism in the body, a diabetic xanthoma develops. You can cure such a condition by normalizing blood sugar levels, and the doctor also prescribes suitable drugs that normalize the concentration of fats.
- Among male skin diseases with diabetes, diabetic erythema is distinguished, a similar disease is observed in patients over the age of 40 years.
- Itching of the legs in diabetes mellitus often develops into diabetic blisters. The feet of the lower extremities are also affected. There is a pinkish liquid in the bubbles, the size of which depends on the size of the formations on the skin.
- If the patient has type 2 diabetes, usually not only the body itches, but the skin thickens. Therapy consists in lowering the level of glucose in the blood, an ointment for itching for diabetes and a softening foot cream, which can be bought at any pharmacy, are also prescribed.
- With the first type of disease, skin color can change, this pathology is called vitiligo. Changes are observed on the face, chin, ears. To change from such a violation, the patient undergoes hormone therapy.
Treatment for pruritus in diabetes
Many diabetics wonder if the body can itch from diabetes if insulin is not produced in the right amount. In the case of an increase in blood sugar, itching occurs in the ears, with diabetes, the head, arms and legs itch, ulcers appear on the genitals.
Before you get rid of itching, you need to go through an examination with the attending physician, who conducted the necessary tests, will examine the patient, prescribe therapy with pills and ointments, and also select treatment if necessary with folk remedies.
Usually, if the body itches with diabetes or itching in the ears is observed, the disease is treated by normalizing blood sugar levels, including a treatment cream that is consistent with medical indications.
Therapy is carried out in several stages, depending on the characteristics of the disease.
- A special drug can help normalize fat and carbohydrate metabolism. Treatment is carried out for two to three weeks.
- In the presence of fungal infections, an antifungal agent is used. To prevent hands and feet from scratching, while the ulcers heal faster, healing creams, ointments and gels exist.
- If itching with type 2 diabetes occurs after the diabetic has taken one or another drug, the medicine is replaced with one that is more suitable for him and does not cause side effects.
- Parents often ask if the child’s body can itch after eating a product and how to remove itching. When such symptoms appear due to a poor-quality or allergenic product, the doctor prescribes a therapeutic diet.
Sometimes itching in the groin in men occurs when using a new type of insulin, if this type of hormone is not suitable for the patient. In this case, you need to consult your doctor to select the right type of drug and select a new treatment regimen.
Thus, if the body itches with diabetes, everything must be done first to normalize blood sugar levels, including switching to proper nutrition.
Burning and scabies in women
With prolonged and persistent itching of the skin in the genital intimate places, shoulder blades, buttocks, abdomen of a woman, the doctor can diagnose angiopathy, which is accompanied by damage to the smallest blood vessels - arterioles and capillaries.
Such a disease disrupts the blood supply in the mucous membranes, blocks the flow of vital nutrients to the internal organs. If the disease progresses, the woman has peeling and dry skin, microcracks are found on the skin and mucous membranes.
Local immune and protective functions are also reduced, the acid-base balance of the skin changes, which negatively affects the general condition of the diabetic. Microcracks appear on dry and thinned membranes, due to which itching and burning intensifies. Fungi and purulent organisms get into the wounds, which leads to the development of an inflammatory reaction.
- Often, women with diabetes have discomfort in the perineum, pubis, vulva and vagina. Including the disease, itching in the ears, on the skin of the lower extremities, under the breast, on the inner thigh side, in the fat folds with increased sweating, armpits, around the shoulder blades and below.
- The body begins to itch as a result of a violation of the condition of the smallest blood vessels. Microangiopathy provokes a malfunction in the kidneys, resulting in nephropathy. After some time, a person's vision may be impaired and retinopathy may develop.
- As a rule, the skin begins to react to such changes in the body before anyone else. It begins to dry, peel, itch, in this state it is not able to fully protect the subcutaneous tissue from the effects of pathogenic microorganisms.
Feeling severe itching and burning, the woman combes the skin before the formation of wounds, as a result, the bubbles with liquid burst and an unbearable pain appears. Later, new vesicles ripen on the skin, which dry out and become covered with a thick crust. Such crusts are very itchy, but in no case can you peel them off yourself. Otherwise, a new wound becomes a source of infection and irritation.
With diabetes, it is important to know how to treat skin diseases in order to timely help the diabetic. Otherwise, purulent abscesses, fungi and viruses lead to serious complications that are very difficult to undergo therapy.
In addition to normalizing blood sugar, a woman should take additional tests to make sure that there is no allergic reaction to the foods and drugs used.
Vitiligo is treated by the use of hormone therapy, and a woman is prescribed to be in the shade, away from direct sunlight, so that discolored skin is not exposed to ultraviolet radiation. Contact with damaged skin may cause irritation.
- In case of type 2 diabetes mellitus, the treatment consists in following a therapeutic diet. If burning and itching in the genitals of a woman occurs due to the use of medicinal hypoglycemic agents, a similar drug should be selected that does not cause an allergic reaction.
- Women will quickly get rid of discomfort in the intimate area if they additionally take vaginal tablets, which include the active substance clotrimazole. It is possible to remove irritation on the mucous surface of the genital organs with the help of Fluomizin, this drug is the second most popular and effective.
- If irritation and inflammation develop on the skin, well-known folk remedies in the form of decoctions, lotions and douching of the genitals are recommended. They will help to quickly stop the itching of diabetes in women.
For skin care, chamomile, calendula, oak bark, celandine, a weak solution of potassium permanganate, furatsilin are very suitable.
Prevention of itching in diabetes
In order to prevent the development of skin diseases or quickly get rid of a rash at the first suspicious symptoms, it is worth adhering to certain rules. To reduce blood glucose and improve the general condition of the patient, they drink Jerusalem artichoke juice.
In addition, it is important to correct the exchange-endocrine disorders. Everything needs to be done to increase immunity and improve health. This will protect the body from pathogenic effects.
Physiotherapy, sedative and suggestive therapy are very useful for a diabetic. This treatment has the right to be prescribed to every diabetic. An effective remedy is an ointment for itching on the legs with diabetes, which includes corticosteroids. The same drug treats itching in the ears, hands and other problem areas.
With severe and frequent itching, antimycotic, antiviral and antibacterial therapy is carried out on the affected areas of the skin. This helps prevent the spread of infection and eases the patient's condition.
To prevent the formation of blood clots and bleeding with varicose veins and diabetes, heparin ointment is used, her legs are smeared below the knees.
With bacterial itching, if other remedies do not help, antibiotics may be suitable. If a diabetic shows fistulas or malignant tumor formations, emergency surgery is used.
The causes and treatment of skin itching in diabetes are described in the video in this article.
The mechanism of occurrence of itching
There are two mechanisms of occurrence:
- As a result of impaired glucose uptake, many “by-product” toxic metabolic products accumulate. They irritate the skin and mucous membranes and as a result, itching appears.
- With a high level of glucose in the blood, it crystallizes. Glucose crystals damage the delicate walls of the capillaries, because of this the capillaries begin to poorly perform their function. Speaking generally about the body, for this reason kidney function is impaired, blood supply to the retina, etc. is impaired. As for the skin, its nutrition is impaired, the skin begins to peel, dry, thin out, and as a result itching.
There are three types of diabetes itching:
- Arising directly from diabetes (for the reasons described above).
- From a joined infection, especially a fungal infection.
- From taking medications for diabetes (the occurrence of allergic reactions, intolerance).
Itching as a sign of diabetes
Itching of the skin with diabetes is one of the consequences of metabolic disorders. The functioning of the kidneys is impaired, and toxic substances accumulate, which instantly affects the skin.
It can scratch not only the skin of the body, but also the head. As a result, the skin peels and dandruff appears. By constantly combing itchy areas of the body, the patient rubs them to the blood. In diabetes, even completely harmless small scratches heal for an extremely long time, which is why combed wounds immediately become an ideal target for infection and fungus.
Importantly, itching may occur in prediabetes: when the general picture of the disease is still unclear, and the blood sugar level is already significantly higher than normal.
The skin is suffering from a lack of moisture and nutrients due to which it loses elasticity, turns yellow and begins to peel off. With the development of dermatopathy, the patient itches below the knees, and blisters and red spots may also appear.
Due to the roughness and desiccation of the skin, cracks may appear on the soles of the feet and elbows. A critical lack of moisture can be seen by pinching the skin on the upper side of the brush: in normal condition, the skin immediately returns to its original position, when the body is dehydrated, the crease is not smoothed out for a few seconds.
In addition, patients with type 2 diabetes are often worried about itching and burning of the genitals: women complain of itching in the perineum, and in men the foreskin becomes inflamed.
Itching of the genitourinary organs in women is most often a symptom of thrush. Due to special factors, candida fungus begins to develop on the mucous membranes. If the thrush does not go away for a long time, even with the use of special medications, you should immediately consult a doctor.
Disease-related skin diseases with itching
All skin problems with diabetes, accompanied by itching or burning, can be differentiated into the following groups:
- allergic reactions that occur in response to the use of certain drugs for the treatment of diabetes,
- primary morphological elements or rashes on unchanged skin: vesicles and blisters on the skin that appear as a result of an excess of toxins (the root cause lies in metabolic metabolic disturbances),
- secondary morphological elements or rashes that evolved from primary morphological elements: fungal or erosive-ulcerative lesion, pigmentation.
Pruritus pruritus in diabetes cannot be classified as a separate disease, it is just a particular symptom of many different diseases, for example:
- Dermatopathy - the patient itches below the knees, vesicles and reddish, clearly defined spots with a diameter of more than 1 cm appear on the lower leg, which pigment without appropriate treatment. The disease is associated exclusively with vascular changes in a specific area of the body. It does not require special treatment, partially passes, provided that the patient maintains a normal level of sugar in the blood.
- Diabetic scleroderma - the disease is manifested by small seals localized in the back and cervical region. It is characteristic of type 2 diabetes. It is necessary to treat scleroderma in the same way as other skin diseases that arose as a result of diabetes - by maintaining normal blood sugar levels. Auxiliary treatments are moisturizers and oils.
- Erythema - manifested by large reddish spots localized in open areas of the skin. It is characteristic of men over 40 who suffer from diabetes mellitus (most often of the second type).
- Xanthoma is the result of a violation of fat metabolism. It appears in the form of yellow plaques on the bends of the elbows and under the knees. The typical symptoms of diabetes are localized on the legs, blisters of different sizes, filled with a grayish-pinkish substance
- Diabetic neurodermatitis - with this disorder, the patient constantly itches the body.
Complaints about it often arise even before diabetes is detected.
Нередко данные кожные заболевания дополняются сильным дискомфортом и болевыми ощущениями. От кожного зуда и жжения при сахарном диабете можно избавиться лишь посредством лечения первопричины — самого заболевания.
Лечение зуда при диабете
To understand how to get rid of itching, you need to find out its nature. Itching caused by allergies, involves taking antihistamines: Erius, Suprastit, etc., special hormonal drugs: Betamethasone and Prednisolone.
Local treatment of itching in the genital area is also performed using creams and ointments based on Prednisolone: Lokoid and Latikort (the two best drugs).
If the cause of itching is fungus, the patient will have antifungal treatment. Neurodermatitis and varieties of pustular skin lesions must be treated with antibiotic ointments.
The main measure for the prevention of pruritus in diabetes mellitus is the constant control of blood sugar levels. A stable low level is ensured with the help of a special diet, as well as medications prescribed by a doctor.
Fast carbohydrates (sugar and honey, confectionery, raisins, bananas, etc.) are contraindicated for the patient; consumption of slow carbohydrates (cereals, pasta), vegetable and animal fats is limited.
It is equally important to observe the rules of body hygiene:
- You need to wash daily, hygiene products: towel, washcloths should be personal.
- It is necessary to carefully read the labels of soap and shower gels: the composition should not contain substances that cause allergies in the patient. A baby soap based on natural ingredients is well suited.
- Foot care requires special attention: any corns, blisters and cracks need to be disinfected.
- Care for the genitals should be performed daily, with the help of special intimate gels without fragrances and fragrances.
- For patients with diabetes, there are special toothpastes, and mouthwashes.
Itching, as one of the symptoms of diabetes, is eliminated as the disease is treated. Treatment is based on three elements: diet, medication support, and insulin therapy. Observance of all three conditions guarantees at least relief of the symptoms of diabetes: itching and irritation, and as a maximum complete elimination of them.
Itching of the mucous membranes and genitals
First, let's talk about an intimate problem - genital itching. Diabetics are often embarrassed to consult doctors with this problem, and in vain, specialists would help to cope with this delicate problem and make life much easier. Also in men and women, it can occur in the anus.
Genital itching is equally common in both men and women.
Itching with diabetes in women occurs in the perineum, labia and even in the vagina. In addition, patients with diabetes have a tendency to fungal diseases, and this further enhances the itching.
Also, diabetics have a tendency to infection and suppuration of the skin, so it is important not to comb the skin, but to maintain hygiene and not to self-medicate.
Women with this problem need to contact a gynecologist, in addition, be sure to inform the endocrinologist about their ailments (possibly, correction of sugar-lowering therapy will be necessary).
Itching in men with diabetes occurs in the scrotum, penis, and inner thighs. The recommendations are the same: do not comb, carefully observe hygiene and consult a specialist - urologist and endocrinologist.
Itching of the skin with diabetes also causes a lot of inconvenience. Most often, the legs suffer, but sometimes patients have an itch of the whole body, it is very difficult to tolerate and requires compulsory medical care.
Most often, discomfort occurs in the lower legs and feet. Due to severe itching, the patient combs the skin, long-term non-healing wounds occur. It is also possible to attach a bacterial and fungal infection, which further complicates the course of the disease.
Also often occurs in skin folds. In the folds of the skin, there are good conditions for joining a fungal infection, there is excruciating itching, erosion, wet surfaces.
In women, it often occurs in the area of the bra. Therefore, women are advised to choose a tight, soft bra made of breathable cotton fabric. A daily shower is also important, especially in summer.
Itching of the scalp also causes a lot of inconvenience to patients with diabetes. In addition to physical discomfort, aesthetic discomfort appears. Hair looks untidy, seborrhea occurs. The main recommendation, as elsewhere, is hygiene. The visible result is the use of antiseborrhoeic shampoos recommended by a dermatologist or trichologist.
In conclusion, some tips
- Follow the diet! With normalization of nutrition, itching can pass without treatment.
- Follow all the recommendations of your doctor - this will help to avoid many complications. Remember, the cream and ointment for itching with diabetes will relieve the symptoms, but you need to fight the cause.
- Carefully observe personal hygiene, take a shower daily. This will help reduce itching and reduce the risk of infection.
- Choose detergents without a drying effect.
- Choose clothes and shoes carefully. They should be in size, never crush or rub. It is also important that the clothes were made of breathable cotton fabric and the shoes made of leather.
- Do not self-medicate, consult a specialist.
Diabetes mellitus is a serious disease, but with proper treatment and patient interest, many complications and problems can be avoided. Be healthy!