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Skin Problems in Diabetics: An Overview

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The following are some of the different kinds of skin problems uncontrolled diabetes could contribute to:

1. Scleroderma:
a. a rare skin condition.
b. mostly affects type 2 diabetics.
c. characterized by thickening of the skin on neck, back and upper back.
d. use of lotions and moisturizers recommended.

2. Vitiligo:
a. common in type 1 diabetics.
b. skin discoloration as a result of destroyed pigment cells.

c. shows as patches on chest, abdomen, mouth nostrils and eyes.
d. treatment includes topical steroids.

3. Acanthosis nigricans:
a. darkening and thickening of skin in the skin folds.
b. affects back of the neck, armpits, breasts and groin area.
c. mostly affects overweight people.
d. usually there is no treatment for this condition.

4. Reduced blood supply:
a. caused by atherosclerosis (narrowing of blood vessels).
b. results in hair loss from low oxygen supply, thinning of skin, thickening and discoloration of toe nails, and having cold skin, legs and feet.
c. wounds heal slowly.

5. Necrobiosis Lipoidica Diabeticorum:
a. causes lesions with changes in collagen and fat content under the skin.
b. lower parts of legs become itchy and painful.

6. Diabetic dermopathy:
a. skin spots appear.
b. shiny, round or oval lesions of skin present on the front parts of lower legs.
c. these lesions do not hurt and treatment is not needed.

7. Digital Sclerosis:
a. affects toes, fingers and hands.
b. skin becomes thick, waxy and tight.
c. finger joints become stiff.
d. best treatment is to control blood sugar levels.

8. Rashes and bumps:
a. could be the result of reactions to different foods, insect bites, medicines and infections at insulin sites.

9. Diabetic Blisters:
a. could happen on fingers, hands, toes, feet, legs, and forearms.
b. they are usually painless and heal on their own.
c. They are usually the result of constant high levels of blood sugars and diabetic neuropathy

10. Bacterial Infections:
a. most common and serious infection is staphylococcus.
b. affects eyelids, nails.
c. antibiotics are prescribed for these infections.

11. Fungal Infections:
a. also commonly known as yeast infections.
b. common in women as vaginal infections.
c. infections may also appear at the corners of mouth, and between toes and fingers.
d. they look like itchy, bright red blotches or rashes.
e. these infections appear in moist areas such as the arm pits, vagina, groin area, inside of the thighs, chest, abdomen, scalp, and nails.
f. yeast infections are generally treated with anti fungal creams and antibiotics.

The American Diabetes Association's recommendation for preventing different skin infections and conditions in diabetics include:
a. keep skin clean and dry.
b. avoid extremely hot water in shower or baths.
c. use skin moisturizers.
d. check the feet between toes and heels daily for cuts or sores.
e. wear the right kind of shoes (flat and fitted).

I for one keep all my appointments with my general physician, podiatrist and other specialists who are concerned with my health issues as a diabetic. Eating plenty of vegetables, fruits, fiber-rich foods, and lean proteins gives us enough nutrients in our diets. Exercising every day for at least half an hour helps keep up with sugar levels. Staying on a regular schedule with medications and sleeping are also important. Keeping up with different body conditions when we are diabetic is a full time job in itself but it doesn't have to be exhaustive if we just keep on track with maintaining our blood sugar because, OUR LIFE MATTERS.

ADA : "Skin Complications"

Diabetic Skin Problems, by Marcia Veach

Prevent Diabetes Problems: Keep you feet and skin healthy"

Reviewed June 17, 2011
Edited by Alison Stanton

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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