Diabetic itching is a common symptom experienced by those with diabetes, a medical condition characterized by the body's inability to properly regulate blood sugar levels. Diabetes results in poor blood circulation, which often results in itching, especially in the lower legs. Stress tends to make the itching worse, so the first method of treatment is to try to avoid stressful situations or work on learning a few relaxation techniques.
Frequent bathing can often cause diabetic itching to worsen. It may be helpful to limit baths to every couple of days, perhaps adding a bit of oatmeal to the bath water. Oatmeal is known for its ability to ease itching caused by a variety of conditions. Make sure to avoid really hot baths as well, as warmer temperatures tend to increase itching. After bathing, leaving a little moisture on the skin can help to prevent the itching from recurring quickly.
Diabetic itching is often caused by the dry skin, which is characteristic of this disease. Using a mild lotion on the skin several times a day can keep the skin moisturized and alleviate some of the symptoms. If necessary, a hydrocortisone cream, which can be purchased at virtually any drug store, can be used on particularly itchy areas of the body. Using mild soaps that do not contain a lot of perfumes or detergents may help to alleviate some of the itching as well.
Fungal infections such as ringworm or athlete's foot can be a potential cause for diabetic itching. For most people, these infections can be treated at home with the use of over-the-counter antifungal creams or sprays. However, these types of infections should be diagnosed and treated by a doctor in the patient with diabetes. This is due to the increased risk of infection and the slowed healing process, which is often a problem with this disease.
Allergic reactions to medications, including insulin, can sometimes lead to diabetic itching. If a rash or swelling develops anywhere on the body or there is sudden difficulty breathing, immediate medical attention should be sought. Allergic reactions can usually be treated relatively easily, but in some cases they can be life-threatening. It is always best to be checked out by the doctor so that a minor problem does not become a medical emergency.