Wherever it appears, the thickened skin often has the texture of an orange peel. This skin problem usually develops in people who have complications due to diabetes or diabetes that is difficult to treat. You may see a large blister, a group of blisters, or both. The blisters tend to form on the hands, feet, legs, or forearms and look like the blisters that appear after a serious burn.
Unlike the blisters that develop after a burn, these blisters are not painful. The medical name for this condition is bullosis bull-low-sis diabetricorum.
People who have diabetes tend to get skin infections. A skin infection can occur on any area of your body, including between your toes, around one or more of your nails, and on your scalp. Having high blood sugar glucose for a long time can lead to poor circulation and nerve damage.
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Poor circulation and nerve damage can make it hard for your body to heal wounds. This is especially true on the feet. These open wounds are called diabetic ulcers. This skin condition causes spots and sometimes lines that create a barely noticeable depression in the skin. It usually forms on the shins. The spots are often brown and cause no symptoms. For these reasons, many people mistake them for age spots. Unlike age spots, these spots and lines usually start to fade after 18 to 24 months.
Diabetic dermopathy can also stay on the skin indefinitely. When these bumps appear, they often look like pimples. Unlike pimples, they soon develop a yellowish color. They can form anywhere though. No matter where they form, they are usually tender and itchy. The medical name for this skin condition is eruptive xanthomatosis zan-tho-ma-toe-sis. Whether this skin condition is associated with diabetes is controversial. Several studies, however, have found this skin condition in patients who have diabetes. One such study found that people with diabetes were most likely to have granuloma annulare over large areas of skin and that the bumps came and went.
1. Maintain Control
Another study concluded that people who have granuloma annulare that comes and goes should be tested for diabetes. High blood sugar glucose can cause this. If you have a skin infection or poor circulation, these could also contribute to dry, itchy skin. These develop when you have high fat levels in your blood. It can also be a sign that your diabetes is poorly controlled.
Many people have skin tags — skin growths that hang from a stalk. While harmless, having numerous skin tags may be a sign that you have too much insulin in your blood or type 2 diabetes. Diabetes can cause many other skin problems.
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Most skin problems are harmless, but even a minor one can become serious in people who have diabetes. A dermatologist can recognize skin problems due to diabetes and help you manage them. Because it is important to rotate sites, be sure to use both sides of the finger. Avoid testing on the pad of the finger; there are more nerve endings there that cause more pain. Pinky fingers can be a great place to prick for the best blood flow.
Some blood glucose meters let you test alternate sites, such as the upper arm, thigh, calf, and palm. These sites contain fewer nerves than the fingertips and may give your fingers some relief. Because there is a lag effect, alternate-site testing should be used only when blood glucose is stable, such as before a meal or when fasting. Always check from your fingertip when blood glucose is changing quickly, such as following a meal, after exercise, or whenever you think your blood glucose might be low. Although many people reuse their lancets, the lancets will become dull and cause more pain with extended use.
Diabetes: 12 warning signs that appear on your skin
Change lancets with each test or at least daily to ensure that they are sharp and clean. Your fingertips may be discolored because of the frequent testing you do, but be sure to discuss this with your doctor as there may be other causes. Stream a variety of exercise routines to get you moving and motivated!
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