What You May Not Know About Diabetic Rash
Diabetes is a condition that is well known for causing a change in one’s skin condition, which is often simply referred to as a “diabetic rash”. Rash-like outbreaks can occur before diabetes has even been diagnosed, which means that a rash can be a good indicator to one’s doctor as to whether a test for diabetes should be performed. Other times, this rash occurs as a reaction to insulin or medication associated with diabetes. We are going to talk a bit more about the symptoms and treatments for a diabetic rash as well as a few other skin conditions that may crop up as a result of diabetes.
When a rash shows up in someone who has not yet been diagnosed with diabetes, the initial shock can be quite scary, especially when the potential causes are so numerous! Due to blood circulation issues that tend to affect diabetics, there are a number of skin conditions that can result; but luckily the most common ones produce specific symptoms that make them easier to identify. Scleroderma diabeticorum is a common skin condition found in Type 2 diabetics that a doctor might check for if the patient is suspected of having diabetes.
Scleroderma diabeticorum is a diabetic rash that typically shows up on the neck and upper back. The skin of these areas thickens quite a great deal and appears darker than the surrounding skin—almost like it is dirty. Although it does not appear much like a rash, it is still termed as one by many. The best way to treat this type of rash is to maintain good sugar levels by altering the diet so that more lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables are consumed instead of sugary foods. The addition of exercise can also help combat this type of skin condition as well as improve circulation.
Another popular type of “rash” among diabetics is very similar to eczema. The rash usually appears when a diabetic’s blood sugar levels get high. The longer the levels remain high, the worse the rash will become. The skin can appear red, flaky or dry, and often itch in a manner similar to dry skin. In severe cases, weeping of the skin can occur, as can ulcers or boils. Ointment or lotion designed to treat eczema is usually enough to help manage the rash, but the rash will not completely disappear until the blood sugar levels become stable.
Another common skin affliction for diabetics is thrush. Thrush is a condition caused by an overabundance of the yeast, Candida Albicans, that naturally resides in the body. This yeast can grow rapidly in number, especially if its host consumes an abundance of sugary foods for it to feed off of. Oral thrush can produce the tell-tale symptom of a white growth on the tongue or the inner walls of the mouth. Many compare the sight to cottage cheese or milk curds. The tongue or throat may be sore and in severe outbreaks it can be quite difficult to swallow. There may also be a bad taste in the mouth or food may not seem as flavorful as it once did.
The last diabetic rash we are going to talk about is called erythrasma. This condition is particularly easy to diagnose because it affects the folds in the skin. The most common areas include the groin, armpits, and neck. Erythrasma is especially common in overweight diabetics as they are more likely to harbor additional skin folds near the elbows, knees, stomach, and back where bacteria can grow and infect the surrounding area. The affected skin is generally a red or brown color and may become scaly. The sight of erythrasma is often compared to that of ringworm or a similar fungal infection, although it is indeed caused by bacteria that grow in these moist folds of skin.
In most cases, a diabetic rash can be prevented by maintaining a good blood sugar level and by getting an adequate amount of exercise. Most conditions can be soothed with the application of a cortisone cream or a lotion containing Vitamin E, as this vitamin is particularly good for healing skin and encouraging new cell growth. Many of these skin conditions have overlapping causes, but if there is any chance that diabetes could be the cause, one should see their doctor immediately for a proper diagnosis.