Diabetes and Skin Conditions

Diabetes and Skin Conditions

People with diabetes can develop all sorts of complications. One of them is skin problems. About 1/3 of people with diabetes have problems with their skin. This is because high blood glucose levels causes dehydration of the body, including the skin. For people with diabetes, a tiny cut, rash or bruises can develop in something worse when not taken care of properly.


Vitiligo is a skin condition that usually affects people with type 1 diabetes. In this condition, the skin pigment is destroyed and, as a result, there are a number of patches around the skin. These patches are usually located in the area near the chest, mouth, nostrils, abdomen and eyes.

Digital Sclerosis

Another condition that affects people with type 1 diabetes, digital sclerosis, affects the toes, hands and fingers. These become thick and the joints (of the finger) may feel stiffer. The condition is linked to a high level of blood glucose. It can be treated with lotions and moisturizers.

Diabetic Dermopathy

Also referred to as shin spots, diabetic demopathy emerges as a result of changes in the blood vessels. It is a condition where lesions of thin skin cover the bottom part of the lower legs. These lesions are patches which are itchy but are not painful. The condition affects people with type 2 diabetes.

Disseminated Granuloma Annulare

Another condition that affects people with type 2 diabetes is disseminated granuloma annulare. This is a condition where rashes develop on the fingers, hands and feet. These rashes are of a different color to one’s skin tone –usually red or reddish-brown. It is not a serious condition that requires much treatment.

Preventing skin conditions

The best way to prevent diabetic skin conditions is monitoring blood glucose levels and making sure these do not get too high. Furthermore, it is important to take good care of your skin. This means keeping it clean using a mild washing product and applying a moisturizer or lotion afterwards, preferably every day.