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– Diabetic Wounds And Other Warning Signs That Appear On The Skin

Diabetes affects many parts of the body, including the nerves, heart, brain, kidneys and skin. Healthy people experience similar skin problems, but those with diabetes are at a higher risk.

From blisters and diabetic wounds to dry skin and reddish or brown patches, there are numerous warning signs you could be suffering from a diabetes-related skin problem, a possible indication that blood glucose levels are too high.

This could mean you have undiagnosed diabetes (often, skin problems are the first sign someone has diabetes) or that your current treatment for diabetes needs to be adjusted.

Fortunately, most skin problems can be treated successfully before they turn into serious issues. The key is to be able to recognize the warning signs to catch them early on. Here are nine to look out for.

Skin Infections

Anyone can get bacterial and fungal infections, but people with diabetes are more prone to them. Bacterial skin problems can include boils, nail infections and carbuncles. Fungal infections common to people with diabetes include ringworm, athlete's foot and Candida Albicans, a yeast-like fungus found between the toes and other warm, moist areas such as armpits.


Although rare, people with diabetes may see blisters suddenly appear on their skin. They occur on the feet, arms, legs and forearms. Most of the time, they're painless and will usually disappear on their own after a few weeks.

Diabetic Wounds

High blood glucose levels can lead to poor circulation and nerve damage, making it difficult for the body to heal wounds, especially on the feet.

Small, Reddish-Yellow Bumps

These bumps or pimples can form anywhere on the skin but are typically found on the thighs, backs of knees and buttocks. The condition appears when diabetes is uncontrolled.

Digital Sclerosis

Thickened and tightened waxy skin that develops on the back of the hands. Digital sclerosis is often painless but can cause stiffness in the finger joints.

Acanthosis Nigricans

A skin condition that causes a dark, velvety discoloration in body folds and creases. It usually develops in people with diabetes who are overweight.

Shin Spots

Round, scaly patches on the skin of the shin that are usually reddish or light brown in color. The medical name is diabetic dermopathy, and it's one of the most common skin conditions among people with diabetes. The exact cause is unknown, but some medical experts think it's the result of changes in the small blood vessels supplying the skin and minor leakage of blood products from these vessels.

Yellow, Scaly Patches Around The Eyelids

These are yellow cholesterol deposits on or around the eyelids and, although neither harmful nor painful, could indicate uncontrolled diabetes. The medical term is xanthelasma, and it may be due to having high cholesterol levels in the blood. The spots do not go away on their own, either staying the same size or growing larger.

Skin Tags

Skin tags are small, soft, skin-colored growths that vary in size, from a few millimeters to around 5 centimeters wide. They are usually found around the groin, neck, armpits or under the breast and are made of loose collagen fibers and blood vessels surrounded by skin. While skin tags are not contagious and don't cause any pain or discomfort, they may be a sign of type 2 diabetes or having too much insulin in your blood.

Looking After Your Skin

You can do several things to promote healthy skin when living with diabetes.

Here at The Midwest Institute for Non-Surgical Therapy, Dr Goke Akinwande and his friendly team specialize in treating skin problems such as diabetic wounds and can advise you on how best to protect your skin. For more information, call MINT today or book an appointment online at one of our 5 clinics, including the latest addition in Chicago, IL. and take an important step toward enjoying healthy skin.



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