If you are in the early stages of diabetes or pre-diabetes you will need to be aware of potential skin problems that can develop as a result of insulin resistance. Although these problems are not common they do occur and can be prevented by careful monitoring of your blood sugar and taking steps to keep it in the normal range.
Skin issues range from thicken skin to discoloration to blotchy patches in various places on the body. If you notice any of these things happening to you please visit with your healthcare provider. The earlier you start treatment of these conditions the less they will impact your body.
Types of diabetic skin problems
In the case of type two diabetes the skin problem most likely to affect you is Acanthosis nigricans. It is a marker of pre-diabetes or early stage diabetes. It is usually indicated by a darkening and thickening of the skin on the sides of the neck, the armpits and the groin areas. It usually affects those who are overweight. Unfortunately there is no cure for it however, by losing weight and following an active program as well as improving your diet to a healthy one you can avoid this condition.
Early stages of diabetic neuropathy can develop as a result of high sugar levels in those with pre-diabetes. It’s important to check your skin – especially your feet, or any area where there can be friction, for blisters or rashes. Because of diminished feeling these things can go unnoticed and will eventually lead to skin-breakdown.
Another indication of pre-diabetes is itchy skin which is cause by poor blood flow. This results in dry skin patches and although it’s not a serious condition since it can be treated with creams and lotion, care must be taken to improve insulin sensitivity.
Slow healing of wounds is another marker of poor circulation due to insulin resistance. We all get minor cuts and bruises on occasion which heals after a few days. However people who develop pre-diabetes may notice that bumps and bruises are taking longer than normal to heal. This is caused by poor circulation. If you notice that the healing process is not as fast as it should be then you must visit with your healthcare provider for an evaluation.
Steps to keep your blood sugar normal
As stated earlier – you must visit with your doctor if you have any of the risk factors of diabetes – family history, being overweight, liveing a sedentary lifestyle, belonging to certain ethnic groups, older adult, etc. Be sure to discuss any symptoms you may have related to pre-diabetes such as unusual thirst, frequent urination, poor sleeping, blurry vision, numbness in your extremities (hands and feet).
Upgrade your diet to a healthy a one by eating foods for your body type. If you are unsure what is the right foods to eat consult with a dietician who can help you prepare the right foods for your body type and lifestyle.
Start a consistent exercise program that will keep your blood sugar in the normal range. Walking after dinner is a good start but you will need to ramp up your activity to where you are actually sweating in order to aid you body in getting rid of the excess sugars. You must elevate your heart rate above the sedentary level at least five days per week for no less than 30 minutes.
Skin problems can occur in anyone but if you are prone to develop diabetes then you chances of having any issues can be reduced by being proactive. The above skin issues is by no means a complete list. There are other skin problems that can develop. Be sure to do a search for other complications that can develop as a result of poor sugar control.