Diabetic Skin Problems: Its Symptoms, Conditions Pictures

Diabetes often termed as the blood-related disorder where the metabolism gets affects, renders a whole lot of complications in the long run. With the initial signs just affecting the blood sugar and glucose levels, one might tend to think that it will easily go off the boil. However, that’s the exact opposite of what occurs.

Diabetes when uncontrolled for induces different complications around the body, in the ilk of the eye, kidney, heart and much more. A peculiar condition not spoken of much when the talk of diabetic complications arise is the skin disease or skin problems.

Skin problems can be a potential hazard for the body and can cause multiple complications around. We here would look to seek answers for the diabetic skin problems arising in the individual as part of our informative series.

Join in as we go through the ‘List of Diabetic Skin Problems, Symptoms & Conditions’. But before we go, how about we look into the relation between diabetes and skin problems.

Table of Contents

The Peculiar relation between Diabetes and Skin Problems

As per the facts, around one-third of diabetic cases see skin related problems later in their life. That speaks of how these two are interrelated to some extent. In fact, many skin problems serve as an initial reminder or warning signs for diabetes.

A timely diagnosis and cure for the diabetes case will help curb the skin problems once and for all. Controlling diabetes is what one can do to control the skin problems in the body.

List of Diabetic Skin Problems with pictures

1. Necrobiosis Lipoidica (Yellow or brown patch on the skin)

Necrobiosis Lipoidica

This skin condition renders small bumps which are in raised form on the skin. These often look like pimples and progresses along to become patches of hard and swollen skin. The patched tend to be in the color of yellow, brown or red.

  • Symptoms/ Conditions
    • Surrounding area of the skin is shiny and has porcelain look.
    • The infected skin area is itchy and goes through a cyclic order of being active and inactive with time.
  • Treatment Procedure
    • Consult with a dermatologist to help you on the matter.
    • If you’re a diabetic patient, consult with your doctor to help control the matters.
    • A non-diabetic patient can get themselves diagnosed to know their health status better.

2. Digital Sclerosis (Hard and thickening of the skin)

Digital Sclerosis

This one is generally seen in the skin areas of fingers and toes where waxy skin develops. The conditions make the movement of fingers and toes hard and difficult. This thickening of the skin may spread to other parts of the body like upper arms and forearms while a few complications see it spread to shoulders, chest and back region.

This issue develops in patients diagnosed with diabetes and can cause complications in the long run.

  • Symptoms/ Conditions
    • The case sees the swollen, hard skin to arise in the hands and feet with it spreading across to upper back, shoulder or chest in complications.
    • It uncontrolled for in time, this may cause the fingertips to feel of pebbles later with time.
  • Treatment Procedure
    • Consult your doctor about the case. A better control over diabetes will help you gain relief on the matter.
    • In persistent, a physical therapy might be needed upon for the good.

3. Acanthosis Nigricans (Darkness of Skin)

Acanthosis Nigricans

This one is often the case of higher levels of insulin in the bloodstream. The skin area of the neck, groin and other parts showcase darker patch akin to the velvet color. Acanthosis Nigricans is often the precursor to diabetes and should be handled carefully.

  • Symptoms/Conditions
    • This causes the skin on the neck, armpit and groin region to have a velvety or dark patch.
  • Treatment Procedure
    • Get yourself diagnosed for diabetes as the signs for Acanthosis Nigricans is a prediabetes condition.

4. Skin Infections

Skin Infections

Skin infections are a common norm in the diabetic patients. These are generally a sign of the bacterial infections and is seen in the toes and fingers along with other parts of the body. Such bacterial infections will affect the skin layers and cause it to swell or rise.

  • Symptoms/Conditions
    • Swollen and hot skin which are painful to deal with.
    • Itchy feel and rashes on the skin area around the infection.
    • Dry scaly skin or white discharge around the area.
  • Treatment Procedure
    • Seek help with your doctor to help with the diagnosis of If such skin problems are frequent, then that might give a sense of undiagnosed diabetes.
    • Also, consult a dermatologist to help with the skin infections.
    • An antibiotic medication in the ilk of cream or pills will help relieve the matter.

5. Bullosis Diabetricorum or Diabetic Bullae (Blisters)

Bullosis Diabeticorum or Diabetic Bullae

A rare case around for normal people out there, bullosisdiabetricorum is generally seen only in diabetic cases. The diabetic patients can see the blisters appearing on the skin region of hands, feet, forearms and legs. These blisters aren’t painful,

  • Symptoms/Conditions
    • The appearance of blisters on the skin areas of hands, feet, legs and forearms.
    • These blisters may be single and large or in thegroup as per the case.
  • Treatment Procedure
    • Seek help from the doctor for controlling the infection and blisters around.
    • A diabetic patient may seek help with the doctor to control the diabetic symptoms.

6. Diabetic Dermopathy (Shin Spots)

Diabetic Dermopathy

A common case for adiabetic patient, diabetic Dermopathy or shin spots as it is known by comes with spots formation in the shins. These spots are brown and fade away after a long 18 to 24 months. Although this one is only seen in shins, a few rare instances of this one occurs in the arms, trunk, and thighs too.

  • Symptoms/Conditions
    • These spots are generally without any symptoms and look similar to age spots.
  • Treatment Procedure
    • Consult your doctor to help curb the diabetic issue and control such skin spots.
    • In you’re not yet diagnosed with diabetes, you’re strongly advised to get yourself tested for it.

7. Diabetic Ulcers (Open Sores and Wounds)

Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Diabetic ulcers are seen as a result of the poor circulation of the blood in the foot region. These poor circulations are generally caused by unmanaged diabetes where the patients have high levels of blood sugar. Diabetic ulcers are open wounds and might cause complications in not controlled in time.

  • Symptoms/Conditions
    • Loss of feeling and numbness in the feet.
    • Pain and slow-healing wounds in the feet region.
  • Treatment Procedure
    • Get immediate medical attention to cure your open wound.
    • Seek help from your diabetes advisor on managing your diabetes better.

8. Granuloma Annulare (Red-colored raised bumps)

Granuloma Annulare

Although the relation between granuloma annulare and diabetes is still not clear enough, the studies reveal that diabetic patients are more likely to suffer from it. This condition causes the skin areas to have raised bumps which are generally red or skin-colored.

  • Symptoms/Conditions
    • The raised bumps appear in large areas of skin and have reddish or skin color tone to it.
    • The bumps come and go with time in the diabetic cases.
  • Treatment Procedure
    • You should consult your doctor about the bumps appearing on a regular instance on the skin.

9. Eruptive Xanthomatosis (Small reddish-yellow bumps)

Eruptive Xanthomatosis

Eruptive Xanthomatosis refers to the small bumps appearing on the skins areas of buttocks, thighs, elbows or knees. These bumps have an appearance of pimples but develop a yellowish tone to it pretty quickly.

  • Symptoms/Conditions
    • These bumps are itchy and tender to feel upon.
    • They show yellowish tinge quickly after appearing on the skin.
  • Treatment Procedure
    • Enlist the help of a dermatologist to help cure the skin condition.
    • Also, talk to your diabetes consultant to help control such case.

10. Xanthelasma (Yellowish scaly patches around eyelids)


This case occurs when the fat levels in the bloodstream are at an extreme high. Xanthelasma causes the patients to have yellow scaly patches in and around the eyelid region. The case is common in people with poorly controlled diabetes.

  • Symptoms/Conditions
    • Xanthelasma causes the skin region around the eyelids to have yellowish scaly patches.
  • Treatment Procedure
    • Seek help from a medical doctor for controlling the diabetic signs of your body. A poorly managed diabetes is what causes it to occur.

11. Dry Itchy Skin

Dry Itchy Skin

An occurrence of high blood sugar in the body is what causes the skin to have an extremely dry itchy skin. A poor circulation of the blood and some skin infections also leads to dry itchy skins in some cases.

  • Symptoms/Conditions
    • Itchy and dryness of the skin areas.
  • Treatment Procedure
    • A proper consultation with a doctor for management of diabetes would help better as that shall ward off such dry itchy skin occurrences.
    • Also, seek help with a dermatologist to gain their view on the things.

12. Skin Tags

Skin Tags

Skin Tags are the skin growths that stalk or hang from the skins. Skin growths or tags are a common occurrence in many people out there. While these are relatively harmless and doesn’t affect the skin or body, numerous such instances of skin tags are signs of something else.

Numerous skin tags may be a sign of too much insulin in the blood. As such, the occurrence of skin tags is often caused by diabetes too.

  • Symptoms/Conditions
    • Hanging of skins from the stalks in armpit, neck and more.
  • Treatment Procedure
    • A diagnosis of diabetes would be better for you as that will show whether your blood has higher levels of insulin or not.
    • If you’re a diabetic person, steps to control diabetes should be undertaken after consulting with the doctors.

The Bottom Line

These skin related issues are often signs of diabetes or precursor for diabetic cases. We strongly advise you to seek medical help to be at the best of physical health status. Don’t ignore the signs of it.

That’s all from us on this one. We will be back with another one the next time. Stay safe and stay healthy.

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