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Can Diabetes Cause Itching All Over Body


What Causes Uncontrolled Itching

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A number of underlying conditions can cause uncontrollable itching. They range from skin rashes, dermatitis, allergies as well as internal illness. If you can not relieve your itching, it is very important to contact your doctor to diagnose the cause and suggest treatment.

Poor Circulation Could Be Causing Problems

If your lower legs are swelling and itchy, you might have a form of eczema called stasis dermatitis, which is caused by poor circulation, says Dr. Feely. A doctor can help you identify the underlying cause, which may include high blood pressure, varicose veins, or a systemic condition, per the AAD. Leg elevation, compression stockings, topical corticosteroids, and potentially even surgery can also help ease your itching, says Dr. Feely.

Diagnosis Of The Underlying Problem

It is advisable to see your doctor if itching is severe or persistent.

You should also see your doctor if itching affects your whole body or if other symptoms accompany the itching


Diagnosis of the reason behind itching may be identified through taking a skin sample or through taking a blood sample to check for signs of an underlying cause.

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Darker Area Of Skin That Feels Like Velvet

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

Skincare For High Blood Sugar

What Causes Itch Uncontrollably and How to Remedy It?
  • Have regular check-ups with your diabetic team.
  • Treat your skin with extra care: moisturise regularly with an oil-rich emollient.
  • Steer clear of irritants which can cause more damage: perfumes, sulphates , harsh preservatives, etc.
  • Use soap-free washes or bars: soap is renowned for stripping natural oils from the skin.
  • Keep baths short and warm, not long and hot.
  • Manage your blood-sugars as well as possible.

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Sensations Associated With Scratching

Pain and itch have very different behavioral response patterns. Pain evokes a withdrawal reflex that leads to retraction and is therefore a reaction trying to protect an endangered part of the body. Itch creates a scratch reflex that draws one to the affected skin site . It has been hypothesized that motivational aspects of scratching include the frontal brain areas of reward and decision making. These aspects might therefore contribute to the compulsive nature of itch and scratching . It is clear, therefore, that itching is not skin-deep.

What Causes Stinging Itchy Skin With No Rash

6 Causes of Itchy Skin without Rash Aquagenic Pruritus. If you feel unpleasant prickly, intense itching sensation all over your body after you shower or bathe, and you feel like the itch is there but you couldnt Allergic Reactions. Most allergy cause rash on our skin. Internal Disease. Cholestasis During Pregnancy. Dry Skin.

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Skin Discoloration And Changes In Texture

Diabetic dermopathy: Also known as shin spots, these diabetes skin symptoms involve light brown, oval or circular patches of scaly skin on the lower legs due to damage to the small blood vessels that supply the tissues with nutrition and oxygen. Although this form of diabetes-related skin discoloration typically does not require treatment, it may persist even when your blood glucose is well-controlled.1

Necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum : Though rarer than diabetic dermopathy, NLD also causes patches of dark skin on the legs, which are sometimes associated with extreme itching and pain. Though treatment is generally unnecessary, it is important to talk to your doctor about ways to prevent this condition from progressing.1


Acanthosis nigricans: This type of diabetes-related skin discoloration can present as raised patches of brown, tan or gray skin on the neck can, and can also appear in the groin and armpits as well as on the elbows and knees. The patches often have a velvety feel and appearance. This type of skin discoloration is more prevalent in diabetic patients who are obese.1

What Else Can Cause Itchy Skin At Night

What causes itching all over the body How to treat it? – Dr. Surekha Tiwari

Stress and anxiety can make you feel like scratching, though there may be no cause behind it. Some nerve disorders also trigger a feeling of itchy skin. The nerve disorder itch could be indicative of other ailments like multiple sclerosis, diabetes or shingles.

In rare cases, an itch that wont go away with every other treatment could be an early symptom of cancer. But, this holds true only if it is accompanied with other symptoms such as low grade fever, sudden weight loss and night sweats.

Wrapping Up

While itchy skin all over the body at night occurs mostly due to dry skin, there are other causes and medical conditions that can cause it. Preventive measures work best in keeping itchy skin at bay. However, there are several home remedies and topical creams you can apply if your skin starts itching every night. Dont forget to consult your doctor in case the problem persists for too long.


Did You Know?

  • Those with eczema are more likely to suffer from this condition.
  • If you have hypothyroidism, you could have dry skin that leads to itching all over the body.
  • With age, the skin gets drier, hence older people are more prone to itching all over the body.
  • People living in colder and drier climates have dry skin which is a cause for itching.

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Why Do I Get Itchy Back At Night

Although a wide variety of dermatological conditions and illnesses can cause itchy skin at night, most often the condition is due to xerosis, abnormally dry skin. Xerosis is most common in the winter, when there is little moisture in the air. The condition is not serious and can be treated with moisturizers.

Good, that makes some of the more serious causes of itching less likely. For example, people with severe allergic reactions or kidney disease can have itching without rash along with one or more of.

Dry skin is a common cause of itchy skin without a rash. In most cases, dry skin is mild. It can result from environmental conditions, such as low humidity and hot or cold weather.


When a nerve isnt working properly, it can cause itchy skin. If theres damage along a nerve due to disease or injury, you can also develop itchy skin. This itch tends to occur in one place on your body.

Acanthosis Nigricans Turns Skin Dark And Velvety

Acanthosis nigricans causes skin problems in body folds and turns the skin creases dark, thick, and velvety. This diabetes skin problem usually develops in people who are very overweight. Theres no cure, but losing weight may improve the skins appearance. If you have the skin problem and havent been diagnosed with diabetes, talk to your doctor. Acanthosis nigricans usually appears before diabetes strikes.

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Hives & Candida Albicans

The possible relationship of Candida to hives was discussed in a study about the management of itching and hives. The study was published in the British Medical Journal . The study cites research that was done on patients with chronic hives. The cited study utilized 255 patients with chronic hives. Testing revealed that 49 immediately reacted to C. albicans skin testing solution. Treatment with nystatin resulted in a clinical cure in 27 of the 49 patients. An additional 18 other patients, who reacted to C. albicans, were cured of hives only when they stuck to a yeast-free diet for several months.

Many of the patients in the cited research had developed hives after being treated with oral penicillin they had then been diagnosed as being allergic to penicillin. Yet, these patients did not react to intradermal testing with penicillin or to penicillin given intramuscularly. In two of these patients, hives could be caused by the ingesting of 5mL of sterile C. albicans skin testing solution. The study states that allergies to C. albicans can cause chronic hives to occur.


A case is reported in the Journal of Orthomolecular Psychiatry regarding hives and asthma in relation to Candida. This research paper was written by Dr. C. Orian Truss. Dr. Truss was often quoted by the late Dr. William Crook in his Yeast Connection book series. Dr. Crook was one of the pioneers of furthering the knowledge of “yeast related” health problems.

How Do I Relief The Itching

Why do I always feel itching all over my body at night ...

An individual living with diabetes can take several steps to ensure he or she maintains healthy and itch-less skin. Some of these steps include:

  • Effectively managing diabetes and keeping a close watch on blood sugar levels, preventing it from going too high
  • Avoiding moisturizers with harsh dyes or perfumes
  • Avoiding the rate of hot baths as it could strip the skin of its natural moisture
  • Making some lifestyle changes like eating healthy and exercising enough
  • Keeping your skin soft and moist by the use of some home remedies like aloe vera gel or paste of oatmeal
  • Applying skin lotion immediately after drying off from a bath
  • Meditation could also be of great help when it comes to reducing localized itching.

It will be the perfect time to speak to your doctor when you notice your itching is going to a state that it cannot be controlled with home treatment remedies after a couple of weeks. While itchy skin may seem normal to people without diabetes as it could happen from time to time, it can signal a poor diabetes control in diabetics and could also mean a potential nerve damage to these set of people.

1. Aaron, I. V. . Barely Scratching the Surface. Diabetes Care. 010 Jan 33: 210212. Retrieved from

2. Medical News Today. . Diabetes: Symptoms, causes, and treatments. Medical News Retrieved from


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Manage Blood Glucose Levels

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.

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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What About Genital Itching

Your skin is not the only part that can itch when you have diabetes. It has been identified that one of the major problems in diabetes is genital yeast infections.


This is often as a result of the high level of glucose which provides a seemingly conducive environment and condition for the growth of natural yeasts and therefore, reduces the natural infection-fighting ability of the body.

The growth of yeast can also be encouraged by the deposit of glucose in the urine of people living with diabetes.

There can also be other causes of genital itching aside from diabetes and may include herpes, scabies, chemical irritants, allergies, and various skin diseases. Even though these conditions can affect virtually anyone, its more commonly felt by people living with diabetes.

Candida Albicans May Influence Eczema

How to manage continuous itching over the body? – Dr. Rashmi Ravindra

The next study we will examine investigated C. albicans role in atopic dermatitis. Atopic dermatitis is more commonly referred to as eczemawhich is a condition that makes your skin itchy and red. This research was published in the journal Clinical & Experimental Allergy .

According to the studys authors, C. albicans has a controversial role in allergies. The reason for this lack of understanding is due to C. albicans being a common commensal organism. Commensalism occurs when one organism derives benefits from another organism without harming it or helping it.


C. albicans is a common commensal colonizer of the human gastrointestinal tract. In addition to being present in the gut, C. albicans colonizes the mouth of 20% to 75% of all people without causing symptoms or an infection .

Candida fungi are known as “opportunistic pathogens ” i.e., they overgrow and cause infection when presented with an opportunity. Several risk factors are commonly known for Candida infections e.g., uncontrolled diabetes, taking broad spectrum antibiotics, using high dose estrogen drugs , or having an impaired immune system.

The Clinical & Experimental Allergy study continues by stating that C. albicans has been speculated to be involved with asthma, urticaria , and allergic rhinitis . Yet, the research focused on the relationship of eczema to C. albicans.

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Why Am I Itching All Over My Body

Itching all over the body can be due to several causes — bacterial and fungal infections , eczema , liver and kidney disease , etc. Itching may be accompanied by a rash, flaky and cracked skin, a flaky scalp, spots or bumps on the skin, and redness. Not all kinds of itches can be cured with home remedies. Depending on the cause, treatments should be taken.


Here are some of the most common causes:

Why Does The Itching Get Worse At Night

There are many reasons why the itching worsens at night. Our body’s natural rhythms are known to influence even the skins functions like fluid retention, blood circulation and temperature. At night, the blood flow and temperature increase make your skin warmer. This may make you want to scratch.

In winter, the skin is drier, so itching can worsen. This also happens because the skin loses moisture at night, making it parched.

At night, the bodys production of corticosteroids that reduce inflammation also slows down. It releases more cytokines at night, which increases inflammation. A combination of these two factors can make night itching worse.

Your mind plays a role too. During the day, even if you have itching on the body, you are busy with other things that distract you. At night, your activity is restricted to sleeping. With fewer distractions, the itching sensation gets stronger.


Sometimes, your bed linen can also cause an allergy, or wearing clothes made of synthetic fabric like nylon or polyester can cause itching all over the body.

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How Can I Prevent Diabetes

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

Extremely Dry Itchy Skin

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Dry, itchy skin

If you have diabetes, youre more likely to have dry skin. High blood sugar can cause this. If you have a skin infection or poor circulation, these could also contribute to dry, itchy skin.

Take action
  • Tell your doctor about your extremely dry skin. Gaining better control of diabetes can reduce dryness.
  • If you continue to have dry skin after you gain better control of your diabetes, a dermatologist can help.

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When To See Your Doctor

If you eat something that causes a food allergy, you need to see a doctor. The symptoms can be mild like itchy skin or eyes, or severe like cramps, nausea, diarrhoea and swelling.

If an itch is persistent and doesnt reduce even with the application of topical creams, OTC medication or natural remedies, consult a dermatologist.

If you have a prevalent skin condition like eczema and you have an itch, consult your doctor for medication that will give you relief.

Does Itching Have Anything To Do With Diabetes

Diabetes is a condition that affects the whole body, and there is a definite connection between blood-sugar levels and itchy skin.

Why that might be is slightly complicated, in that different side-effects of diabetes cause itchiness for different reasons! Here are the three main causes of itchy skin in diabetes:

1. Most seriously, uncontrolled diabetes can cause damage to the nerves, which can manifest as itchy skin, so dont delay in getting any itchiness checked out by your diabetic team.

2. Diabetics are also more prone to dry skin, as high blood sugars draw moisture from the body. Dry skin can end up feeling itchy, as a damaged skin barrier means youre more sensitive to irritants.

3. And lastly, diabetics are more vulnerable to infection than non-diabetics.

Both bacterial and fungal infections of the skin can mean infernal itchiness, plus some viral infections can also cause rashes on the skin.

What can you do?
  • Have regular check-ups with your diabetic team
  • Treat your skin with extra care: moisturise regularly with an oil-rich emollient
  • Steer clear of irritants which can cause more damage: perfumes, sulphates , harsh preservatives, etc.
  • Use soap-free washes or bars: soap is renowned for stripping natural oils from the skin
  • Keep baths short and warm, not long and hot
  • Manage your blood-sugars as well as possible

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