8+ Warning Signs of Diabetes that Appear on Skin

a woman holding a sugar cube on one hand and a glucometer on other hand | skin specialist

Warning Signs of Diabetes That Shouldn’t be Ignored

Diabetes can harm your skin as well as other body organs. When your skin begins to show diabetic symptoms, it's usually a sign that your blood sugar (glucose) levels are too high. This might imply one of the things::

  • You don't know if you have diabetes or pre-diabetes because you haven't been diagnosed.
  • Your diabetic therapy will need to be adjusted.
  • One can take Diabetic protein powder as a food supplement for people who have diabetes. It gives you the energy you need and can be used as a meal or a snack. 

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Signs of Diabetes

If you notice any of the warning signs on your skin, you should consult your doctor right once.

1. Skin patches that are yellow, reddish, or brown Lipoidica Necrobiosis

This skin disease is characterized by small raised hard bumps that resemble pimples. With time, these pimples turn into swollen, hard patches of skin. Spots that are yellow, reddish, or brown can occur.

There's also the possibility that you'll notice the following:

  • It has a sparkling porcelain-like sheen on the skin around it.
  • It is possible to visualize blood vessels.
  • The skin is red and itchy.
  • Activity, rest, and reactivation are all stages of the skin condition.

The medical word for this condition is necrobiosis lipoidica.

2. A velvety-feeling darker patch of skin

If you have a black patch (or band) of velvety skin on the back of the neck, armpit, groin, or elsewhere, you may have too much insulin in your blood. Prediabetes is characterized by this symptom. This skin condition is known medically as acanthosis nigricans. Acanthosis Nigricans (AN) is a skin disorder that develops darker skin in the neck and wrinkles and is thought to be the earliest sign of diabetes.


3. Thickening and hardening skin

The medical word for this condition, whether it involves the fingers, toes, or both, is digital sclerosis. On the backs of your hands, the skin will be tight and waxy. The fingers can get stiff and hard to move. If your diabetes has been poorly managed for years, it can feel like you just have pebbles at your fingertips.

Hard, thick, and swollen-looking skin on the forearms and upper arms may expand. It might also show up on the upper back, shoulders, and neck. The thicker skin on the face, shoulders, and chest can sometimes expand.

In rare cases, the skin around the knees, ankles, and elbows thickens, making it difficult to straighten a leg, point afoot, or bend an arm. Wherever thicker skin emerges, it also has the texture of an orange peel. Diabetic complications of diabetes that are difficult to cure are more prone to develop this skin problem.

4. Blemishes

Blisters on the skin aren't common in diabetics, although they can happen. It's possible to see a large blister, a group of blisters, or both. The blisters mirror those that occur after a serious burn and develop on the hands, feet, legs, or forearms. Unlike blisters that grow after a burn, these blisters are not unpleasant.

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5. Infections of the skin

Skin infections are more common in diabetics. If you have a skin infection, you'll observe several of the following symptoms:

  • Uncomfortable skin that is heated, puffy, and itchy
  • Itchy rash with tiny blisters, dry scaly skin, or a cottage cheese-like white discharge
  • A skin infection can appear anywhere on your body, including between your toes, around one or more nails, and on your scalp.

6. Open wounds and sores

High blood sugar or glucose levels for an extended period can lead to poor circulation and nerve damage. You may well have developed them if you've had unmanaged or moderate to severe diabetes for a long time.

Poor circulation and nerve damage may impair your body's capacity to heal wounds. When it comes to the feet, this is especially true. Diabetes causes diabetic ulcers, which are open lesions.

7. Skin blemishes

This skin condition causes spots and, on rare occasions, lines on the skin to form a barely noticeable depression. Patients with diabetes have an increased to develop it. The medical word for this ailment is diabetic dermopathy. It usually starts on the shins. In rare cases, it might form on the arms, thighs, trunk, or other regions of the body.

Diabetic dermopathy: Brown patches are quite common and do not cause any symptoms. As a consequence of these circumstances, many people mistake these for ageing spots. Unlike age spots, these spots and lines usually fade away within 18 to 24 months. Diabetic dermopathy can also affect the skin indefinitely.

8. A rash of little reddish-yellow pimples appears

When these lumps first appear, they often resemble pimples. They assume a yellowish tinge quickly, unlike pimples. The buttocks, thighs, elbow crooks, and backs of the knees are the most common locations for these bumps. They can, however, develop in any location.

9. Eruptive-xanthomatosis

These bumps come unexpectedly and fade rapidly when diabetes is well-controlled. When these lumps first appear, they often resemble pimples. They acquire a yellowish tinge quickly, unlike pimples. The buttocks, thighs, elbow crooks, and backs of the knees are the most common locations for these bumps. They can, however, form in any location. Regardless of where they appear, they are frequently uncomfortable and itchy. The medical word for this skin condition is eruptive xanthomatosis.

Home remedies for diabetes rash

Here are some home remedies for diabetes rash:

  1. If your skin itches, use apple cider vinegar.
  2. The skin benefits from aloe vera gel are astounding.
  3. One of the best things for itchy skin is basil leaves.
  4. Mint makes your skin feel less itchy and calms down skin irritation.
  5. Oatmeal is also used to treat skin that is dry and itchy.
  6. Essential oils like neem oil, clove oil, or lavender oil can be used regularly to stop itchy skin.
  7. Lemon is a bleaching agent and can stop itching right away.
  8. Coconut oil is one of the best alternatives for treating skin that itches.

Take Away

Diabetes can cause a variety of skin problems including diabetes rash. The majority of skin diseases are minor, but with diabetics, even small ones can become serious. Diabetic skin problems can be identified and managed with the skin specialist of a board-certified dermatologist.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is papaya good for diabetes? 

Due to its medium glycemic level, papaya is great for people with diabetes.

2. Is beetroot good for diabetes? 

Yes, beetroot is good for diabetes

3. Is jaggery good for diabetes?

No, Because jaggery has a high glycemic index, it is not recommended for diabetics to eat it.


  1. Sunil Kumar Kota, Sruti Jammula, Siva Krishna Kota, Lalit Kumar Meher,3 and Kirtikumar D. Modi, Jul-Aug 2012

Necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum: A case-based review of literature

  1. Eruptive Xanthomatosis - Healthline