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Skin Problems in Diabetes

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Skin Problems in Diabetes

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.


  • The Level of the blood sugar should be well controlled, many of these skin problems can be averted. This requires compliance with a diabetic diet, medication and regular check-ups with your doctor. Proper skin and foot care is important
  • Do not walk bare-footed. This is to avoid skin injuries.
  • Check your feet every day for cuts and sores. Pay special attention to the spaces in between the toes to look for inflammation and infection.
  •  Wear proper fitting shoes that are not too tight or loose to prevent skin trauma.
  • Cut toenails carefully.
  •  If skin sores or ulcers develop, see a doctor immediately. Some skin signs are also an indication that there may be possible complications affecting other organs in the body such as the eye and kidney.


  • From the above description we gets understand that it’s a diseases  not only on the surface of skin but also deep in the tissues and cells of the body i.e. Dhatus and Doshas of the body are also involved in Skin conditions.
  • So these skin problems are not EXTERNAL Feature . The  “INTERNAL factors causes  EXTERNAL manifestations. Only using the medicines locally only relieves the symptoms temporarily.
  • To treat the root cause and to get rid from this , it needs a proper diagnosis at the  “Dosha Dhatu” level and proper external and internal treatment.
  • The only external use may cause eczema reappears, when we treat internally and externally  it goes away permanently.
  • The First line of treatment is to stop making the “ ama” or toxins which cause the disease.
  • Improves the digestive power and corrects the Pitta disorder.
  • Detoxification of the body is most important
  • Detoxification clears the body from the disease causing factors. It can be achieved by Oral medicines or Panchakarma Therapies.
  • Oral Herbal & Ayurvedic Blood Purifying medicines are very helpful to remove the impurities from the blood and it helps to purifies the blood.
  • Snehan and swedana –external use of oil and induced sweating by application of heat is help in many cases.
  • Internal Snehan , Abhyangam , Vaman , Virechana , Vasti , Siro Virechana and Rakt Mokshana are the different types of Panchakarma Procedures which cures the root cause of the skin problems and it goes permanently in most of the cases.

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