Diabetes Symptoms: Early signs of diabetes are visible on skin
Diabetes symptoms: Diabetes is affecting many today. Early diagnosis and treatment for diabetes can help in controlling the diseases on time. As uncontrolled blood sugar levels are associated with many severe complications one need to take necessary precautions to control the disease on time. During the early stage you may experience symptoms like frequent urination, increases hunger, blurry vision, fatigue, increases thirst, tingling in hands and feet, yeast infections and slow healing of wounds. Symptoms of diabetes are visible on skin as well. Uncontrolled blood sugar levels also affect the skin of the patient. Here are some common visible signs of diabetes on skin.
Symptoms of diabetes on skin
During the initial stage a diabetes patient may experience patches on the skin. Patches of dark skin can form on the neck or armpits. This patch can be soft. In some cases one may experience pale skin.
Diabetes: Uncontrolled blood sugar levels can affect skin in various ways
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What is the relation between diabetes and skin issues?
Uncontrolled diabetes mainly contributes to skin issues. Dr. Manjunath Malige explains the relations between diabetes and skin issues and also explains different skin conditions that can happen due to diabetes. All these skin complications of diabetes can be prevented with good control of diabetes.
Diabetes, particularly poorly controlled diabetes can affect the skin in many ways. Diabetic Dermopathy is a term used to describe the small, brownish spots on the skin particularly in front of the legs. Patient usually does not develop any symptoms due to these skin spots and these occur in about 55% of patients with diabetes. It is more common in older patients with long-standing diabetes. These changes in skin happen due to decrease in the blood circulation to the skin due to diabetes.
What are the treatment options?
Although, this condition in itself does not require any specific treatment, this may well indicate the presence of far more serious complications of diabetes like retinopathy (eye damage), nephropathy (kidney damage) and neuropathy (nerve damage). Cosmetic camouflage maybe used to disguise the appearance of the skin spots if required. The finding of such skin spots in patients not previously known to have diabetes should prompt investigations to check for the presence of diabetes. Good diabetes control in patients with diabetic dermopathy can reduce the risk of other complications of diabetes.
Diabetes Symptoms: Dark patches are one of the earliest sign of diabetes
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Other skin issues
1. Patients with diabetes are also at risk of developing Diabetic Bullae also known as bullosis diabeticorum, where blisters develop in the skin. These if present are distinct markers of diabetes.
2. Many patients with type 1 diabetes develop stiffness of the skin known as diabetic cheiroarthropathy. This results in restricted mobility of joints of the hands with stiff, waxy, thickened and yellow skin.
3. Necrobiosis lipoidica is a condition where yellow, waxy spots appear in the skin in front of the legs.
4. Diabetic patients, particularly if overweight or obese, can develop darkening and thickening of skin folds, thought to be due to insulin resistance. This condition is called acanthosis nigricans.
5. Apart from these, diabetic patients are at risk of developing recurrent fungal infections particularly around the private parts.
(Dr. Manjunath Malige is the Chief and Senior Endocrinologist and Diabetologist at Aster RV hospital, Bangalore)
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