Today is Diabetes Alert Day: a day when healthcare professionals explain the warning signs of this common condition. Though you might not think of the skin when you think of diabetes, there IS a strong connection. Certain skin conditions indicate that someone is more likely to have or develop diabetes.
Because your skin tells the story of your overall health, it pays to watch out for anything abnormal. According to the CDC, 34.2 million people in the U.S. have diabetes and 25% of those people don’t know they have it. That’s why it’s so important to have your annual skin check with a professional. If you think you see any of the below on your body, be sure to give us a call.
Yellow, reddish, or brown patches surrounded by shiny skin: This skin condition, also known as necrobiosis lipoidica, often starts off looking like a patch of pimples. Though it may feel itchy, it’s harmless on its own—it’s significant mainly because it can indicate that someone has diabetes.
Hard, waxy skin on the fingers and toes: Known as digital sclerosis, this skin condition can limit movement. It usually develops as a side effect of diabetes.
Dark, velvety skin on the neck, armpit, or groin: This condition, also called acanthosis nigricans, is often one of the earliest indicators of diabetes. Treating it requires treating the root cause of the discoloration, whether that’s diabetes or something else.
Caved-in dark spots on the shins: The incidence of these spots is called diabetic dermopathy, and it often affects people with diabetes. The spots typically disappear on their own after a year and a half or two years.
If you’re not sure whether your skin fits one of the descriptions above, or if you have other concerns, please give us a call or schedule an appointment
today. Our West Derm providers are experienced and trained in diagnosing and treating skin conditions caused by diabetes. We’re more than happy to raise awareness and boost your overall health, on Diabetes Alert Day and every day.