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What Does Diabetic Skin Rash Look Like


How Diabetes Affects Skin Health

What Causes The Leg Rash In Diabetes|Diabetic Rash Treatment

Diabetes skin problems are a common complication of both type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes approximately a third of patients with diabetes will develop a skin disorder related to the disease at some point during their lifetime. Many skin complications, such as certain types of rashes and blisters, can directly manifest from diabetes or allergic reactions to insulin or diabetes medications. Other types of skin problems, such as fungal infections, skin irritation, and dry skin, can occur in otherwise healthy patients but tend to affect those with diabetes more frequently.

Hyperglycemia is behind most skin problems caused by diabetes. An excessive amount of sugar in the blood prompts the body to pull fluid from other cells to produce an adequate amount of urine to remove the sugar, resulting in xerosis . Skin that is dry, inflamed, and irritated can likewise result from diabetic neuropathy a result of nerve damage, particularly in the feet and legs. Early diagnosis and treatment from an experienced skin specialist are key to dealing with diabetes-related skin conditions, managing resulting symptoms, and preventing other health complications.

What Other Skin Conditions Affect People With Diabetes

People with diabetes can have any skin condition. But sometimes, people with diabetes have a rash or other skin irritation due to:

  • Allergic reactions: People with diabetes may have an allergic reaction to oral diabetes medications or injectable insulin. You may develop a rash or hives and swelling at the injection site or elsewhere on your body. Contact your healthcare provider if you think youre having an allergic reaction.
  • Bacterial infections: Having diabetes increases the risk of bacterial skin infections. You may develop bacterial infections in eyelid glands or deep under the skin . Infected skin may be swollen, hot, red and painful. Youll need antibiotics to get rid of the infection.
  • Dry, itchy skin: High blood sugar and certain skin conditions can cause dry, itchy skin. If you have poor blood circulation, your lower legs may itch the most. Moisturizers can help.
  • Fungal infections: A yeast called Candida albicans causes most fungal infections in people with diabetes. Youll have moist areas of tiny red blisters or scales that itch. Skin fungus tends to affect skin folds, including under the breast, between fingers and toes, around nailbeds, and in the armpits and groin. Common fungal infections include jock itch, athletes foot and ringworm. Antifungal medications can help.

How Can People With Diabetes Take Better Care Of Their Skin

  • Follow the diet, exercise regime and medications as per the advice of the healthcare provider.
  • Drink plenty of water as it would help in keeping the skin moist and hydrated.
  • Use a mild, moisture-containing soap for bathing and pat dry the body properly as wet skin can act as a site of infection. Do not use products that contain fragrance or dye.
  • Thoroughly clean places like underarms, under the breasts, between the legs and between the toes as water can get collected easily in these areas.
  • Avoid bubble baths and extremely hot water as it can dry out the skin.
  • Apply moisturizer on the entire body after bathing to lock the moisture in. Avoid chapped lips by moisturizing with a lip balm.
  • Use a humidifier to add moisture to the room, thus preventing drying of the skin.
  • Use a sunscreen with an SPF of or higher than 30 to protect the skin from harmful UV rays.
  • Try wearing cotton undergarments as they allow the skin to breathe through it.
  • Treat all the wounds and cuts right away using antibacterial ointments, gauze pads, hypoallergenic tape and cleansing wipes. Avoid using iodine and alcohol to clean the cuts as they can be too harsh.

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Bacterial Skin Infections Need Immediate Treatment

Although anyone can get bacterial skin infections, people with diabetes are more prone to them. Typical bacterial skin problems that tend to trouble patients include eyelid sties, boils, nail infections, and carbuncles deep infections of the skin and the tissue underneath. Usually, the area around the infection will be hot, red, painful, and swollen. Treatment with antibiotic creams or pills will usually clear up these skin problems.

Shin Spots Or Diabetic Dermopathy

How Does Diabetic Skin Rash Look Like?

This condition involves circular, reddish, or light-brown patches that usually appear on the shins or other bony parts of the body. Patches are also usually indented and scaly.

Around 33 percent of people with type 1 diabetes and 39 percent of those with type 2 diabetes develop diabetic dermopathy.

The condition is caused by nerve and blood vessel damage, in particular small blood vessel changes.

As the condition impacts areas of the body with less protective muscle and fat, lesions may reflect an increased response to injury.


Lesions are harmless, and the person does not usually need treatment.

Sometimes, insignificant wounds can become open sores called diabetic ulcers. These can occur anywhere on the skin but are most common on the feet.

Diabetes can affect blood circulation and the nervous system. If a person has a wound on their foot due, for example, to ill-fitting shoes, the lack of sensation in the foot can mean that they do not notice the injury. In addition, low blood supply can make it harder for wounds to heal.

Without treatment, an ulcer can develop. If this becomes infected, there is a risk of tissue death, and the person may ultimately need an amputation.

It is essential for people with diabetes to:


  • manage their blood sugar levels
  • check their feet and other parts of the body regularly for wounds or lesions that may need attention

According to an article in

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Scabies Itchy Rash Under Boobs Eczema And Shingles

An itchy rash on the breast is likely to be caused by scabies, eczema or shingles. These are all skin disorders that may produce signs similar to those of allergies or insect bites around, under and on the breast area.

Shingles under breast

  • Scabies is a severe itchy skin disorder. It is contagious and is caused by scabies mite. If you have a skin rash composed of small red bumps and blisters under the breast and other parts of the body, you could be suffering from scabies.
  • Eczema is also called atopic dermatitis. It is a possible cause of an itchyred rash on the breast. It is characterized by an itchy red rash that is dry.
  • Shingles is caused by a viral infection. It can cause a painful rash under the breast area. Shingles bumps, chickenpox or herpes zoster bumps appear as a single stripe of blisters on the affected area.

Over 75% Of People Around The World Suffer From Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes is no longer a disease of the select few, it has now become a mainstream lifestyle disease that has affected millions around the world. The imbalanced sugar levels in the blood can adversely affect many organs of the body including the skin. Most people with diabetes or pre-diabetic condition notice some recurring skin issues or have skin disorders at some point in their life. In some cases, the changes you are seeing on the skin can be an indication of the onset of diabetes or if you already have diabetes, it means that your dosage needs to be adjusted.Also Read – Tips to Cover And Treat Thinning Hair in Men


Dr. Rinky Kapoor, Consultant Dermatologist, Cosmetic Dermatologist, and Dermato-Surgeon, The Esthetic Clinics shed light on how diabetes affects the skin, skin conditions, and more. Also Read – Covid-19 May Surge Sugar Level and Worsen The Disease, Says a Study

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Open Sores And Wounds

Having high blood sugar for a long time can lead to poor circulation and nerve damage. You may have developed these if youve had uncontrolled diabetes for a long time.

Poor circulation and nerve damage can make it hard for your body to heal wounds. This is especially true on the feet. These open wounds are called diabetic ulcers.

Diabetes and feet

  • Get immediate medical care for an open sore or wound.
  • Work with your doctor to better control your diabetes.

Allergic Reactions To Medications

7 Skin Warning Signs of Diabetes

Nearly any diabetes medicationincluding insulincan trigger an allergic reaction that brings on symptoms that affect the skin, such as itching, swelling, rash, or redness.


Why it happens: Allergic reactions to medications occur because a person has a pre-existing sensitivity to either the drug itself or to an inactive ingredient in the drug, such as a preservative. Some people who use injectable medications experience skin reactions that are limited to the area where the needle was inserted.

What to do: Call your healthcare provider if you have an allergic reaction to a diabetes medication. He or she may instruct you to take an over-the-counter medication to relieve itching in the short term, and then will discuss trying a different drug to treat your diabetes.

If skin changes brought on by medication are accompanied by difficulty breathing or other alarming symptoms, get emergency help immediately.

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Featured Stories About Pictures Of Diabetic Rash

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Common Skin Conditions Linked To Diabetes

Itching skin, also called pruritus, can have many causes, such as dry skin, poor blood flow, or a yeast infection. When itching is caused by poor blood flow, youâll likely feel it in your lower legs and feet. Lotion can help to keep your skin soft and moist, and prevent itching due to dry skin.

Bacterial infections: Staphylococcus skin infections are more common and more serious in people with poorly controlled diabetes. When hair follicles are irritated, these bacteria can cause boils or an inflamed bump.

Other infections include:

  • Styes, which are infections of the eyelid glands
  • Nail infections

Most bacterial infections need to be treated with antibiotic pills. Talk with your doctor.

Fungal infections: Warm, moist folds of the skin are the perfect breeding ground for these infections.Three common fungal infections are:


A yeast-like fungus called “Candida albicans” causes many of the fungal infections that happen to people with diabetes. Women are likely to get this in their vaginas.

People also tend to get this infection on the corners of their mouth. It feels like small cuts and is called “angular cheilitis.”

Onychomycosis is a fungal infection of the fingernails and toenails that is more prevalent among people with diabetes. It causes discoloration, thickening, and separation from the nail bed.

It usually starts before diabetes, and it can be a sign of insulin resistance. While there’s no cure, losing weight may help.

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Skin Complications: American Diabetes Association

Fungal Infections. The culprit in fungal infections of people with rash of moist, red areas surrounded by tiny blisters and scales. These infections often occur in warm, moist folds of the skin. Problem areas are under the breasts, …

Skin Conditions and Diabetes: What You Need to Know

It is estimated that 30% of patients with rash You Need to Know: Common Dermatologic Diagnoses.

Yellow Skin And Nails

What does diabetic skin look like

It is common for patients with diabetes, particularly elderly patients with type 2 diabetes, to present with asymptomatic yellow discolorations of their skin or fingernails. These benign changes commonly involve the palms, soles, face, or the distal nail of the first toe. The accumulation of various substances in patients with diabetes may be responsible for the changes in complexion however, the pathogenesis remains controversial .

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Skin Discoloration And Changes In Texture

Diabetic dermopathy: Also known as shin spots, these diabetes skin symptoms involve light brown, oval or circular patches of scaly skin on the lower legs due to damage to the small blood vessels that supply the tissues with nutrition and oxygen. Although this form of diabetes-related skin discoloration typically does not require treatment, it may persist even when your blood glucose is well-controlled.1


Necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum : Though rarer than diabetic dermopathy, NLD also causes patches of dark skin on the legs, which are sometimes associated with extreme itching and pain. Though treatment is generally unnecessary, it is important to talk to your doctor about ways to prevent this condition from progressing.1

Acanthosis nigricans: This type of diabetes-related skin discoloration can present as raised patches of brown, tan or gray skin on the neck can, and can also appear in the groin and armpits as well as on the elbows and knees. The patches often have a velvety feel and appearance. This type of skin discoloration is more prevalent in diabetic patients who are obese.1

What Causes A Diabetes Rash

For people who dont have diabetes, a skin rash may be the first sign of high blood sugar or prediabetes. Your healthcare provider can help you take steps to prevent diabetes.

If you take medications for diabetes, a skin rash may indicate that you need to adjust treatments to lower your blood sugar levels. Some other rashes result from reduced blood flow to your extremities .

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Yellowish Scaly Patches On And Around Your Eyelids

These develop when you have high fat levels in your blood. It can also be a sign that your diabetes is poorly controlled.The medical name for this condition is xanthelasma.

Take action
  • Tell your doctor about the yellowish scaly patches around your eyes.
  • Talk with your doctor about how to better control your diabetes. Controlling diabetes can clear the scaly patches.

Disseminated Granuloma Annulare Causes Skin Itching

Diabetics are prone to skin conditions

This skin problem causes raised, bumpy, or ring-shaped spots that are skin colored, red, or red-brown. Disseminated granuloma annulare most often occurs on the fingers and ears. Some people report mild itching. Typically, medical treatment is not needed because the rash usually disappears on its own without leaving scars. But ask your doctor if a topical steroid, like hydrocortisone, could improve your skin problems.

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Vitiligo Causes Skin To Lose Color

Vitiligo is a skin problem in which the skin cells that make melanin are destroyed, leading to irregular, blotchy patches that often occur on the hands, face, or chest. Although the cause of vitiligo is unknown, experts believe it is an autoimmune condition like type 1 diabetes, and research published in July 2016 in BioMed Research International described the link between the two conditions. There’s no cure, but light therapy and steroids are used to manage vitiligo. If you have the condition, it’s important to wear a sunscreen of at least 30 SPF, since depigmented skin has no natural sun protection.

Diabetes Skin Rash Diaclin International

Diabetes Rash | Diabetes Library

Read about granuloma annulare, a rash that often looks like a ring of small pink, purple or skin-coloured bumps. … More rarely, you can develop a widespread rash, known as generalised or disseminated granuloma annulare. It usually affects … This is because in rare cases granuloma annulare can be linked to diabetes.


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What Do Diabetic Sores Look Like

Having uncontrolled high glucose during a continuous period of time a person can get nerve damage and poor blood circulation, which cause round, deep diabetic sores hard to be healed. Especially they are often on the feet. Such conditions of foot skin are also known as diabetic ulcers. The slightest cut can develop in a serious problem and even result in amputations. The color of an ulcer with puffed border is pinkish red to dark brown.

Even without damage the skin becomes thinner and even dragging on shoes can lead to diabetic wounds , which usually swell, and further inflammation can start. The doctor sometimes has to remove the upper tissue in order to prevent or to cure an infection if it penetrates and will recommend keeping a sore clean changing protective bandage. It should be mentioned that there is a popular term diabetic legs including wounds appearing from diabetic blisters . The blisters look like irregularly-shaped bumps with clear fluid inside mostly painless but itchy.

Ichthyosiform Changes Of The Shins

How Does Diabetic Skin Rash Look Like?

Ichthyosiform changes of the shins presents with large bilateral areas of dryness and scaling . Although cutaneous changes may occur on the hands or feet, the anterior shin is most classically involved. These cutaneous changes are related to rapid skin aging and adhesion defects in the stratum corneum . The prevalence of ichthyosiform changes of the shins in those with type 1 diabetes has been reported to be between 22% to 48% . These changes present relatively early in the disease course of diabetes. There is no known difference in prevalence between males and females . The development of ichthyosiform changes of the shins is related to production of advanced glycosylation end products and microangiopathic changes. Treatment is limited but topical emollients or keratolytic agents may be beneficial .

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