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Can Diabetes Affect Your Skin?

Diabetes: Skin Conditions

Diabetes: Skin Conditions

Diabetes can affect every part of the body, including the skin. Many people with diabetes will have a skin disorder caused or affected by diabetes at some time in their lives. In some cases, skin problems can be the first sign that a person has diabetes. In some cases, people with diabetes develop skin conditions that can affect anyone. Examples of these conditions include bacterial infections, fungal infections, and itching. However, people with diabetes also are more prone to getting certain conditions. These include diabetic dermopathy, necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum, and eruptive xanthomatosis. Some common skin conditions in people with diabetes: Acanthosis nigricans This is a condition that results in the darkening and thickening of the skin. Often, areas of tan or brown skin, sometimes slightly raised, appear on the sides of the neck, the armpits, and groin. Occasionally, these darkened areas might appear on the hands, elbows, and knees. Acanthosis nigricans can affect otherwise healthy people, or it can be associated with certain medical conditions. It is frequently found in people with diabetes. Allergic reactions Allergic reactions to foods, bug bites, and medicines can cause rashes, depressions or bumps on the skin. If you think you might be having an allergic reaction to a medicine, contact your health care provider. Severe allergic reactions might require emergency treatment. It is especially important for people with diabetes to check for rashes or bumps in the areas where they inject their insulin. Atherosclerosis Atherosclerosis is the narrowing of blood vessels thickening of the vessel walls. While atherosclerosis most often is associated with blood vessels in or near the heart, it can affect blood vessels throughout the body, including those that su Continue reading >>

Does Diabetes Cause Itching?

Does Diabetes Cause Itching?

People with diabetes experience skin itching at higher rates than those without the condition. Ultimately, itching can lead to excessive scratching, which can cause discomfort and pain. A study of nearly 2,700 people with diabetes and 499 without diabetes found that itching was a common diabetes symptom. An estimated 11.3 percent of those with diabetes reported skin itching versus 2.9 percent of people without diabetes. A person with diabetes should not ignore itchy skin. Dry, irritated, or itchy skin is more likely to become infected, and someone with diabetes may not be able to fight off infections as well as someone who does not have diabetes. There are a variety of treatments available that can help to reduce diabetes-related skin itching so that a person can be more comfortable and avoid other skin complications. Causes of diabetes itching There are many reasons why a person with diabetes might experience itching more often than someone else. Sometimes itching can result from damaged nerve fibers located in the outer layers of skin. Often, the cause of diabetes-related itching is diabetic polyneuropathy or peripheral neuropathy. This condition occurs when high blood glucose levels damage nerve fibers, particularly those in the feet and hands. Before the nerve damage occurs, the body experiences high levels of cytokines. These are inflammatory substances that can lead to a person's skin itching. Sometimes, persistent itchiness may indicate that someone with diabetes is at risk of nerve damage, so the itchiness should never be ignored. Also, people with diabetes can experience associated disorders that include kidney or liver failure. These conditions may also cause itching. A person with diabetes can experience skin itching related to a new medication they are takin Continue reading >>

Type 2 Diabetes And Skin Health

Type 2 Diabetes And Skin Health

What Is Type 2 Diabetes? Skin problems are often the first visible signs of diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. Type 2 diabetes can make existing skin problems worse, and also cause new ones. Type 2 diabetes is a chronic metabolic condition that affects how your body absorbs glucose (sugar). This happens when the body either rejects insulin or doesn’t produce enough insulin to maintain a normal blood sugar level. While it’s most common in adults, some children and adolescents can be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. According to the Mayo Clinic, risk factors include being overweight, having a family history of diabetes, and inactivity. While there is no cure, patients can manage their type 2 diabetes by eating well, exercising, and (in some cases) taking medications recommended by your doctor. Monitoring your blood sugar is also important. Sometimes even maintaining a healthy weight isn’t enough to manage this condition. In some cases, your doctor will determine that medication intervention is needed. Common treatments for type 2 diabetes include: insulin therapy (insulin “shots,” usually reserved for those who don’t do well with oral medications) sulfonylureas (medications that stimulate your pancreas to secrete more insulin) metformin (widely prescribed drug which increases the body’s sensitivity to insulin) DPP-4 inhibitors (medications which reduce blood sugar levels) Causes of Diabetes-Related Skin Problems Long-term type 2 diabetes with hyperglycemia (high blood glucose) tends to reduce blood flow to the skin. It can also cause damage to blood vessels and nerves. Decreased blood circulation can lead to changes in the skin’s collagen. This changes the skin’s texture, appearance, and ability to heal. Damage to the skin cells can Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Your Skin

Diabetes And Your Skin

Want another reason to get your blood sugar levels under control and keep them that way? Doing so can help you avoid many diabetes skin problems. Still, skin conditions related to this disease are common. As many as 1 out of 3 people with diabetes will have one. Fortunately, most can be or successfully treated before they turn into a serious problem. The key is to catch them early. Common Skin Conditions Linked to Diabetes Itching skin, also called pruritus, can have many causes, such as dry skin, poor blood flow, or a yeast infection. When itching is caused by poor blood flow, you’ll likely feel it in your lower legs and feet. Lotion can help to keep your skin soft and moist, and prevent itching due to dry skin. Bacterial infections: Staphylococcus skin infections are more common and more serious in people with poorly controlled diabetes. When hair follicles are irritated, these bacteria can cause boils or an inflamed bump. Other infections include: Styes, which are infections of the eyelid glands Nail infections Most bacterial infections need to be treated with antibiotic pills. Talk with your doctor. Fungal infections: Warm, moist folds of the skin are the perfect breeding ground for these infections. Three common fungal infections are: Jock itch (red, itchy area on the genitals and the inside of the thighs) Athlete's foot (affects the skin between the toes) Ringworm (ring-shaped, scaly patches that can itch or blister and appear on the feet, groin, chest, stomach, scalp, or nails). A yeast-like fungus called "Candida albicans" causes many of the fungal infections that happen to people with diabetes. Women are likely to get this in their vaginas. People also tend to get this infection on the corners of their mouth. It feels like small cuts and is called "angular ch Continue reading >>

Diabetic Skin Problems And Diabetes Rash [and How To Treat Them]

Diabetic Skin Problems And Diabetes Rash [and How To Treat Them]

Skin complications in diabetic patients are extremely common. They may even be the primary reason for the diagnosis determination. About 33% of diabetics will have skin changes caused or complicated by diabetes during their lives. Some of these changes may occur in people who are not affected by diabetes but are much more common in those with diabetes mellitus. Such conditions provoke itching, fungal and bacterial infections. There are other characteristic conditions of diabetes only. Typical skin changes for diabetes patients Diabetic dermatopathy The condition is also known as “shin spots”. Diabetic dermatopathy is the most common skin pathology in diabetes mellitus and is considered to be a pathologic sign of diabetes. It is presented with small round or oval brown spots on the skin, which are very similar to the age spots. Usually, they are found on the front surface of the legs, the affected areas are often asymmetrical. These spots do not cause itching or pain. Generally, they do not require therapy. They are due to changes in the small blood vessels of the skin – diabetic microangiopathy. It is a skin disease that is often, but not always, associated with diabetes mellitus. Due to the strong relationship between diabetes and this particular disease, many studies have focused on diabetic microangiopathy as the leading etiological factor. Clinically, necrobiosis lipoid is characterized by one or several soft yellowish-brown plaques that slowly develop in the anterior surface of the lower legs for several months. They can continue to exist for years. Some patients also have lesions on the chest, upper limbs and torso. The lesion begins as brown-red or body-colored papules that slowly develop into a “wax” plaque of varying size. The slightly raised border r Continue reading >>

Diabetic Skin Care

Diabetic Skin Care

Since diabetes is a disease that has to do with the level of glucose in your blood, you might be wondering how that can affect your skin. Your skin's health is actually related in two ways to the amount of glucose you have in your blood. First, when you have high levels of blood sugar -- or too much glucose in your bloodstream -- your body tries to remove the excess by excreting it in your urine. It takes water to make urine, which leads to a loss of moisture in your body. With this loss of fluid comes a loss of moisture in your skin, leaving it dry and easily prone to cracking. Cracks in your skin invite infection because they make it easier for germs to get in. This is where the second effect of having high blood sugar comes in. Glucose in your bloodstream provides an environment for bacteria to multiply [source: Cleveland Clinic]. An increased number of pathogens can cause infections, or worsen them if they already exist. This can be especially problematic for areas of your skin that don't always have exposure to air, such as your feet. In addition to water loss, high blood sugar also causes a reduced blood supply to the skin, which can result in a number of different disorders. For example, diabetic neuropathy, or nerve damage, is a common condition associated with diabetes, and it can contribute to skin problems by making it difficult to feel pain and notice infections, especially in places such as your feet [source: Cleveland Clinic]. Nerve damage can also cause you to sweat less, meaning more dry skin. However, if you have diabetes, dryness may be the least of your skin care worries. Continue to the next page to find out about some of the other skin conditions that go along with diabetes. Many of the skin conditions associated with diabetes can affect anyone, but Continue reading >>

Diabetes: 12 Warning Signs That Appear On Your Skin

Diabetes: 12 Warning Signs That Appear On Your Skin

Diabetes can affect many parts of your body, including your skin. When diabetes affects the skin, it’s often a sign that your blood sugar (glucose) levels are too high. This could mean that: You have undiagnosed diabetes, or pre-diabetes Your treatment for diabetes needs to be adjusted If you notice any of the following warning signs on your skin, it’s time to talk with your doctor. This skin condition often begins as small raised solid bumps that look like pimples. As it progresses, these bumps turn into patches of swollen and hard skin. The patches can be yellow, reddish, or brown. You may also notice: The surrounding skin has a shiny porcelain-like appearance You can see blood vessels The skin is itchy and painful The skin disease goes through cycles where it is active, inactive, and then active again The medical name for this condition is necrobiosis lipodica (neck-row-by-oh-sis lee-poi-dee-ka). TAKE ACTION Get tested for diabetes if you have not been diagnosed. Work with your doctor to better control your diabetes. See a dermatologist about your skin. Necorbiosis lipodica is harmless, but it can lead to complications. A dark patch (or band) of velvety skin on the back of your neck, armpit, groin, or elsewhere could mean that you have too much insulin in your blood. AN is often a sign of prediabetes. The medical name for this skin condition is acanthosis nigricans (ay-can-THOE-sis NIE-gri-cans). TAKE ACTION: Get tested for diabetes. 3. Hard, thickening skin When this develops on the fingers, toes, or both, the medical name for this condition is digital sclerosis (sclear-row-sis). On the hands, you’ll notice tight, waxy skin on the backs of your hands. The fingers can become stiff and difficult to move. If diabetes has been poorly controlled for years, it can f Continue reading >>

Say Goodbye To Dry Skin

Say Goodbye To Dry Skin

Say Goodbye to Dry Skin Everyone gets dry skin from time to time. But for people with diabetes, it can be a chronic problem if your blood glucose levels are regularly high. High blood glucose causes the body to lose fluids at a faster rate. Skin can also become dry when nerves are damaged from years of diabetes and don't get the message to sweat. For people with diabetes, dry skin can become more than an irritation -- it can be dangerous. When skin is dry, it sloughs off easier, and often the outer layer is lost. This outer layer is your skin's first defense against bacteria and acts as a barrier. And because bacteria feed on glucose, people with diabetes whose blood glucose isn't in control have a higher risk of bacterial infection -- the bacteria are literally on a feeding frenzy in the higher glucose levels. That's why even the tiniest cut can become a major infection when your glucose levels are regularly high. Experts say it's vital to keep a close eye on your skin. If you identify a cut, scratch, or burn early, it's possible to avoid major complications such as an amputation. "Don't wait! Even if a skin condition appears to be minor, see your doctor," says Fran Cook-Bolden, M.D., clinical professor of dermatology at Columbia University in New York City. Signs of Skin Problems Many skin conditions associated with high blood glucose levels cause changes in your skin's color, texture, or pigmentation. Watch for: Dull red raised areas. Light brown scaly patches, rashes, and depressions or bumps at injection sites if you take insulin. Dry skin. Skin on your legs that becomes hairless, thin, cool, and shiny (signs of thickening arteries and poor circulation). Moist, red itchy areas surrounded by tiny blisters and scales (sign of fungal infection). Controlled Glucose Mea Continue reading >>

Skin Conditions And Diabetes: What You Need To Know

Skin Conditions And Diabetes: What You Need To Know

Everyone knows about the major long- and short-term complications of diabetes. But what many newly-diagnosed patients might not realize, is that skin conditions often come with having diabetes. My first exposure to skin conditions was a fungal infection. I can remember saying to the trainer that I could not have a fungal infection because my A1c was 6%. A specific over-the-counter anti-fungal ointment stopped the fungal infection process, and now I travel with this small tube just in case. I use it in the summer when I'm in the water and I develop itchy skin on my upper shoulder always in the same place. It's gone, and I'm happy. First, we want you to know that people who do not have diabetes get these skin conditions also, but as with many other complications, we tend to get them more often. About one-third of people with diabetes will have a skin disorder caused or affected by diabetes at some time. In fact, doctors report noting the presence of skin disorders before they diagnose diabetes. Second, if you think you have one of the skin conditions outlined in this article, please see your physician right away. Don't wait. Finally, we end this article with some easy ways to protect your skin when you have diabetes (either type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes). Skin Conditions that Can Affect People with Diabetes Bacterial Infections: People with diabetes appear to suffer more bacterial infections than the general population. There are several kinds of infections that can affect those of us with diabetes. One is a sty, which is an infection of the glands of the eyelids. A second type is a boil, which are infections of the hair follicles. Carbuncles are deep infections of the skin and the tissue underneath. Infections can also occur around the nails. We all know bacterial i Continue reading >>

How Diabetes Affects The Skin

How Diabetes Affects The Skin

They say beauty is only skin deep. But dark patches, blisters, and blemishes often indicate a problem that reaches far beneath the surface. Skin problems may alert your doctor to the fact that you have diabetes before you have any other signs. And after you’re diagnosed with diabetes, continued skin problems may mean your condition isn’t under control. Fortunately, you can prevent many diabetes-related skin problems by keeping your blood sugar in check. Inspect the entire area of your skin regularly, and report any changes or concerns to your doctor right away. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes may seem similar, but they’re actually very different diseases. Dr. Anthony Cardillo discusses the development and treatment of the two conditions. 2017 Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the Healthgrades User Agreement. Dryness Starts a Harmful Cycle Diabetes makes people more prone to dry and itchy skin or infections. High blood sugar decreases the amount of fluid your body holds, leaving your skin parched and prickly. Nerve damage can also stifle your sweat response. As a result, your skin loses natural softness and moisture. You may notice dry skin first on your legs, feet, and elbows, but it can occur anywhere on your body. Scratching can produce cracks, creating a way for bacteria and other germs to enter. Bacteria and fungi can also invade the glands of your eyelids, your hair follicles, the area around your nails, the spaces between your fingers and toes, and your armpits or groin, among other sites. Harmful infections receive sustenance from blood sugar. Diabetics have generally weaker immune systems, making them les Continue reading >>

Good Skin Care And Diabetes

Good Skin Care And Diabetes

People with diabetes are prone to dry skin, particularly when blood glucose levels run high. This causes the body to lose fluids and skin to become dry. Dry skin can crack and itch, which can lead to infections. You may also get dry skin with diabetes if you have neuropathy. The nerves in the legs and feet may not get the message to sweat, which is necessary to keep skin soft and moist. Keeping your skin moisturized when you have diabetes is one of the easiest ways to prevent skin problems. Here are some other ways you can prevent skin problems with diabetes: After you wash with a mild soap, rinse and dry thoroughly in every nook and cranny of your body. Use a moisturizer, but not between your toes. Avoid very hot baths and showers, which can dry your skin. “Avoid soaking your feet too,” says Andrea Penney, RN, CDE, at Joslin Diabetes Center. “Extended exposure to water softens the feet and makes your skin more prone to being pierced.” Inspect your body for red spots, blisters and sores that could lead to infection. Look for any bumps or changes in appearance on your feet and have your doctor look at your feet at least twice a year during your physical. Treat cuts right away. Wash minor cuts with soap and water. Keep your blood glucose levels as close to normal as possible. Control blood pressure and cholesterol by taking prescribed medications, which will improve circulation and keep your skin healthy. Drink plenty of fluids, like water and caffeine-free, sugar-free drinks, to keep your skin hydrated. Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which nourish the skin. This includes fish like salmon, sardines, albacore tuna and mackerel, as well as tofu and other forms of soybeans, walnuts, flaxseed and their oils. If you notice any skin problems, let your health car Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Your Skin

Diabetes And Your Skin

Protecting Your Outermost Layer The phrase “feeling comfortable in your own skin” is usually used figuratively to describe a level of self-confidence or self-acceptance. But when your skin itches, hurts, flakes, breaks out, changes color, or just doesn’t look or feel the way you’d like it to, the phrase can take on a new, very literal meaning. Diabetes can affect the skin in a number of ways that can make a person feel less than comfortable. In fact, as many as a third of people with diabetes will have a skin condition at some point in their lifetime. While some conditions may appear uniquely in people with diabetes, others are simply more common in people with diabetes. The good news is that a fair number of these conditions are treatable or can be prevented by maintaining blood glucose control and taking good daily care of your skin. Dry, itchy skin Dry skin can occur as a result of high blood glucose. When the blood glucose level is high, the body attempts to remove excess glucose from the blood by increasing urination. This loss of fluid from the body causes the skin to become dry. Dry skin can also be caused by neuropathy (damage to the nerves) by affecting the nerves that control the sweat glands. In these cases, neuropathy causes a decrease or absence of sweating that may lead to dry, cracked skin. Cold, dry air and bathing in hot water can aggravate dry skin. Dryness commonly leads to other skin problems such as itching (and often scratching), cracking, and peeling. Any small breaks in the skin leave it more exposed to injury and infection. It is therefore important to keep skin well moisturized. The best way to moisturize is to apply lotion or cream right after showering and patting the skin dry. This will seal in droplets of water that are present on t Continue reading >>

Type 2 Diabetes And Skin Health: Conditions And Treatment

Type 2 Diabetes And Skin Health: Conditions And Treatment

Skin complications usually occur when blood sugar levels are too high, and they are often the first visible sign of diabetes. An estimated one-third of people with diabetes experience skin conditions either related to or influenced by the condition. Medication options exist, but managing blood sugars is normally the best prevention and treatment option. How does type 2 diabetes affect skin health? When blood sugar levels are too high for too long, several changes take place in the body that affect skin health. Blood sugar is removed from the body through the urine. When there is excess blood sugar, the rate of urination increases, which can cause dehydration and dry skin. High blood sugar levels can also lead to inflammation, which over time dulls or overstimulates the immune response. High blood sugar levels can also cause nerve and blood vessel damage, reducing circulation. Poor blood flow can alter the skin's structure, especially its collagen. Without healthy collagen networks, the skin can become stiff and in some cases brittle. Collagen is also necessary for proper wound healing. Skin conditions associated with type 2 diabetes Several skin conditions are associated with high or uncontrolled blood sugar levels. While most skin complications associated with diabetes are harmless, the symptoms of some can be painful, persistent, and they may require medical attention. The best and easiest treatment option for most diabetes-related skin conditions is managing blood sugar levels. In severe cases, however, oral steroids or medicated creams may be used. Common skin conditions associated with type 2 diabetes include the following: Acanthosis nigricans This condition is marked by a darkened band of velvety skin, especially in the folds near the groin, back of the neck, or Continue reading >>

Common Skin Conditions For People With Type 2 Diabetes

Common Skin Conditions For People With Type 2 Diabetes

Common skin conditions for people with type 2 diabetes People with diabetes are at an increased risk of developing skin problems , or from complications of skin problems that have not been spotted soon enough, often because of reduced skin sensation. Most skin conditions can be prevented and successfully treated if caught early. However, if not cared for properly, a minor skin condition in a person with diabetes can turn into a serious problem with potentially severe consequences. Scleroderma diabeticorum : This condition causes a thickening of the skin on the back of the neck and upper back. This condition is rare but can affect people with type 2 diabetes . The treatment involves bringing your blood glucose level under control. Lotions and moisturisers may help soften the skin. Diabetic dermopathy: Also called shin spots, this condition develops as a result of changes to the blood vessels that supply the skin. Dermopathy appears as a shiny round or oval lesion of thin skin over the front lower parts of the lower legs. The patches do not hurt, although rarely they can be itchy or cause burning. Treatment is usually not necessary. Diabetic blisters (bullosis diabeticorum): In rare cases, people with diabetes develop blisters that resemble burn blisters. These blisters can occur on the fingers, hands, toes , feet , legs or forearms. Diabetic blisters are usually painless and heal on their own. They often occur in people who have severe diabetes and diabetic neuropathy . Bringing your blood glucose level under control is the treatment for this condition. Disseminated granuloma annulare : This condition causes sharply defined, ring or arc-shaped areas on the skin. These rashes most often occur on the fingers and ears , but they can occur on the chest and abdomen . The ras Continue reading >>

Does Diabetes Make You Itch?

Does Diabetes Make You Itch?

Diabetes can affect your skin in itchy ways. It can change your nervous system to sense itching you otherwise wouldn’t. How does this happen, and what can you do about it? Itching should not be ignored. It can lead to excessive scratching, which can cause discomfort, pain, and infection. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), the higher-than-normal blood sugar levels common in diabetes promote skin infections. The causes can be ordinary fungi, yeast, or bacterial rashes like anyone can get. Some other skin diseases only happen to people with diabetes or happen mostly to people with diabetes. These tend to have long names such as diabetic dermopathy and eruptive xanthomatosis. WebMD says as many as one out of three people with diabetes will have some kind of skin condition. Diabetes increases skin dryness and damages circulation. “Localized itching can be caused by a yeast infection, dry skin, or poor circulation,” says WebMD. “When itching is caused by poor blood flow, you’ll likely feel it in your lower legs and feet.” Genital itching Diabetes can itch more than your skin. Diabetes.co.uk highlights genital yeast infections as a major problem in diabetes. This is because high glucose levels “provide ideal conditions for naturally present yeast to grow and diminishes the body’s ability to fight infection.” Diabetes can also deposit glucose in the urine, helping yeast to grow. Other causes of genital itching include lice, scabies, herpes, various skin diseases, chemical irritants, and allergies. These can affect anyone, but may be felt more strongly in people with diabetes. According to an article on Everyday Health, “diabetes affects the nervous system and alters the perception of sensation in the body.” A piece by Rachel Nall, RN, BS Continue reading >>

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