When you think about the effects that diabetes or high blood sugar levels has on the body, it is most commonly associated with areas inside the body. But diabetes also affects the outside of the body by way of a number of skin conditions. Depending on the condition, the problem can even surface in specific places on the body.
Thickened skin on the back of the hands can be a sign of digital sclerosis. Although this condition can also affect other areas, the hands are the most common. As the skin thickens, it also tightens, making normal movement much more restricted.
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Diabetics can also experience diabetic blisters on various parts of their body. These bumps range in size from small to large, but thankfully, are painless and do not leave scars.
Another condition that produces bumps is a condition called eruptive xanthomatosis. This condition, which is more common in men than women, is much more painful than diabetic blisters. The bumps are yellowish in color with a red halo mark on them and can appear in virtually any area from the hands to the feet. They will usually itch.
Atherosclerosis occurs when diabetes causes the arteries of the legs to thicken. This translates into skin that is thin and shiny and loses its hair. Since the blood movement is being restricted it also controls other functions, as well.
For instance, infections and cuts are slow to heal due to limited blood volume which carries much needed white blood cells for repairs. Neuropathy can also set in due to this lack of circulation.
Another skin problem is fungal infections. These occur in areas where the skin is allowed to fold over. Common infected areas include in the groin, armpits, between toes, or anyplace where there are warm, fatty folds. This fungus causes a red rash and sometimes even small bumps. A doctors intervention is necessary to rid the body of this unpleasantness.
There are other types of infections that are more bacterial in nature. These infections attack skin tissue, causing a red, itchy rash appearance. There are different medications that will eliminate their presence.
Even some diabetes medications can trigger allergic reactions. This can show up as a rash, persistent itching or even bumps. Insulin affects some diabetics in this manner. Notify your doctor immediately if you begin to experience a reaction to a medicine.
The bad news if that all of these conditions are an outward indication that the disease is not under control. The good news is that once your Type 2 diabetes and blood sugar levels are properly maintained, these will all go away in time.
And all skin, whether on the feet or elsewhere, can become dry and cracked, requiring a daily regimen of cleaning, moisturizing, and protecting.
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