Having diabetes spikes your risk for all kinds of skin issues, including bacterial infections such as boils and urinary tract infections, fungal infections, and itching. “Fungal infections, especially yeast infections, are so common that they may even be the first sign of diabetes in someone who hasn’t yet been diagnosed,” Dr. Hamdy says.
In some cases, skin infections can be tied to obesity, because there are “moist places between skin folds that may breed bacteria and fungi, including candida,” Dr. Rodbard says.
Unfortunately, several diabetes medications increase the risk of fungal infections of the genitalia, Dr. Hamdy says, because they enhance glucose excretion in urine, fueling growth of bacteria and fungus. Controlling blood sugar levels helps with prevention, but once you have an infection, seek out the usual treatments: over-the-counter antifungal vaginal creams and suppositories, to be used as directed.