Skin problems in Diabetes

Diabetes if not kept under control can lead to a plethora of problems. It effects almost all the vital organs of your body like your heart, kidney, eyes and even skin.

Skin problems that may arise due to diabetes are –

Scleroderma diabeticorum

-This is a rare skin problem that can be seen in people with type 2 diabetes. There is thickening of skin on the back of the neck extending to the upper back. This problem may not arise if your blood glucose level is well under your control. The treatment for this skin problem involves bringing under control your blood glucose and using lotions and moisturizers to help soften the skin.


-This problem can be seen in people affected with type 1 diabetes more often than type 2 diabetes. Vitiligo affects skin coloration. There are special cells in the skin that make pigment and control the skin color. These cells get destroyed and result in discolored skin. Areas around the chest, abdomen, face, mouth, eyes and nostrils can get discolored. To treat this problems doctors give you topical steroids and micropigmentation sessions. Use of sunscreen is also advised to prevent sunburn on the exposed discolored skin.

Acanthosis Nigricans

-Acanthosis Nigricans usually precedes diabetes and it is considered to be a marker for the diabetes. It may be prevalent in people who are extremely obese when there is darkening and thickening of certain areas of skins especially within the skin folds. The skin appears to be tanned or brown in certain areas with a slightly raised and velvety texture. This problem is said to be a skin manifestation of insulin resistance.

Necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum

-This skin problem is said to be caused by the changes in the collagen and fat content under the skin. It shows on the overlaying skin with its thinning and reddening. These gradually develop into lesions that can be itchy and painful. Consult your doctor if the sores get really painful or break open.

Diabetic Dermopathy

-Diabetes brings about changes in the blood vessels that supply blood to the skin due to this the skin develops shin spots. These shin spots are shiny round lesions of thin skin over the lower legs. They usually don”t hurt but can be itchy at times. To prevent this keep your blood sugars in control and treat for this is not really necessary.

Digital Sclerosis

-In this type of skin disorder the skin on your toes, fingers and hands becomes thick and tight. The treatment for this digital sclerosis is bringing your blood glucose level under control. Lotions and moisturizers will help soften the skin texture.

Eruptive Xanthomatosis

– This condition occurs when blood sugar and triglyceride levels go out of control. Due to insulin resistance it becomes very difficult for the body to get rid of fat from the blood. These problems effect the skin with the appearance of firm waxy pea-like yellow bumps on the skin. These usually occur around the face, buttocks, behind the arms and legs etc. To treat eruptive xanthomatosis you will have to decrease the amount of fats in your blood.

Bullosis Diabeticorum

-Some diabetics develop blisters around their fingers, hands, feet, legs, forearms and toes. They may resemble blisters that occur after burning. These blisters are usually painless and can heal on their own. These are often seen in diabetics who are severely affected by diabetic retinopathy.

Disseminated granuloma annulare

-In this condition arc or ring shaped areas appear. These areas are usually red, red-brown or even skin colored. These rashes can be seen around the chest and abdomen, fingers and ears. This skin problem is treated with a topical steroid medication like hydrocortisone.