Type 2 diabetes sometimes shows itself through symptoms on the skin. Issues such as unusual skin infections, darkening of the skin in areas of body creases and having wounds that take a long time to heal could all be signs of the condition. Itching of the skin is one of the unusual symptoms of type 2 diabetes and one should be vigilant with any major changes to the skin which could mean you are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. An itching on the skin is a sign of type 2 diabetes.
Doctor Rachel Hartley said: “High blood sugar increases the risk of skin infections caused by bacteria and yeast. Poor circulation and nerve damage caused by diabetes can also causes the skin to itch.”
The reason why type 2 diabetics often find their wounds take a long time to heal is because of the high levels of blood glucose in their bodies and over time this affects the nerves and leads to poor blood circulation.
The blood finds it more difficult to flow properly, and this reduced blood flow hinders the skin’s repair ability.
The blood then finds it more difficult to reach areas of the affected body such as sores and wounds.
Hartley added: “I had a client who was diagnosed with diabetes after she had a mosquito bite that turned into a sore that wouldn’t heal.”
Acanthosis nigricans is the medical word for a skin condition that is characterised by dark, thickened, velvety patches found in the folds of the skin such as the armpit, groin and back of the neck.
It is common in people who have insulin resistance and whose body is not responding correctly to the insulin in their pancreas.
The NHS described this further, and said: “Acanthosis nigricans is the name for dry, dark patches of skin that usually appear in the armpits, neck or groin.
“They can appear anywhere on the body and the patches of thickened darkness often appear gradually and make the skin itchy.
The most common cause of acanthosis nigricans is being very overweight and having type 2 diabetes.”
Other symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:
- Excessive thirst and hunger
- Blurred vision
- Breath odour that is fruity or sweet
- Tingling in the hands or feet
The NHS explains that these skin conditions are usually harmless however its best to get any skin changes checked out.
In rare cases, it can be a sign of something more serious and a GP can usually tell if it is acanthosis nigracins by looking at your skin.
Your skin can often tell you if there is an underlying condition and if there are noticeable skin changes it might be a sign of type 2 diabetes.