Skin Complications & Diabetes
Diabetes typically affects every part of the human body, even the skin. Most individuals who have diabetes have shown signs of being affected by a skin disorder. Many times skin conditions are an early sign that an individual has diabetes, but not always. People with diabetes tend to have skin issues more than those who do not. Skin problems that can develop in a person with diabetes include diabetic dermopathy, necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum, and diabetic blisters.
Some diabetics can also develop eruptive xanthomatosis. Bacterial skin complications in diabetics tend to include boils; folliculitis; carbuncles, which are deep infections on the skin and the underlying tissue; and nail infections. The skin tissue typically is inflamed, swollen and very painful. Antibiotics are often prescribed to individuals who exhibit skin complications due to diabetics. Sometimes diabetics can develop fungal infections. The likely culprit for fungus infections is known as Candida albicans, which is a yeast looking fungus that causes rashes. These types of infections tend to happen in areas that are warm and moist such as around the nails, fingers and toes as well as in the armpits and sometimes the groin. Common fungal infections that happen in individuals who do not have diabetes can happen in individuals who have diabetes such as jock itch and ringworm.
Skin conditions that happen as a result of diabetes include the aforementioned one. Diabetic dermopathy is when there are changes in the blood vessels of the skin that cause light brown patches. Often these are mistaken for sun spots and age spots. Necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum is a disease that causes changes in the blood vessels also and is very similar to diabetic dermopathy in appearance but is rare. Diabetics can also develop diabetic blisters that tend to show on the fingers, hands and feet and sometimes the legs. These are usually treated by bringing one’s glucose levels within a normal range. Eruptive xanthomatosis is another condition that can result from diabetes and exhibits itself in a yellow-like spot on the skin. The condition tends to happen on hands, feet, arms and the buttocks. This issue is usually seen in type 1 diabetes individuals but can occur in type 2 diabetes individuals also. Digital sclerosis can also happen in people who have diabetes. This disease typically is seen on the skin of the toes and the backs of hands and happens in about one third of type 1 diabetes sufferers.
The only known treatment is to control blood glucose levels. Acanthosis nigricans is a condition that diabetics can also get. This is usually present in diabetics who are considered to be overweight. Topical creams can be prescribed to control the skin condition, but the best recommendation by doctors of this type of skin condition is to lose weight. Most skin conditions can be treated topically if caught early. Diabetics need to be very aware of issues that can result due to the disease. Some diseases and complications regarding the skin can be alleviated or rendered harmless through proper care of the skin also
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