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Are You Diabetic With Itchy Feet? Know the details

Itchy skin is a diabetic sign, especially if you have other symptoms. High blood sugar levels for an extended period can result in the diabetes complications like kidney disease, nerve damage, or eye issues. The uncontrolled sugar level is the leading cause of diabetic with itchy feet.

Diabetic with itchy feet can result from nerve damage in the feet or leg or poor blood circulation. High blood sugar levels can contribute to both conditions. Diabetes that isn’t adequately managed and mostly has elevated sugar levels can result in the symptoms like blurred vision, hunger, frequent urination, increased thirst, and hunger.

People with diabetes often experience itching that is localized in their feet. It’s usually because of diabetic neuropathy and poor blood circulation. You may feel the itching localized to your feet. Itching in feet is a general complaint among people with diabetes.

This itching can vary from severe to light. Itching is relieved with treatment and can also be eliminated if you eliminate the leading cause behind it.

What is a Diabetic Foot?

Diabetic foot is the result of diabetes. It is characterized by chronic wounds or itching due to the weakening of blood vessels. The loss of sensitivity in the foot is also related to the diabetic foot, which results in the late diagnosis of lesions.

That’s why the risk of amputations and infection are generally high and require vigilance.

Causes of Itchy Feet

Here are the few causes that are generally behind the diabetic with itchy feet:

  • Thrush
  • Psoriasis
  • Dermatitis
  • Poor circulation
  • Dry skin
  • Athletes foot
  • Chilblains
  • Urticaria
  • Allergies
  • Diabetic nephropathy
  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Hives
  • Psoriasis

Many antibiotics, opiate painkillers, and antifungal drugs can lead to itchy skin. The primary purpose of diabetes treatment is to manage blood sugar and keep it in the moderate range.

Your blood glucose level can elevate due to many reasons. It includes skipping diabetes medications, eating a lot of carbohydrates, experiencing chronic stress, having an infection, less physical activity, or other illnesses.

High blood sugar level is mainly the leading cause of itchy feet. The increased blood sugar level can lead to the conditions like poor blood circulation and nerve damage.


The symptoms of a diabetic with itchy foot vary with its causes. For example, a person with peripheral neuropathy is at higher risk of itching in the lower parts of the legs. They may also experience the loss of sensation in the hands and feet. Some people have a tingling sensation with it.

People having specific skin conditions and sensations also feel itching at the lesion or spot. Itching can make you uncomfortable in your clothes; you will wake up often at night and always feel the need to scratch.

Why is it Itching Under My Foot?

There are many reasons for itchy feet in diabetes:

  • Dry skin
  • Diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage that results from the tingling and burning sensation)
  • Skin pathologies like psoriasis e.t.c
  • Sensory neuropathy development
  • Poor blood circulation
  • Cytokines; wounds appear with the production of the inflammatory substances.

What are the Complications of Diabetic Foot?

Diabetic foot is behind some severe complications. Poor blood circulation in diabetes results in the weakening of the skin tissues, those results in skin lesions. It usually becomes insensitive to the pain, which can delay the diagnosis of any issue. If the wound has some itching, the scratching increases the infection risk and disturbs the healing procedure.

In severe cases, it can even attack the bones. To stop the spreading of the condition, amputating the toe or even the foot sometimes becomes vital. It results in deformities of the diabetic foot.

Diabetic Skin Conditions

Sometimes an underlying skin condition can cause itching. People with diabetes can get specific skin conditions and infections more quickly than people without diabetics. Its examples include:

  • Fungal Infection:

Fungal infections like jock itch and athlete’s foot can result in itching. Skin can also get hot, red, and swollen. Sometimes there is a development of small blisters that have a liquid discharge. Generally, this infection results from a yeast-like fungus called Candida albicans.

  • Necrobiosis Lipodica Diabeticorum (NLD):

It’s a rare skin condition that typically develops on your lower legs. However, it can also affect the other body parts. NLD starts as a red and dull spot with a raised surface that can convert into a lesion with a dark border. It can cause pain and itching as well.

  • Eruptive Xanthomatosis:

It’s common in people with type 1 diabetes. It forms yellow lesions on the skin that are of peanut size. High fats and cholesterol levels increase the risk of eruptive xanthomatosis. The spots occur on the arms, feet, legs, hands, and buttocks.

Every bump will have a red ring around it, and it might itch.

  • Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy:

Long-term high blood pressure can impact the feet and legs’ nerves. It is also known as diabetic peripheral neuropathy. These symptoms include:

  • Itchiness
  • Tingling and burning sensation
  • The inability of pain sensation and numbness

Neuropathy promotes the immune system in releasing cytokines. These are proteins that benefit the inflammatory system. These proteins not only irritate the nerves but can also cause itching.

  • Peripheral Arterial Disease:

High blood sugar levels can also affect blood circulation in the feet and legs. It can lead to peripheral arterial disease, which is a type of circulatory disorder. Poor blood circulation makes skin prone to itchiness as the natural oils in the feet can dry up.

The dry skin symptoms include cracked, rough, and flaky skin. Peripheral arterial diseases symptoms include:

  • Hair loss
  • Tingling and numbness in feet and legs
  • Pain in legs while walking that can get better with rest
  • Sores and cuts in the feet and legs that don’t heal or heal slowly
  • Numb or cold toes
  • Skin feels cold to touch.

How to Soothe Diabetic Itchy Feet?

Diabetes can result in itchy skin anywhere in the body, but our feet are at high risk. The main reason our feet are at increased risk of itchy skin is that they can be affected by diabetic peripheral neuropathy. The ideal way to manage the itch is by looking after your feet and working your blood sugar levels.

If you cannot control your blood sugar levels, consult the doctor or a nutritionist immediately. They will first find out if you are diabetic with itchy feet or if it is because of any fungal or bacterial issue. If you are worried, consult a healthcare professional.

Don’t avoid the situation, and your feet are valuable.

Tips for Diabetic Itchy Feet Management

Tips for Diabetic Itchy Feet Management

Here are some of the management tips for people having itchy feet with diabetes:

  • Wash in warm water, not hot
  • Use prescribed ointments on cracks, blisters, and cuts
  • Keep checking your feet daily to notice any change immediately
  • Keep your feet clean with an unscented wash
  • After washing, pat your feet dry
  • Use any antimicrobial oil to keep your feet fresh
  • Avoid any bath products that have synthetic preservatives and scents to protect them from irritation
  • Make sure you are wearing comfortable socks and shoes
  • Applying lotion between your toes can increase the chances of infection
  • Use any technique to manage the itchiness; avoid scratching, as it can worsen the situation
  • Keep your bath short and avoid soaking itchy feet
  • You can keep your feet cool without soaking them in cold water. Try using gel packs, hard air fans, and ice towels to lower the itchiness.

Check regularly for any abnormal skin patches, whether bumpy, blistered, itchy, raised, or inflamed. Talk with your diabetic nurse for proper advice and consult about the treatment, as you may need some antibiotics and antifungals.

Preventive Measures

In the case of people with diabetes with itchy feet must consult their doctor, who will prescribe a treatment that will be specified on the cause of itching. The diabetic itchy foot can result in severe complications if you don’t take the necessary preventive measures. It’s essential to:

  • Maintain a stable blood glucose level. A healthy lifestyle means regular exercise, a balanced diet, and proper hygiene can benefit in controlling sugar levels. Sometimes anti-diabetic drugs are vital to keeping it in control.
  • Wear appropriate diabetic shoes—the proper diabetic shoe protects sensitive feet from injuries. Select the models that provide good support. Ensure the shoes you buy have an inner padded lining and no protruding seams. Finally, go for cotton socks for further benefits.
  • Regularly check your feet to give prompt attention to your feet in case of wounds.
  • Regularly consult a podologist to cut nails, remove horns, and treat calluses. In poor footing cases, he can make orthotics for you.
  • Wash using a mild soap and pat it completely dry.

You can moisturize your skin with moisturizing milk. Avoiding putting the product in between your toes as it can increase the risk of fungal and bacterial infections. You should also try neutral milk without hypoallergenic substances and perfumes.

When To See a Doctor

If you are diabetic with itchy feet and have tried the home remedies but still haven’t seen any improvement in 2 weeks, then consult your doctor for other options. Any person can have itchy skin at any time, but for a diabetic person, itchy skin can be a signal of poor sugar control.

Itchy skin can also be an indication of potential nerve damage. Your doctor can help evaluate the itchy and dry skin area to determine if diabetes is the main reason behind your itchy feet.

They can also prescribe treatments and recommend changes to the person’s diabetes management.


Itchy skin requires special attention, especially if you have diabetes. Itching can occur before a skin lesion dies to arteriopathy and skin pathology. If this is the case, the risk of infection increases and severe cases can even result in amputation. In the case of itchy feet, there are many treatments available.

It’s essential to consult a doctor at the start when you start noticing the symptoms to avoid complications. Your doctor will guide you about the preventive measures you need to follow.


  • How do you stop the itching of diabetic feet?

Itching usually results from improper blood sugar management, poor blood circulation, and any damage to the nerve fiber. In such cases, taking proper care of your feet is essential. Cold gel packs, frozen pea bags, ice towels, and hard fans can help to stop the itching.

  • How to relieve the itchy feet?

  • Use a blood glucose monitor
  • Take the prescribed diabetic medication as directed
  • Eat balanced diet
  • Take regular exercise
  • Wear comfortable shoes

  • What are the signs of diabetic feet?

The most common sign of diabetic feet is swelling in the foot or ankle. Pain in the legs, open sores in the foot that are slow to heal and start draining. Toenails that start growing inward to get infected with fungus.

  • What is the cause of highly itchy feet?

The most common cause of itchy feet is contact dermatitis, athlete’s foot, scabies, or bug bites from bed bugs or mosquitos. These conditions can result in blisters, scaly skin, and a rash.

  • How do you treat diabetic feet?

Regularly wash your feet in warm water. Don’t soak your feet for long. Dry them entirely by applying lotion to the bottom and top but try avoiding your toes as the soap between toes can lead to infection. Don’t walk barefoot.

  • Can daily walking cure diabetes?

According to the research, a daily walk is beneficial in bringing your blood sugar level down. The daily walk helps maintain blood sugar at a stable level.

  • How do I stop my feet from itching at night?

  • If your feet are dry, use moisturizer before sleeping
  • Manage your stress levels
  • Consider using a product with menthol. The menthol cooling sensation dims down the itchy feeling by confusing the itch signal transferring nerves.

  • Which home remedy works for itchy feet?

Apply damp and cool clothes and an ice pack on the affected area can reduce the itchiness. Try an oatmeal bath with 1 cup of powdered oatmeal added to warm water. Regular moisturizers protect your skin from getting dry and avoid the itchy feeling.

  • Is heat beneficial for diabetic feet?

Avoid using heat pads, hot water bottles, hot foot baths, and electric blankets. These seem soothing but can prove very dangerous for some people.


Rabia Sehar
Rabia Sehar

My name is Rabia Sehar, a passionate writer and blogger. I always spent the greatest part of my time in the library reading books. Have done a bachelor's in life sciences. I am a writer who always wants to explore things and spread awareness with my words. Health article writing is my passion, as my main focus is to help others deal with their health issues and struggles. Writing has always been one of my most reliable strength. When people ask me did you always want to be a writer, I have to say no! I always was a writer.

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