My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Ask Your Question

WebMD Answers

120 Characters remaining
120 Characters remaining
  • First, try and keep your question as short as possible.
  • Include specific words that will help us identify questions that may already have your answer.
  • If you don't find your answer, you can post your question to WebMD Experts and Contributors.


Posted: | Report This Report Question |

How can diabetes affect the skin?

Related Topics: Diabetes, Skin

Answers From Experts & Organizations (1)

7,995 Answers
373,792 Helpful Votes

If you have diabetes and your blood sugar is high, the body loses fluid through excess urination and this can cause your skin to become dehydrated. People who have diabetes often develop skin problems that are attributed to their disease. Skin tags, rubeosis (red face), and yellow skin is commonly seen; however other subtle skin changes can be seen in nearly all people with diabetes.

Your skin can also get dry if the nerves, especially those in your legs and feet, do not get the message to keep your skin soft and moist (because of diabetic neuropathy). Dry skin can become cracked and allow germs to enter and cause infection.  

In addition, dry skin can become red and sore, and can crack and peel. Germs can enter through the cracks in your skin and cause an infection. Dry skin usually is itchy, and scratching can lead to breaks in the skin and infection.

Skin problems are common in people with diabetes. High levels of sugar in the blood provide an excellent breeding ground for bacteria and fungi, and can reduce the body's ability to heal itself. These factors put people with diabetes at greater risk for skin problems. In fact, as many as a third of people with diabetes will have a skin condition related to their disease at some time in their lives. Fortunately, most skin conditions can be prevented and successfully treated if caught early. But if not cared for properly, a minor skin condition can turn into a serious problem with potentially severe consequences.

This answer should not be considered medical advice...down arrowThis answer should not be considered medical advice and should not take the place of a doctor’s visit. Please see the bottom of the page for more information or visit our Terms and Conditions.up arrow

| Report This Report Answer
Archived: March 20, 2014

Was this helpful?


Thanks for your feedback.

29 of 34 found this helpful
Read the Original Article: Diabetes and Skin Care