August is Psoriasis Awareness month. Psoriasis is an incurable, chronic skin disease affecting over 125 million people worldwide. Studies have shown that individuals with severe Psoriasis are 46 percent more likely to have type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is a co-morbidity of Psoriasis – meaning that one disease is often present at the same time as another condition.
With it being Psoriasis Awareness month, it’s a good time to review how diabetes can affect your skin and proper skin care practices to keep skin healthy.
Diabetes can affect skin in many ways; often time’s individuals with diabetes are diagnosed with skin related conditions – rashes, Candida Albicans, Acanthosis Nigricans and bacterial infections.
Skin conditions related to diabetes can be as simple as dry skin and as complex as diabetic dermopathy, a condition that affects the small blood vessels on the front of the legs, which often develop discolored red or light brown patches of skin.
Dry skin may come as a result of poor blood flow to the lower legs and feet, which can cause skin to itch. However, itchy skin with diabetes is often caused by a yeast infection. Candida Albicans is a fungus of itchy red rashes surrounded by tiny blisters and scales. This fungus is usually found in warm, moist folds of the skin.
Acanthosis Nigiricans is another common skin condition in people with diabetes. It is a darkening and thickening of the skin, generally found on the sides of the neck, armpits and groin. It may also be seen on the hands, elbows and knees.
Individuals with diabetes are highly prone to bacterial infections. Bacterial infections may come in the form of styes, boils and carbuneles of the skin and underlying tissue. These infections are red, hot, swollen and painful; they generally require treatment with antibiotic pills or cream.
Proper skin care can help keep skin healthy and prevent infection and other skin complications that individuals with diabetes can be prone to.