Itchy diabetics?

By redglitter Latest Reply 2012-02-05 10:52:15 -0600
Started 2010-01-04 09:37:33 -0600

For most of this past year, my skin has been itchy. Not like a rash or allergy but when I scratch one place it moves to another. Mainly arms and legs. I have some nerve damage I am pretty sure and am wondering if that's the cause or if it's just due to high sugar itself. Am I nuts?

34 replies

Jan8 2012-02-05 09:49:00 -0600 Report

Nope you are not nuts. If you look at my post to lipsie,you will find ways to combat this very distressing problem.

Zimoss 2010-01-16 12:50:57 -0600 Report

Welcome to winder and being a diabetic.

Drink lots of water and use a moisturizing lotion such as Eucerin for the dry itchy skin :)

redglitter 2010-01-17 00:44:44 -0600 Report

Hi Zimoss,
Eucerin? Ok! I just happen to have some here. I should start drinking lots more water. I drink mostly diet cola, a LOT of it and sometimes Gatorade. I do like Dasani water though. Not sure what's different about it compared to other water, but it's my favorite water.

salmanda 2010-01-17 08:02:15 -0600 Report

Cola has sodium which can "dry" you out. Sodium makes me so thristy. I have cut way back on the amount of soda I drink, and I think it has helped me be less "puffy" because I don't retain water. Sodium does that to me. Also, if you have high BP, the less sodium the better.
Doesn't Gatorade have a high amount of sugar/carbs?
Sal :)

Jeannie Holmes
Jeannie Holmes 2010-01-17 09:16:15 -0600 Report

Yeah! There is nothing like plain ol' water. I have a bottle with me 24/7. I have really dry skin also. It is worse in the winter. My heels get really bad. I get a pedi once a month and in-between I have to use vicks on them. For some reason that helps me.

salmanda 2010-01-17 09:49:30 -0600 Report

Since you get a pedicure so often, ask your pedicurist (Is that even a word? lol) to get you this:
Cucumber Heel Therapy by Spa Pedicure.
I have used it for a couple years after my pedicurist recommended it. It works great! It can be used with a foot file, too. I usually put it on, rub it in, and then put on my socks. I sometimes use it before bed as well.
Sal :)
PS It also smells a lot better than Vicks! lol

redglitter 2010-01-17 11:16:19 -0600 Report

Thanks Salmanda, I didn't know that about sodium. I knew it could cause puffiness but didn't know about the dry skin. Gatiorade- just checked the label and a 32 oz size contains 110 mg of sodium! Not to mention 14 g of carbs. I will start drinking more water. :)

salmanda 2010-01-17 11:27:56 -0600 Report

You are very welcome. Glad I could help. That is what we are all here help each other.
Sal :)

redglitter 2010-01-16 04:24:38 -0600 Report

The last two days have been awful because *everything* on me itched. I could not sleep or concentrate on anything else. Yesterday was the worst it's ever been. I was scraping off skin with a hairbrush. I was just batty. I called my doctor's office and asked for help. He said to take Benadryl. Don't know why I never thought of that. I did and within an hour and a half the itch had subsided. It made me fall asleep and when I woke up, no itch. :) It has to be regular Benadryl with the antihistamine or it won't work as it's the antihistamine that kills the itching. The non-drowsy kind just won't work.

salmanda 2010-01-16 07:27:56 -0600 Report

Are you on kidney dialysis by any chance? Just a thought because I had a friend who had a terrible itching problem when she was on dialysis.

redglitter 2010-01-17 00:42:54 -0600 Report

Hi Salmanda,
No I'm not on dialysis. So far my kidneys are okay. Hope they stay that way. I've been coming across more diabetics who know about "The Itch." It's a strange thing.

momma-rae 2010-01-05 20:08:10 -0600 Report

one of the first things we noticed before my daughter was even diagnosed was her skin dried out real bad and she was drinking alot of water, we have tried many different lotions and creams and so far nothing has worked she even has bad patches that look like they are covered with goose bumps all the time and my current doc just says yep and leaves it at that. I am gonna try some of the suggestions here. One thing I noticed is since she went on the pump and no longer receives any long term insulin the whole body itching has gone down, also one sign of her suger being high is she will start to itch on her stomach bad.

runthe 2010-01-05 09:26:48 -0600 Report

I have itchy skin also, my back itches so bad that it is all scratch up from me scrathing. my husband have to rub vaseline on my back which seems to help me. also during the cold months my skin get very dry I uses vaseline and baby oil. help some

judy makowski
judy makowski 2010-01-04 20:03:54 -0600 Report

You are probably going to think I'm nutes (not saying that I'm not you understand) but I use plain old crisco shortning. My Dr. suggessted it and it works like a charm for me.

All of a sudden this year my skin has gotten so dry. I have always had oily skin so to change all of a sudden at 64 (oops gave that away didn't I) Have your skin damp when you use the shortning so it seals the moisture in. \\

As surprising as it sounds it doesn't feel greasy and rubs right in. The only thing I didn't like was getting it under my fingernails so I use a popsicle stick to pull out the shortning.

Jan8 2012-02-05 09:55:38 -0600 Report

lol,Did you ever see "The Help"? Miinnie's advice was to use Crisco with Frying, skin problrms snd door hinges.

AddassaMari 2010-01-04 23:39:15 -0600 Report

That probably explains why my hands feel so soft and smooth every time I make shortened dough.

redglitter 2010-01-05 03:57:15 -0600 Report

Thanks Everyone! You guys have been very helpful. I'll give these tricks a shot. :)

Inkaddiction 2010-01-05 05:00:32 -0600 Report

WOW…I thought it was me!!!
I have the itchies so bad they keep me up at night… I freaked out and decided I had bed bugs…I dont, I sleep with dogs and blamed fleas, it wasnt, medicatin reaction, its not…it doesnt happen all the time, but when it does it drives me nuts!…I decided it was winter skin, I have bought all the lotions mentioned, but none have helped so far (I have tried cocnut oil, that is a soild like criso, but not criso …yet) I have tried benydril, and benydril hive, they kinda help, …Oh…and it only seems to really bother me at night

And take care of your feet…because we are diabetic, our foot care is SO important, I get a pedicure once a month, as part of my *health care*…besides, every one loves pretty toesies!!!

PapaRon 2010-01-05 08:23:49 -0600 Report

Yes, I get the itchies to at various times during a day. I don't really know why, but I do. And like one person said, when I scratch and ease 'that place', it does seem to just 'move to another place'. Mine is 'primarily' in my legs/ankles/feet, but certainly not exclusively. And 'now' (as I've never experienced 'this' before but), wearing socks (any kind of sock) causes my ankles to break out in a terrible rash, and talk about 'itch'!!! This has been going on for about six months now. And it takes forever to get rid of the rash. But then of course, diabetics do take a lot longer to heal from anything.

salmanda 2010-01-06 17:09:29 -0600 Report

I know that winter itch is very common and something I deal with everyday. One thing that no one has mentioned is laundry detergent. I suggest using one that has no additives to super clean or any perfumes. Many detergents have added things to improve their effectiveness, but those additives can be very irritating to some people. Also, dryer sheets can be a terrible irritant.
I have very sensitive skin, and even bath soap that is supposedly for folks like me will irritate my skin. I find that one might work for a while, but then I have to change.
I have learned not to buy big sizes of anything in case it bothers me after I have used a product for a time.
Sal :)

salmanda 2010-01-04 16:58:52 -0600 Report

I have itchy skin. I know it is the cold, dry winter climate that does it to me every year! I try to keep my skin hydrated by drinking fluids and using body lotions. My aunt used one that I liked called Cetaphil. Also, Wal-Mart has their own brand of many of these types of lotion. Their brand is Equate. It is much more reasonably priced that other products.
Also, when my daughter was little, her pediatrician recommended using baby oil on the washcloth after the shower or bath. Wipe down with that, and don't use a towel to dry off. This is better done at night, and it helped, too. I have used it myself.
Sal :)

spiritwalker 2010-01-04 16:42:49 -0600 Report

Itchy skin can be caused by many sources. It can simply be a reaction to dry cold weather. It could be due to dehydration.
It could also be a sign of medication interaction. I have been diabetic for a long time, but diabetes has not caused me to
irtch. All these other reasons have.

Iroquois 2010-01-04 14:07:00 -0600 Report

We got itchy when we lived in Canada and up there they call it the winter itch. When it gets cold you itch and it just eventually went a way. I even had a little bit of it this year when it started getting cold but it is gone now. Kathy

AddassaMari 2010-01-04 14:16:17 -0600 Report

I know that is a relief. I use to shed when the weather changed. The skin between my fingers would peel no matter how much lotion, Vaseline of baby oil I used and that was before I started on the road to diabetes. This would make a good survey question.

Hinboyz3 2010-01-04 11:53:07 -0600 Report

Well thats not crazy, cause yesterday I noticed I was kinda itchy on parts of my arms and chest, which I never ever experienced before. So Im sure it from the diabetes.

sweething 2010-01-04 11:07:33 -0600 Report

I complained of itching all over to my dr. and he suggested Eucerin anti-itch lotion and Benadryl. The Eucerin because my skin, as is that of many diabetics, is dry as a bone no matter how often I use lotion. It has worked!

AddassaMari 2010-01-04 11:23:12 -0600 Report

I take a warm shower instead of a hot one and find that my skin does dried out from the heat. Now I don't itch so I use my favorite body butters.

AddassaMari 2010-01-04 09:57:17 -0600 Report

No you are not nuts. That could be from any number of reasons. As diabetics we need more water which helps our body to handle sugar as well as keep our organs including the skin hydrated.

This may sound nuts, but my Mom, who is a diabetic and has been for over 20 years, told me to do these things and they do help.

1) Increase your plain, not flavored, water intake.
2) Treat yourself to a full body massage this will improve circulation or get a pedicure and foot/leg massage.
3) Use a body brush with a good moisturizing body wash and a good lotion.

I hope this helps you, it has helped me. You may also want to talk to your doctor on your next visit. If is a debilitating issue see if there is a call a nurse program in your area. These are usually a free service provided by hospitals in conjunction with the state.

AddassaMari 2010-01-04 10:04:15 -0600 Report

I forgot to mention to that when you itch, don't use your nails to scratch, rub the area, This will prevent micro abrasions in the skin. I have a very soft body brush that I use to scratch hard to reach areas or difficult itch, Then I put lotion on the area, just in case it was a little dry. Avoid any product with alcohol, this only aids in drying the skin which contributes to the itch.

AddassaMari 2010-01-06 17:24:30 -0600 Report

You may want to try an oatmeal bath, body wash or soap. Oatmeal, is a good carb, in this case it actually sooths skin. It worked for my son when he had the chicken pox. I did some research and found a great little bit of instructions. I then asked a dermatologist friend if the info was true, she said yes, the process described is correct and the treatment does have some topical benefits for itchy skin. Hopes this helps

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