Skin Problems Caused by Diabetes: How to Prevent it!

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Updated On - August 24, 2020 Dr Jisha Gomez
Read Time : 3 Mins

Diabetes affects every part of your body, especially your skin. Skin problems are sometimes the first sign of diabetes. Also, if you’re diabetic, you’re prone to skin issues more than others. You might also suffer from skin ailments that are uncommon among non-diabetic people.

Here are some skin problems you might face if you have diabetes:

✔ If you’re diabetic, you are prone to bacterial infections more than others do. Some bacteria can infest your eyes, hair follicles, nails and other parts of the skin, causing severe skin conditions. 

✔ You might easily develop fungal infections in skin folds such as under your breasts, armpits, lap area or around the nails, between fingers and toes, in the corners of the mouth.

✔ Infections like jock itch, athlete’s foot, ringworm, and vaginal infection might affect you and cause severe itching.

Skin irritation and itching too are often caused by diabetes. Yeast infection, dry skin, and poor blood circulation easily affect lower parts of your legs, if you’re diabetic.

✔ Skin problems strike diabetic people who are very overweight. Tan or brown raised areas appear on the sides of your neck, armpits and groin. Sometimes they also occur on your hands, elbows and knees.

Light brown, scaly patches occur on the front of both legs.  Luckily, these patches do not hurt, open up, or itch.

✔ The blood vessels under the skin may become visible due to a rare skin condition called NLD. Adult diabetic women are the most likely to get it. 

✔ Sometimes you may even develop Skin Allergies like rashes and bumps due to the intake of diabetes pills or insulin administration. You should see your Dermatologist if you think you are having an allergic reaction to certain medicines.

✔ Rarely, some of you might develop blisters on the backs of fingers, hands, toes, feet and sometimes on legs or forearms. The only treatment to blisters is to bring blood sugar levels under control.

✔ Sometimes, people with diabetes develop tight, thick, waxy skin on the backs of their hands. Sometimes, the skin on the toes and forehead also becomes thick. This condition happens to about 1/3rd of people who have type 1 diabetes. Again, the only treatment is to bring blood sugar levels under control.

Most diabetes skin conditions can be prevented or easily cured if caught early.

Dermatologists say that people with diabetes can reduce their chances of skin infections by practising good skin care routine.

Get a Customised Skin Care Routine from a Dermatologist for your Diabetic Health Conditions

Good Skin Care if you’re Diabetic 

There are many things you can do to prevent diabetes-related skin problems:

  1. Manage your diabetes well! If you’ve high glucose levels, you tend to have dry skin that increases the risk of bacterial infections. 
  2. Avoid very hot baths and showers as this may dry your skin. Always apply moisturiser, immediately after a bath to prevent dryness and itching. 
  3. Also, keep your skin clean, get rid of extra moisture as it encourages fungus to grow.
  4. Treat any cuts right away with an antibiotic cream or ointment under proper guidance. See a doctor right away if you get a major cut, burn, or infection.
  5. See a dermatologist (skin doctor) if any of your skin problems get a little severe. Negligence leads to big problems if you’re diabetic.

Get a Customised Skin Care Routine from a Dermatologist for your Diabetic Health Conditions

About Author

Dr Jisha Gomez
She is a highly skilled dermatology physician with strong expertise in improving skin & hair health through the development of corrective treatment combinations. She completed her Post-graduate Diploma in Dermatology from Cardiff, UK & Fellowship in Aesthetic Medicine (FAM) from the Institute of Laser and Aesthetic Medicine, Delhi with over 5+ years experience treating skin patients. She has worked in Government hospitals in Trivandrum and Bangalore. She is actively involved in creating awareness for healthy skin, breaking the social stigma based on skin colour & stopping steroid abuse in our country.