Many times we obsess over our looks since it is the first thing people see when they meet you. It makes sense to invest in luxurious skincare products (if you can afford to buy one) in order to achieve that fresh and flawless complexion that is the envy of many. Unfortunately, we often only focus on the outside and fail to realize that whatever shows on your skin is affected by your overall health. Some imperfections that annoy you may actually be a symptom of an underlying medical condition that may bring about more problems in the future that will also reflect on your appearance. One of these conditions is Diabetes Mellitus or simply known as Diabetes.
People with Diabetes manifest various symptoms that affect the entire body and your skin is one organ that easily shows the nasty signs of this condition. It is common to experience itching of the skin, suffer from common skin infections and even develop skin tags when your glucose levels soar higher than normal. Wounds also tend to heal slowly and can even lead to gangrenes and amputations in severe cases. So you see, you should not just ignore Diabetes because your skin will likely suffer first if you are not able to regulate your blood sugar levels properly.
Dry, itchy skin
A common complaint for many with diabetes is dry, itchy skin. High blood glucose levels can cause this as the body will attempt to rid itself of excess sugar circulating in the bloodstream by causing excessive urination. If someone with the disease is not properly hydrated, this can result in the skin becoming flaky, dry and itchy. Poor blood glucose control can also lead to poor circulation in the extremities of the legs and feet leading to dry skin with itchiness. Maintaining adequate fluid intake and using moisturizing creams throughout the day and after taking a shower or bath can help reduce dryness and itchiness.
- Skin tags
Many people have skin tags – skin growths that hang from the skin that occur most often on the neck, eyelids, and armpits. While skin tags are harmless, they are strongly associated with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes indicating high insulin levels in the blood. Generally skin tags can be removed by a dermatologist.
Understand that diabetes is a chronic condition. You learn to live with it. It won’t just go away on its own or even with treatment. Most treatments are palliative in nature and are meant to help patients cope with it so they can live quality lives even if their blood glucose levels are constantly unstable. If you don’t want your looks to suffer in case you are unfortunate enough to have it, make sure you are aware of your condition and what measures you need to do to prevent it from unnecessarily spiking.
- Eruptive XanthomatosisEruptive xanthomatosis is caused by lack of control of the blood glucose levels and when triglycerides are at really high levels in the blood. It manifests on the skin as firm, yellow, pea-like bumps. These bumps can be itchy and appear on the back of hands, the feet, arms, legs and buttocks. Using lipid-lowering drugs can be helpful.6. Diabetic DermopathyAnother skin condition caused by the change in blood vessels is diabetic dermopathy. This condition appears as light brown, scaly patches on the skin. The patches can be oval or circular and can often be mistaken for age spots. The patches are not itchy, do not hurt and do not open up. They occur mostly on the front of the legs although each leg is affected to a different degree. This condition is not harmful and does not require treatment.
Diabetes won’t just leave you with dry and itchy skin but even more nasty skin conditions you’ve barely heard of like Eruptive Xanthomatosis and Diabetic Dermopathy. Protect your vanity and sanity by keeping your blood sugar in check rather than suffer from more complications that aren’t just skin deep. By doing so, you likewise preserve your health and improve your quality of life. You won’t know how difficult life with Diabetes is unless you have one or know someone with the condition and see their struggle on a daily basis but know that this disorder is preventable by living a healthy life and limit your intake of sweets lest you suffer from the wrath of insulin imbalance that characterizes this condition.