Diabetes elevates blood sugar levels, leading to high blood pressure, glaucoma and even serious problems in your heart. The chronic metabolic disorder can also leave its mark on your largest organ: your skin. Diabetes often leads to several undesirable skin conditions that cause skin darkening, rashes, blisters and itching. Skin problems are considered to be one of the early signs of this chronic ailment. When the blood sugar is not controlled for a long time, it may lead to skin conditions.
These skin conditions may appear to be simple skin problems in the beginning but it can turn into potentially complex issue, if it is left untreated for a long time.
Causes of Diabetic Skin Conditions
Reduced Blood Supply to the Skin
Reduced supply of blood to different parts of the skin also leads to skin condition in people who are suffering from diabetes. These skin conditions occur due to the narrowing of the blood vessels that are responsible for supplying oxygen to the skin. In this condition, you may notice thickening and discoloration of the toenails, and cold skin.
High Blood Sugar
Increased sugar content in the blood stream is one of the main causes of skin conditions in diabetes. When the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, the amount of glucose keeps increasing in the blood stream, causing various health problems, including different skin conditions. Vitiligo is one of the most common skin conditions that cause skin discoloration in people with diabetes.
Insulin resistance occurs when the body fails to respond effectively to the actions of the hormone called insulin. Pancreas tends to secrete more insulin to compensate for the insulin resistance, causing abnormally increased levels of insulin in the body. In this condition, various skin conditions develop causing thickening and darkening of different parts of the skin.
The skin may become dark and appear to be tanned, which may be sometimes misdiagnosed as skin tanning due to over exposure to the sun. But, one of the significant signs of these skin conditions due to insulin resistance includes thick dark patches of skin that mostly appear velvety. These skin conditions usually develop under the armpits, breast or sides of the neck.
Heredity is a significant reason that leads to skin conditions in diabetics. When a person has a background with diabetes in the immediate family, then the chances of developing diabetes skin condition increases. Most often, genetically susceptive people tend to develop diabetes but this may not be the only reason for developing skin conditions in diabetics. There are many other factors such as damaged immune system and reduced blood flow to different organs that combine together to cause skin conditions in diabetes.
Damaged Immune System
Immunity system also forms to be one of the main causes of skin conditions in people with diabetes. In this chronic ailment, a person’s immune system becomes dysfunctional and begins to attack and destroy the cells that are meant for producing insulin in the body. Due to lack of insulin, the sugar level increases at an abnormal rate in the body and leads to various conditions like skin problems.