I have type 2 diabetes. I am not at this time on medication as my A1C is 6.4-6.8%. I am having trouble with rashes that itch between my legs and sometimes have a breakout of sores on my stomach and buttocks. Could this be related to my diabetes?

Topics: Complications

Great question! I am sorry to hear in spite of good control you are experiencing skin problems. Unfortunately you are right; diabetes can affect the body from head to toe including the skin. But there could be other reasons for the skin eruptions such as allergies to food, exposure to chemicals or environmental factors, to name a few. Believe it or not the skin is the body’s largest organ. This means the skin requires special attention and care just like your feet, heart, kidneys, and eyes.

High blood glucose levels, not drinking enough water and certain medications may contribute to dehydration, in other words the body lacks fluid. Dehydration can lead to itchy, dry, cracked skin. Let’s not forget about the role of the nervous system. It protects the skin by regulating the production of oil and sweat. Decreased sweat and oil production can also lead to certain skin problems. A scratch, cut or crack on the skin allows a host of bacteria, viruses and fungi to enter your body and multiply. The skin infections may manifest as rashes, bumps, boils or patches (uneven discoloration). The cause of each problem would determine the treatment plan. However, there might not be just one cause. For example, a boil might be bacterial in nature while a rash in warm and moist areas such as under the arms and breast, between the legs or toes, vaginal, foreskin area and mouth corners, could be fungal in nature.

As you can see, your question is not a simple one and needs intervention from your health care provider (PCP) or dermatologist. Many skin conditions are successfully treated with medications including topical creams. Speak with your PCP or dermatologist, jointly develop a plan of action and never underestimate the power of the basics. Examining your skin on a regular basis, treating minor cuts and scrapes promptly, drinking enough water, keeping your glucose in good control and performing good skin care are considered the basics and the first line of defense toward minimizing skin complications. Ask your PCP to refer you to a diabetes educator to review the steps to maintaining healthy skin.

Posted on January 13, 2012 by:

  • This information is meant to be strictly for informational and educational purposes. It is not to be considered as advice, including medical advice, from Liberty Medical Supply, Inc. None of the information presented here is intended to serve as a substitute for diagnosis from, or consultation with, a health care professional. Always consult your doctor regarding any medical questions that you have, as well as before starting or changing your exercise or diet program, and before adjusting any medication.