Boots WebMD Partners in Health
Return To Boots

Diabetes health centre

Select a topic to explore more.
Select An Article

Common skin conditions for people with type 1 diabetes

Keeping diabetes well managed is the most important factor in preventing the skin-related complications of type 1 diabetes. Proper skin care can also help reduce your risk of skin problems.

Most skin conditions can be prevented and successfully treated if caught early. But if not cared for properly, a minor skin condition in a person with diabetes can turn into a serious problem with potentially severe consequences.

Skin conditions linked to type 1 diabetes

  • Vitiligo: Vitiligo is a condition that affects skin colouration. With vitiligo, the special cells that make pigment (the substance that controls skin colour) are destroyed, resulting in patches of discoloured skin. Vitiligo often affects the chest and abdomen, but may be found on the face round the mouth, nostrils and eyes. This condition is more commonly associated with type 1 diabetes. Current treatment options for vitiligo include topical steroids, ultraviolet light treatments, skin camouflage, and micropigmentation (tattooing). You should use sunscreen with a SPF of 15 or higher to prevent sunburn on the discoloured skin.
  • Necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum: Necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum (NLD) is caused by changes in the collagen and fat content underneath the skin. The overlaying skin area becomes thinned and reddened. Most lesions are found on the lower parts of the legs and can ulcerate if subjected to trauma. Lesions have fairly well defined borders between normal skin and affected lesions. Sometimes, NLD is itchy and painful. As long as the sores do not break open, treatment is not necessary. If the sores do break open, see your doctor for treatment.
  • Digital sclerosis: Digital sclerosis is a condition in which the skin on your toes, fingers and hands becomes thick, waxy and tight. Stiffness of the finger joints may also occur. The treatment involves bringing your blood glucose level under control. Lotions and moisturisers may help soften the skin.
Next Article:

WebMD Medical Reference

Popular Slideshows & Tools on Boots WebMD

woman looking at pregnancy test
Early pregnancy symptoms
humbug hard candies
Diarrhoea & more
donut on plate
The truth about sugar addiction
cute dog
10 common allergy triggers
couple watching sunset
How much do you know?
hand extinguishing cigarette
13 best tips to stop smoking
assorted spices
Pump up the flavour with spices
crossword puzzle
Help for the first hard days
bag of crisps
Food cravings that wreck your diet
adult man contemplating
Visual guide to BPH
polka dot dress on hangar
Lose weight without dieting