Itching and irritation around the genitals can be a sign of high blood glucose levels (hyperglycemia) and diabetes.

Causes

Possible causes of genital itching include:

  • Diabetes
  • Eczema
  • Low estrogen levels in women
  • Psoriasis
  • Pubic lice
  • Reactions to chemicals used to wash clothes
  • Yeast infections

Itching as a symptom of diabetes

If diabetes is causing the itching in men, it tends to lead to itching under the foreskin of the penis. In women, it can lead to itching of the vulva, the skin on the outside of the vagina.

If diabetes is the cause, you may notice other symptoms of diabetes, such as needing to go to the toilet more often than normal.

If you suspect you may have diabetes, see your doctor for a diagnosis.

Genital itching and diabetes

Itchy privates can occur if blood glucose levels run high, causing sugar to be passed out in the urine. Sugar makes a fertile breeding ground for bacteria and it is a buildup of bacteria around the genitals that causes the itching.

If you’re getting itchy down there as a result of high sugar levels, wash the affected area to clean away any build up of bacteria. Don’t use any harsh soaps that might lead to irritation.

If you can bring your blood glucose levels back to normal, this also should help the itching to subside.