Diabetes is a disease that can impact every part of your wellbeing, including the health of your skin. Living with this disease you are more susceptible to certain common skin conditions, as well as being at risk for developing infections that only affect people with diabetes. With proper care and a healthy lifestyle, though, many of these problems can be avoided or treated.
Check out some of the skin conditions you may be at risk for:
Diabetic skin conditions
1. Acanthosis nigricans
This diabetes-related skin condition manifests itself as raised brown spots, usually appearing on the side of your neck, in your armpits, or in the groin area. According to the American Diabetes Association, this issue usually only affects people who are overweight, and typically losing weight is the best fix, though your physician can recommend ointments that may be able to improve the appearance of the dark spots.
2. Diabetic blisters
These blisters typically appear on hands, toes, fingers, feet, legs or forearms. According to Everyday Health, they are not usually painful and can heal on their own, but they can be fairly large and unsightly. If you are good at maintaining your diabetes care and keeping your blood sugar under control, you are less likely to experience them. If you have diabetic neuropathy, you may be more susceptible to these blisters.
3. Digital sclerosis
According to the ADA, this skin problem affects nearly one-third of Type 1 diabetics, but can be avoided by keeping your blood sugar at a healthy level. This disorder involves developing thick, waxy skin on the hands, and occasionally on the forehead. When digital sclerosis occurs on the hands it can stiffen finger joints, decreasing their function. Everyday Health notes that a moisturizer may help improve the skin's softness, but will not heal the condition.
General conditions diabetics are more susceptible to
1. Itchy skin
Diabetics often experience itchy skin, according to the ADA. Often times, bad circulation is the cause and the itching is primarily on the legs. People with diabetes are also more likely to experience dry skin and yeast infections, which can contribute to itchiness. Scratching may make things worse instead of better. Use moisturizing lotion. Consider bathing less often, and when you do use water that is warm, not hot, use a mild soap, and pat yourself dry with your towel instead of rubbing it across your skin.
2. Fungal infections
People with diabetes are more likely to contract common fungal infections such as ringworm and athlete's foot. According to Everyday Health, the most common skin fungus diabetics develop is Candida albicans, which causes scales and blisters to form in the armpits or between the toes. If you experience a fungal condition, make sure to alert your doctor so they can prescribe you the proper treatment.
3. Bacterial infections
Eyelid styes, boils and nail infections are fairly common among all people, but if you have diabetes, your chances of contracting them are much higher. Typically they cause red and swollen skin, and you will usually feel some pain or discomfort. Proper blood glucose maintenance and antibiotics given to you by a physician are the best ways to fix one of these infections.