How Diabetes Affects Your Skin

November is American Diabetes Month, which is a wonderful opportunity to educate and raise awareness about this common and serious condition that affects millions of Americans. Diabetes results in abnormal blood glucose levels, which can lead to adverse effects throughout the body. One common area that diabetes affects people is their skin. In many cases, changes in the skin can be the first indication that one has diabetes.

The following are some of the common skin complications associated with diabetes:

  • Fungal infections – Diabetes leads to lowered immune responses, which can make any infection take time to heal. Fungal infections are caused by a yeast-like fungus and thrives in moist, warm areas, like the feet.
  • Bacterial infections – People with diabetes are prone to bacterial infections, which can occur as boils, folliculitis, deep skin infections, as well as infections in the nails.
  • Itching – Itching can occur from poor circulation, dry skin or infections.
  • Ulcers – Neuropathy, which is nerve damage that often develops in people with diabetes, can result in injuries that go unnoticed because of loss of sensation. These injuries, like cuts or blisters, can develop into ulcers, which can be slow to heal and may lead to infections.
  • Vitiligo – Diabetes can lead to damage to melanin producing skin cells, which results in patches of unpigmented skin.

Despite the many skin-related complications that are associated with diabetes, careful daily skin care and managing of blood glucose levels can help prevent many of these conditions. Seeing a skilled, board-certified dermatologist can be a great resource and way to combat and prevent conditions from worsening.

Dr. Juan Vaillant of Old Bridge Dermatology has decades of experience with all types of skin, hair, and nail conditions and is committed to helping patients all over the Old Bridge, NJ area. Dr. Vaillant treats conditions like acne, dandruff, skin cancer, and age spots, and specializes in anatomic and clinical pathology. Call us at (732) 679-0222 to schedule an appointment today!