Type 2 diabetes symptoms: Skin that looks and feels this way could be a warning sign

When a person has type 2 diabetes, it’s important for them to be diagnosed as early as possible because untreated symptoms can lead to dangerous and sometimes irreversible consequences. These complications include damage to the eyes, nerves and kidneys. Some common diabetes symptoms are fatigue, lethargy, confusion, nausea and increases urination. There is an unusual symptom of the condition which lies in a person’s skin – if your skin feels this way it may mean you’re at risk of developing the condition.


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Type 2 diabetes is a chronic metabolic condition that affects how the body utilises glucose.

This happens when the body either doesn’t respond normally to insulin or doesn’t produce enough insulin to maintain a normal blood sugar level.

Skin problems are often the first visible signs of diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association.

Type 2 diabetes can make existing skin problems worse and cause new ones.

American Diabetes Association said: “Diabetes can affect every part of the body, including the skin.

In fact, such problems are sometimes the first sight that a person has diabetes. Luckily, most skin conditions can be prevented or easily treated if caught early.

Some of these problems are skin conditions anyone can have, but people with diabetes get more easily.

These include bacterial infections, fungal infections and itching. Other skin problems happen mostly or only to people with diabetes.

These include diabetic dermopathy, necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum, diabetic blisters and eruptive xanthomatosis.”

Dr David Bradley, assistant professor of endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Centre in Columbus said: “High blood sugar increases the risk of skin infections caused by bacteria and yeast.

“Also, poor circulation and nerve damage caused by diabetes can cause itching, too.

“When blood sugar levels are too high for too long, several changes take place in the body that affect skin health.

“Blood sugar leaves the body through the urine and so when there is too much blood sugar, a person will urinate more and this can result in dehydration and skin.”


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High blood sugar levels can also lead to inflammation.

Over time, this can dull or over stimulate the immune response.

Nerve and blood vessel damage can also reduce circulation. Poor blood flow can alter the skin’s structure, especially its collagen.

Without healthy collagen networks, the skin can become stiff and in some cases, brittle as collagen is necessary for proper wound healing.

If a person with type 2 diabetes notices changes in their skin, injuries or irritation to the skin surrounding insulin injection sites, cuts or wounds that are slow to heal or cuts and wounds that appear infected it could mean be skin infections caused by type 2 diabetes.

Though there’s no cure for diabetes, there are a variety of treatment options that include over-the-counter and prescription treatments, alternative remedies and lifestyle changes that can help manage the condition.

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