woman hands applying moisturizing cream to her skin

Does diabetes affect your skin?

There are different signs that you may have diabetes – it can affect your weight, your vision, and how tired you are, just as a few examples. But did you also know that it can affect your skin? Changes to the skin can be yet another symptom of diabetes, and if you have already been diagnosed with diabetes they can also indicate that it is not under control as it should be.

Signs to watch out for

If you notice any of these skin changes, you should see your doctor to be tested for diabetes:

• Brown, yellow, or red patches on your skin. This might start as bumps that look like pimples, but then it turns into these colored patches, which are also swollen and tough.

• Darker areas of the skin. These have been described as feeling “velvety,” and they often appear on the groin area, the armpits, or the neck.

• Skin infections, on any area of the body. These may be hot, swollen, and painful or itchy with tiny blisters. It may even have a white discharge.

• Skin tags. These are common in people who don’t have diabetes, but they can be a sign of the disease.

If you have diabetes, you should watch out for these common skin conditions, because they may indicate that your diabetes is not under control:

• Hard, thick skin. This is most typically found on the fingers and toes, but can also appear on the arms, shoulders, and neck.

• Shin spots, which are brown and may be mistaken for age spots.

• Bumps (eruptive xanthomatosis), which look like pimples but soon turn yellowish. These are itchy and tender and can form anywhere, but most typically are found on the buttocks, thighs, and the back of the knees.

• Extremely dry skin

• Scaly patches on and around your eyelids

If you have diabetes (or think you might), pay special attention to any changes in your skin and let your doctor know right away if something seems unusual. Skin problems can become very serious if you have diabetes. The staff at Miami Plastic Surgery® are experts in skin care — call (305) 595-2969 today for help with healthier skin!

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