Diabetes affects every single part of the body. This includes the skin as well. Skin problems may at times be the very first signs of diabetes. Most skin conditions can be easily treated or even prevented if caught early.
Skin Conditions Related To Diabetes
Acanthosis nigricans is a condition in which the skin appears to have a tan or brown raised areas that appear on the sides of the armpit, neck or groin. Acanthosis nigricans may also occur on the knees, elbows and hands. People who are overweight are more susceptible to this condition. Weight loss may help alleviate the symptoms of this condition. Some creams can also help lighten the spots.
Allergic skin reactions may appear as a result of a response to certain medicines. You must tell the doctor if you feel that you are having a reaction because of a medicine. Watch out for signs of rashes, bumps or depression at the sites where you inject insulin.
Diabetes may cause changes in small blood vessels. This can lead to a skin problem called diabetic dermopathy. Dermopathy appear like light brown, scaly patches on the skin. These patched may be circular or oval. They are sometimes mistaken for age spots. These patches do not hurt or itch.
Even though it’s rare, people with diabetes may erupt in blisters. Diabetic blisters can appear on the backs of fingers, toes, feet, hands and sometimes on forearms or legs. Diabetic blisters look similar to burn blisters and are often observed in people who have diabetic neuropathy. They are mostly painless and don’t seem to have signs of redness around them. They heal on their own, usually without leaving behind a scar, in about three weeks. Treatment involves bringing blood sugar levels under control.
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Good Skin Care
There are several things you could do to avoid skin problems:
1. Manage your diabetes well. People with high blood sugar levels mostly have dry skin and have a decreased ability to fight off harmful bacteria.
2. Keep your skin clean and dry. Use talcum powder in areas where the skin rubs frequently such as the groin and armpits.
3. Avoid very hot water baths and showers.
4. Prevent dry skin. Moisturize the skin to avoid chapping, especially during the cold season.
5. Do not ignore cuts. Wash minor cuts with a mild soap and water. See a doctor if you get a major cut, infection or burn.
6. Take good care of your feet. Examine your feet everyday for sores and cuts. Wear comfortable footwear. Do not forget to check your shoes for foreign objects before wearing them.
7. Visit a dermatologist (skin doctor) if your skin problems still persist.
Medical writer at a Leading Healthcare and Medical Marketing Firm. Dr. Jonathan D’Souza is also the author of the book “Outsmart Diabetes”. Check out his blog “Medical Mantra”, a pharma blog with a difference.
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