10 Diabetes Skin Problems You Should Know

Diabetes is a chronic illness that has an impact on how your body utilises glucose, the primary fuel for your cells. Diabetes comes in two primary varieties −

  • Diabetes type 1 − This condition develops when the immune system of the body attacks and kills the cells in the pancreas that make insulin, a hormone that controls blood sugar levels. Insulin injections or an insulin pump are necessary for people with type 1 diabetes to control their blood sugar levels.

  • Type 2 diabetes − When the body develops an insulin resistance or is unable to produce enough insulin to control blood sugar levels, type 2 diabetes develops. Obesity, food, exercise, and lifestyle variables are frequently linked to type 2 diabetes, while genetics and other factors can also be involved. Changing one's lifestyle, taking oral drugs, or using insulin injections can frequently control type 2 diabetes.

Increased urination and thirst, hazy vision, weariness, slowly healing wounds, and recurrent infections are all possible signs of diabetes. In the early stages of the disease, type 2 diabetes, however, some patients may not exhibit any symptoms.

Diabetes can cause major health issues like nerve damage, kidney damage, eyesight loss, an elevated risk of heart disease, and stroke if it is not properly treated or managed.

With blood tests that gauge blood sugar levels, diabetes can be identified. A good diet, regular exercise, and medicine or insulin therapy are frequently used in conjunction in the treatment of diabetes. Working closely with their medical team will help persons with diabetes maintain their blood sugar levels and avoid complications.

Diabetes Skin Problems

Because diabetes can cause changes in blood sugar levels and circulation, people with the condition are more likely to have skin issues. Here are 10 typical skin issues associated with diabetes −

  • Acanthosis nigricans − Skin disorder called acanthosis nigricans that causes black, thicker patches of skin to develop on the neck, armpits, and groyne.

  • Diabetic dermopathy − Often found on the shins, these tiny, circular, brownish or reddish-brown patches of skin are caused by diabetes.

  • Necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum − The skin condition necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum causes a bright, reddish-brown patch on the lower legs that frequently has a yellowish border.

  • Eruptive xanthomatosis − Skin disorder known as eruptive xanthomatosis causes hard, yellow, pea-sized lumps to form on the skin's surface.

  • Digital sclerosis − A thickening of the skin of the fingers and toes that can make movement challenging is known as digital sclerosis.

  • Infections − Skin infections such boils, folliculitis, and styes are more common in diabetics.

  • Itching − Dry skin brought on by diabetes might cause itching.

  • Vitiligo − Skin disorder known as vitiligo that results in patches of lighter skin due to loss of skin pigment.

  • Scleroderma diabeticorum − A disorder that causes the upper back and neck to have thick, constrictive skin.

  • Bullous diabeticorum − Unusual blisters that develop on the fingers, toes, hands, and feet are known as bullous diabeticorum.

People with diabetes need to take good care of their skin and tell their doctor about any changes or symptoms. Maintaining clean, dry skin, using gentle cleansers and moisturisers, and avoiding harsh chemicals or hot water that can dry up the skin are all examples of good skin care practises. Frequent dermatologist visits might aid in spotting and treating any skin issues early on.

Care and Cure

Although there is no treatment for diabetes-related skin issues, people with diabetes can take precautions to control their skin's health and avoid complications. Here are some pointers for taking care of and controlling skin issues caused by diabetes

  • Manage blood sugar levels − Preventing or reducing skin issues related to diabetes can be accomplished by maintaining blood sugar levels within a healthy range. This entails routinely checking blood sugar levels, taking prescribed medicine or insulin, and choosing a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet and regular exercise.

  • Practice good skin hygiene − Maintaining excellent skin hygiene might help you avoid skin infections and other issues. This entails maintaining clean, dry skin, using gentle cleansers and moisturisers, and staying away from harsh chemicals or hot water that can dry out the skin.

  • Check skin regularly − Regularly check your skin for changes or irregularities, such as redness, swelling, or ulcers. This is especially important for those with diabetes. Inform a healthcare professional of any changes right away.

  • Prevent skin damage − Nerve damage brought on by diabetes can make it difficult to detect skin irritation or injuries, which can result in infections and other issues. Complications can be avoided by donning protective clothes and footwear, staying away from socks and shoes that are too tight, and routinely monitoring the skin for symptoms of injury.

  • Get medical help − It's critical to act quickly to get medical help if a skin issue arises. Dermatologists and other medical professionals can offer a diagnosis and alternatives for therapy based on the particular skin issue.

Overall, controlling blood sugar levels and maintaining proper skin cleanliness are essential to avoiding and treating skin issues associated with diabetes. Frequent check-ups with a dermatologist and a healthcare professional can also aid in spotting and treating any skin issues early.

Updated on: 31-Mar-2023


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