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Diabetic Skin Problems On Legs

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What Other Skin Conditions Are Caused By Diabetes

12 Diabetic Skin Problems & Top Signs of Diabetes on The Skin!

Diabetes can also cause a number of other skin conditions including:

  • Diabetic blisters : These blisters look like burn blisters, are rare and occur on your extremities
  • Acanthosis nigricans: Often this condition is a sign that you have diabetes or insulin resistance and causes a thickening of the skin which can darken in color with the most common locations being in the armpits, groin, under the breasts, and on the back of the neck
  • Eruptive xanthomatosis: This condition is characterized by yellow, greasy, raised bumps that contain cholesterol and can occur with diabetes or high levels of triglycerides in your blood and cause itchy skin
  • Digital sclerosis: Diabetes can cause thick, waxy skin to tighten around your joints, most commonly seen in the fingers, that can cause your finger joints to hurt

Diabetes Rash: What Does It Look Like

Diabetes can cause skin conditions and rashes. In some cases, they can be a first sign of the metabolic disorder. In addition to causing new skin problems, type 2 diabetes can also worsen existing issues.

In this article, well discuss what diabetes skin rashes can look like, causes, how to treat them, and the connection with bacterial and fungal infections. Well also discuss lifestyle changes and how to know when you should see a medical provider.

Diabetes And Skin Conditions: Why Are There Red Spots On My Legs

HomeDisease – Diabetes and Skin Conditions: Why are There Red Spots on My Legs?

Diabetes, also called diabetes mellitus, is a chronic condition that affects your blood sugar level and can cause serious medical problems if left untreated.

There are a variety of skin conditions that you can suffer from due to diabetes, some with different treatments.

In this article, we will discuss diabetes and skin conditions, including what you need to know about diabetes and red spots on your legs.

We will also discuss how to treat and prevent these conditions and inform you of other skin conditions that can happen when you have diabetes.

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Why Does Diabetes Cause Skin Problems

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disorder that impacts how the body uses blood glucose and how it responds to insulin. Diabetes can lead to skin problems because it can lead to changes in small blood vessels that are near the surface of the skin.

When blood sugar levels are not controlled, diabetes can also cause skin-related symptoms as cells throughout the body may not be able to repair as quickly due to poor nutrient transfer. Diabetes can also worsen blood circulation, which can make wounds or skin injuries take longer to heal.

Bacterial And Fungal Infections

blood clots in leg

High glucose levels can put you at risk for developing infections. Although bacteria and fungi are usually recognized and stopped by the immune system, when , the immune system doesn’t work as well, Dr. Siegel explained.

When the immune system doesnt work properly, small issues can grow into larger ones. What could be a simple folliculitis inflammation of the skin could then turn into more of a bacterial abscess, or a swollen lump of pus, said Dr. Siegel.

Your body may also have a harder time healing from an infection, Dr. Siegel stated: Hyperglycemia definitely can worsen a pre-existing infection in terms of its ability to heal up.

Generally, you can tell if you have an infection because the affected area will be hot, painful, and swollen. The following are infections that people with diabetes may experience:

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What Skin Lightening Treatments Should I Avoid

Some skin lightening products can come with serious side effects. If a skin lightening cream contains mercury, it could damage your kidneys or nerves.

Always ask your dermatologist for recommendations before using a new skin care product. When buying skin care products, look for ingredients that could indicate mercury, including:

  • Ingredients that contain the words mercury or mercuric.

Type Of Diabetic Skin Conditions

Bacterial infections

Diabetics most commonly suffer from bacterial infections including:

Inflamed tissues are generally red, hot, bloated, and aching. Numerous bacteria can cause such infections, the most common being Staphylococcus. Most bacterial infections need antibiotic treatment in the form of pills and/or creams.

Diabetics are more prone to bacterial infections than other people according to research. People with diabetes can lower down their probability of skin infections if they take care of their skin and follow a good skincare routine. It is a must to visit a doctor if any diabetic person notices such infections.

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What Are The Best Ways To Control Your Diabetic Foot Ankle And Leg Problems

Besides this, other preventative measures you can take to keep your legs and feet healthy are:

  • Check your feet every day for cuts, sores, blisters, redness, or swelling
  • Wash your feet every day with warm water and mild soap
  • Dry your feet well, especially between your toes
  • Apply moisturizing cream daily to your feet and any dry skin after washing and drying
  • Trim your toenails regularly straight across and file down any sharp edges to avoid ingrown toenails
  • Wear shoes that fit well and protect your feet
  • Never go barefoot, even inside your house
  • See your doctor or podiatrist regularly and schedule foot exams, especially if you have any foot problems
  • Do not expose your feet to very high or very low temperatures
  • Wear socks or stockings always
  • Smooth corns or calluses with a pumice stone

If you are experiencing any diabetic foot, ankle, or leg problems, the best thing to do is to see your doctor right away as early treatment can help prevent serious complications from developing.

What Are Liver Spots


Liver spots are patches of darker skin. They vary in size from about a tenth of an inch to half an inch across. They often show up on skin areas that have sun exposure, such as your face, hands or arms.

Although they are called liver spots, these skin patches have nothing to do with your liver except for having a similar color, which may be tan to dark brown. Other names for liver spots include age spots, sun spots and solar lentigines .

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How Are Solar Lentigines Treated

You usually dont need treatment for solar lentigines. But you may want to lighten their appearance for cosmetic reasons.

Liver spot treatment might include:

  • Topicals: You may use over-the-counter or prescription creams, lotions or gels to lighten the skin. Common options include hydroquinone , corticosteroids or retinoids .
  • Chemical peels: This treatment uses a chemical solution to safely remove your outer skin layer. Your dermatologist may recommend chemical peels along with microdermabrasion or cryotherapy for maximum results.
  • Cryotherapy: Your dermatologist freezes age spots to damage the melanin-producing cells. Cryotherapy works quickly, but it may be uncomfortable.
  • Dermabrasion: Your dermatologist uses an exfoliating agent such as a device or scrub to smooth age spots away. Dermabrasion takes longer to see results, but it works. One study found that for 2 in 5 patients who had the treatment twice a week for 16 weeks, sun spots disappeared.
  • Laser resurfacing: Lasers can destroy melanin-producing cells or safely remove your top layer of skin. Many people only need one or two laser therapy sessions to get rid of dark spots.

Know How To Prevent Diabetes Rashes

Even when they arent more than an inconvenience, diabetes rashes can lead to complications down the line. The most effective way of treating these rashes is prevention since they are often caused by high blood sugar, controlling your glucose levels can help. In addition to that, you can:

  • Do a daily skin check for rashes and other skin problems
  • Use moisturizing soap and warm water in the shower
  • Avoid baths soaking in a tub can dry your skin out
  • Pat your skin down with a towel after showering to dry off
  • Applying fragrance-free moisturizers to your skin after a shower
  • Drink fluids regularly to stay hydrated
  • Add moisture to the air in your home with a humidifier

Are you looking for more help when it comes to managing diabetes symptoms? Take a look at the other articles featured on US MEDs blog to get started. Along with that, you can make diabetes management easier by ordering continuous glucose monitors, insulin pumps, testing supplies, and more on our online store!

Medical Review by Shirley DeLeon, Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist

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How Diabetes Affects Skin

Diabetes can have an impact on the health of skin in multiple ways. High blood glucose levels are behind most of the skin problems caused by diabetes. Too much sugar in the blood prompts the body to pull fluid from cells in order to produce enough urine to remove the sugar, which in turn makes skin dry .

Dry, red, and irritated skin also can result from damage to nerves , particularly nerves in the legs and feet. Damaged nerves may not get the message to perspire, and perspiration helps to keep skin moist and soft.

In turn, when skin is overly dry, it can crack, peel and become itchy. Scratching it can create small openings in the skin. These openings provide easy access for infectious organisms to get under the skin, where excess sugar in the blood provides a fertile breeding ground for them to proliferate.

Beyond dryness and infections are an array of other skin problems associated with diabetes.

Yellowish Scaly Patches On And Around Your Eyelids

Diabetes Leg Rash

These develop when you have high fat levels in your blood. It can also be a sign that your diabetes is poorly controlled.The medical name for this condition is xanthelasma.

Take action
  • Tell your doctor about the yellowish scaly patches around your eyes.
  • Talk with your doctor about how to better control your diabetes. Controlling diabetes can clear the scaly patches.

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Diabetic Blisters May Heal On Their Own

Its rare, but sometimes people with diabetes erupt in blisters . The blisters occur on the backs of fingers, hands, toes, feet, and sometimes on the legs or forearms. These skin sores resemble burn blisters. Having diabetic neuropathy puts you at higher risk of developing these blisters. Heres the good news: They are usually painless and heal on their own in a few weeks. Keeping blood glucose under control is the only treatment for this diabetes skin problem.

Who Does Granuloma Annulare Affect

Granuloma annulare most commonly affects children and young adults, though it may affect people of all ages. It affects women and people assigned female at birth twice as much as men and people assigned male at birth.

You may be more likely to have granuloma annulare if you have diabetes, especially Type 1 insulin-dependent diabetes.

You may also be more likely to have granuloma annulare if you have a thyroid disease, including thyroiditis, hypothyroidism and thyroid adenoma.

If a healthcare provider diagnoses you with granuloma annulare particularly generalized granuloma annulare ask them if screening for other conditions sometimes seen in people with granuloma annulare is right for you.

Perforating granuloma annulare is more common in Hawaii.

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Are There Any Home Remedies For Granuloma Annulare

Theres very little research on whether home remedies can help treat granuloma annulare. However, proper skin care can help improve your skins overall health.

The following can help improve your skins overall health:

  • Use a humidifier.
  • Use a mild soap for your bath or shower.
  • Take baths or showers with lukewarm water, not hot water.
  • Apply a moisturizing cream or ointment immediately after drying your skin to help seal in the moisture.
  • Avoid itchy clothing, such as wool.

How Do You Get Rid Of Granuloma Annulare

Doctor explains 12 SKIN CONDITIONS associated with DIABETES

For most people, granuloma annulare goes away on its own without treatment. It usually disappears completely within two years. However, in some people, the rash can come back later.

If granuloma annulare causes large areas of rash on your skin or deep, large lumps under your skin, your healthcare provider may recommend treatment.

The purpose of treatment is to help control itching or pain. Treatments may speed up the time it takes for your rash to fade.

Treatment options include:

For some people, granuloma annulare is challenging to treat. You may need to try several therapies before finding what works best for you.

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How Can I Prevent A Blister

You have several options for preventing blisters. Most involve preparation and caution. Preventing blisters depends on the type of blister:

Friction blisters: Friction blisters result from repeated rubbing. To prevent them:

  • Make sure your shoes fit well and do not rub.
  • Break in new shoes before wearing them for extended periods.
  • Wear gloves to protect your hands if you plan on doing a lot of manual labor.
  • Wear properly fitting clothes to prevent chafing that can lead to blisters on other parts of your body.

Blood blisters: These blisters usually develop when something pinches part of your skin. They typically happen on the hands. Its harder to prevent them, but take these steps:

  • Stay alert when using tools or things that can pinch.
  • Wear gloves when working with pruners, strong pliers or in other tight situations.

Heat blisters: Heat blisters can result from a burn or when your skin gets too hot as you recover from frostbite. To prevent them:

  • Use sunscreen if you plan to be in the sun for an extended period.
  • Be extra careful when handling hot items or working around a fire.
  • Wear weather-appropriate clothing to avoid frostbite. If your skin gets frostbitten, slowly raise your body temperature using lukewarm water.

How Diabetes Affects Skin Structure

The role of the epidermis is to protect the body from dehydration, disease and harmful substances. It is these layers of skin that are most affected by Type 2 Diabetes.Underneath the epidermis lies the dermis. The dermal layers of skin are home to the blood vessels, nerves, sweat and sebaceous glands. If high blood glucose levels damage the dermis the skin is put under all sorts of additional stress besides the biological skin ageing and environmental irritants it is already subjected to.

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Prediabetes Symptoms Causes Treatment Options

Prediabetes is a condition that affects millions of people in the United States and it is defined as having a blood sugar level that is higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. When you have prediabetes, it often leads to type 2 diabetes if it is not treated. In this article, we will discuss what prediabetes is, the symptoms of prediabetes, the causes of prediabetes, and the treatment options for prediabetes among other topics.

Allergic Reactions To Medications

Diabetes Leg Rash

Nearly any diabetes medicationincluding insulincan trigger an allergic reaction that brings on symptoms that affect the skin, such as itching, swelling, rash, or redness.

Why it happens: Allergic reactions to medications occur because a person has a pre-existing sensitivity to either the drug itself or to an inactive ingredient in the drug, such as a preservative. Some people who use injectable medications experience skin reactions that are limited to the area where the needle was inserted.

What to do: Call your healthcare provider if you have an allergic reaction to a diabetes medication. He or she may instruct you to take an over-the-counter medication to relieve itching in the short term, and then will discuss trying a different drug to treat your diabetes.

If skin changes brought on by medication are accompanied by difficulty breathing or other alarming symptoms, get emergency help immediately.

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Diabetic Dermopathy Or Shiny Spots

This skin problem leads to spots on the skin producing a visible depression in the skin. This problem commonly occurs in people with diabetes. It appears on the shins, trunk, arms, thighs, or other body parts. The spots are mostly brown and no signs accompany this condition.


  • If a person has been diagnosed with diabetes, get tested.
  • Inform the doctor about these spots, in case a person notices them.

Some Skin Problems Linked To Diabetes

  • Scleroderma diabeticorum: While rare, this skin problem affects people with type 2 diabetes, causing a thickening of the skin on the back of the neck and upper back. The treatment is to bring your blood sugar level under control. Lotions and moisturizers may help soften skin.
  • Vitiligo: Vitiligo, a skin problem more commonly associated with type 1 diabetes than type 2 diabetes, affects skin coloration. With vitiligo, the special cells that make pigment are destroyed, resulting in patches of discolored skin. Vitiligo often affects the chest and abdomen, but may be found on the face around the mouth, nostrils, and eyes. Current treatment options for vitiligo include topical steroids and micropigmentation . If you have vitiligo, you should use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to prevent sunburn on the discolored skin.

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How To Take Care Of Diabetic Skin

If you are diabetic its important to protect and care for your dry, rough and damaged skin with quality products that are proven to be suitable for people with Diabetes. All the products in the Eucerin UreaRepair PLUS rangeare clinically and dermatologically proven to be both highly effective on, and well tolerated by diabetic skin.3

Thorough, regular care can significantly improve skin condition. Skin looks and feels better and the risk of infection decreases.

For the body, and especially the legs, try Eucerin UreaRepair PLUS Lotion 5% Urea or Eucerin UreaRepair PLUS Lotion 10% Urea. The 5% Urea product has been specially formulated for very dry and rough skin. If your skin is extremely dry, itchy and flaky we recommend the higher concentration of Urea that comes with the 10% product.

Both products contain a unique and highly effective combination of active ingredients that work together to combat several of the main causes of dry skin.

The key actives in the formula are Urea, Ceramide and other Natural Moisturising Factors . The Eucerin UreaRepair PLUS Lotions deliver immediate relief and intense moisturisation, delaying symptoms of dryness for up to 48 hours.

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