Diabetes can affect every part of the body including the Skin. In some of the cases the skin problems are the first sign of the diabetes. The most of the skin conditions can be prevented or treated easily if the diagnosis and treatment starts earlier.
Diabetics have high blood sugar levels which if not well controlled can lead to long-term complications affecting various organs in the body such as the eye, kidney, nervous system and blood vessels. Skin problems are common in diabetics. Some skin diseases are characteristically associated with diabetes mellitus.
COMMON SKIN CONDITIONS ASSOCIATED WITH DIABETES
Stye – Eyelid gland infection
Folliculitus – Hair follicle infection
Carbuncle – Deep skin infection
Infections around nails.
The Candida albicans is the most common fungal infection which affects the most of the diabetic patients. This is a yeat like fungus which creats itchy rashes of mosit , red areas surrounding by tiny blisters and scales.
Dry skin is cause of Itching in most of the diabetic patients and the poor circulation , yeast infection are the other factors which leads to itching.
Some medications of diabetes and Insulin may be responcible for Allergic Skin reaction.
DIABETIC BLISTERS – BULLOSIS DIBETICORUM
This is the rare type of skin eruptions of the diabetic patients. These can occur on the back of fingers , hands , toes , feet and sometimes on legs and forearms. These sore looks like burn blisters and often occurs in people who have diabetic neuropathy.
This is the commonest skin disease seen in diabetics. Skin signs are commonly found over the shins and appear as brown scars. Red or blistering spots may precede the brown spots. The cause is due to abnormal changes of small blood vessels in the skin. There is no specific treatment for this skin disorder. The condition tends to heal by itself into depressed scars.
Patients with diabetes may develop some thick , waxy , tight skin on the backs of their hands. Sometimes the skin of the toes and forehead also becomes thick. The finger joint becomes stiff and can no longer move the way they should. Rarely knees , ankles or elbows are get stiff.
It is the most common compliant of the patients of diabetes , external and internal oelation is need in this condition
Occlusion of large vessels in the feet due to diabetes can cause pain on prolonged walking as a result of poor blood circulation. Severe occlusion can lead to gangrenous changes of the toes as a result of tissue death. Surgery will be needed to remove the dead tissues and in severe cases, amputation of the foot or leg.
Diabetes can damage the nerves resulting from occlusion of blood vessels to the nerves. This can cause a burning and tingling sensation and numbness of the feet. Patients also have reduced or loss of pain sensation and may develop skin sores and ulcers on the feet due to trauma if good foot care is not instituted.
Diabetics are more prone to skin infections. Examples are styes, boils and fungal infection. Some infections can be serious and require immediate medical attention eg. carbuncles, which are deep bacterial infections of the hair follicle (abscess) and cellulitis which is a deep skin infection. Cellulitis often presents as a red, hot and tender swelling of the leg . Necrotising fasciitis is a serious and life- threatening skin infection which may extend deep down to the muscles and requires immediate treatment and surgery. It presents as painful, inflammed haemorrhagic swelling or blistering of the skin.
This is a rare complication of diabetes, again due to small blood vessel disease of the skin. Skin lesions usually appear on the shin. The affected skin has a reddish brown border with a yellowish centre. Sometimes, the onset of this skin disease may precede the diagnosis of diabetes and so patients with this skin disorder need to be screened for diabetes.
This is a skin manifestation of diabetes mellitus. It is also a skin sign of other internal diseases including some hereditary diseases and internal cancer. It is commonly seen in those who are obese. Skin changes are characterised by dark, brownish black velvety thickening of the skin folds such as the armpits, upper back, neck and groins.
XANTHOMAS AND XANTHELASMA
Diabetics often suffer from high lipid (cholesterol and triglycerides) levels in the blood. This causes fats to be deposited in the skin and presents as xanthomas or xanthelasma.
Xanthomas are symptomless yellow firm nodules usually found over bony elbows, knees and heels. Sometimes, the appearance may be as pin-head sized yellow lumps, appearing in crops over the buttocks (eruptive xanthomas) . Xanthelasma is a sign of high cholesterol levels in the blood and presents as yellow patches on the eyelids . Treatment is aimed at normalising the lipid levels by dietary restriction of satuarated fats and if necessary, medical treatment with lipid lowering drugs.
DISSIMINATED GRANULOMA ANNULARE
This is a skin disease seen usually in children and young adults. It is occasionally associated with diabetes. Skin signs are characterised by red spots in the initial stages which expand outwards in a ring-like fashion. The hands, especially the fingers, and elbows are commonly affected. When granuloma annulare is widespread it may be associated with underlying diabetes mellitus. The skin lesions may precede the symptoms and signs of diabetes mellitus. Patients with widespread granuloma annulare need to be screened for diabetes mellitus.
AYURVEDIC TREATMENT FOR SKIN PROBLEMS IN DIABETES
AYURVEDIC TREATMENT FOR SKIN PROBLEMS IN DIABETIC PATIENT INCLUDES