Itchy skin, especially on the feet, can indicate diabetes, especially if other symptoms are present. Diabetes patients have itchy skin more frequently than people who do not have the disease. Itching that persists can be irritating and lead to excessive scratching, leading to infection, discomfort, and pain.

diabetics feet itch

Why do diabetics’ feet itch?

Itching is a common symptom of diabetic neuropathy, a disorder caused by nerve damage caused by diabetes. Itchy skin can also be caused by skin disorders that develop due to diabetes. Infected skin is more likely to be dry, irritated, or itchy, and people with diabetes may not be able to prevent infections than those without the disease.

There are various reasons why someone with diabetes may itch more frequently than others. Itching can be caused by damaged nerve fibers in the skin’s outer layers. Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is the most common cause. This is a diabetic consequence when high blood sugar levels damage nerve fibers, often in the feet and hands. High amounts of cytokines circulate in the body before nerve damage occurs in diabetic people, which can cause skin itching.

Itching is common among people with diabetes due to problems such as renal or liver failure. Itchy skin can occur in people with diabetes as a side effect of a new medicine or as an allergic reaction to it. If a diabetic patient has an allergic reaction to a prescription prescribed by their doctor, they should contact their doctor immediately and inform them of the situation. The diabetic patient’s doctor may need to specify a new medication. The skin might become dry or sensitive in the winter, resulting in itchy skin. Perfumes, colors, and strong soaps can cause dryness and itchiness in the skin.

Sometimes an underlying skin condition can also be why your skin itches when you have diabetes. Some examples of these skin conditions are:

  • Fungal infection 

Itching can be caused by fungal infections like athlete’s foot and jock itch. Red, heated, or puffy skin is also possible.

  • Necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum (NLD)

This rare condition usually affects the lower legs, but it can also occur in other parts of the body. This condition starts as a dull, red spot with a raised surface that develops into a scar-like lesion with a dark border. It can cause pain and itching.

  • Eruptive xanthomatosis 

This disorder, which is more common in persons with type 1 diabetes, causes yellow lesions on the skin roughly the size of a peanut. Legs, feet, hands, arms, and buttocks are frequently affected. Every bump will be surrounded by a crimson ring and may itch.

Other reasons why your lower limbs might start to itch is because of the following:

  • Thrush
  • Dermatitis (eczema)
  • Psoriasis
  • Allergies
  • Diabetic nephropathy
  • Athletes foot
  • Urticaria (hives)
  • Chilblains