Does Diabetes Cause Itchy Shins and How to Identify Its Causes?

Itchy Shins

The shin is the area located directly on the anterior portion of the lower leg, right below the knee. It is the leg quarter in front of the tibia, commonly known as the shinbone. This bone is where the area derives its name from. Itchiness in this area may take precedence or follow an irritation or inflammation of the skin. Itchy shins may display flaky, dry, scaly or inflamed skin. Irritation is characterized by redness, rashes, some pain and noticeable heat from the area.

What are the Causes of Itchy Shins

Itchy shin causes range from the mundane to more complex and threatening diseases.

Usually a person can determine whether the cause of the itchiness is of a minor nature. When in doubt, if the itchiness continues for a sustained period of time or if the itchiness worsens, the best thing to do is to consult a physician. Consultations are also advised if the itchy shins become a constant source of anxiety and discomfort. Causes that are usually determined by consultation are as follows:

  • Old age. Older people are prone to having dry skin particularly on the limbs.
  • Insect bites
  • Weather and humidity.
  • Dehydration
  • Sun exposure
  • Dermatitis
  • Chemical irritant
  • Diabetes

Itchy Shins in Diabetes

Diabetes is an assembly of diseases exemplified by an individual having high blood sugar.

This ailment may be due to insufficient production of insulin by the body or the body’s inability to use the insulin. Type II Diabetes patients usually complain itchy shins. This type of Diabetes stems from insulin resistance. Itchy shins are commonly presented along with the following signs and symptoms:

  • Increased irritability and anxiety.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Fatigue
  • Blurry vision
  • Polyphagia or increased hunger.
  • Polydipsia or increased thirst.
  • Polyuria, or increased urination.
  • Feeling of numbness and tingling in the distant extremities.
  • Unexplained increase in weight.
  • Abnormal sleepiness.
  • Wounds or sores that do not heal.
  • Recurrent infections of the skin.
  • Diabetic dermopathy.

Diabetic dermopathy is commonly referred to as shin spots. During the course of the disease, changes in the blood vessels directly affect the skin they supply nutrients to. This leads to the development of lesions which are oval or round in shape to appear. The lower legs, most noticeably the shin area, are the common locations for dermopathy. Treatment for this condition is usually supportive and the cure lies with the control of the underlying disease process.