Diabetes can affect every part of the body and since it weakens the immune system, it can lead to various infections. The skin is a major organ of the body and diabetes and fluctuating sugar levels can affect it greatly. In fact; the skin is the first organs to get impacted due to high blood glucose. Diabetic patients must monitor their skin for infections from time to time, so that they can be caught and prevented early. Many fungal and bacterial skin infections tend to strike when one is diabetic and they can take a long time to heal completely. It is a good idea to take a look at diabetic rash pictures to determine what kind of infection it actually is. The best thing to do is to get it checked by a doctor quickly in order to avoid further complications. Let us take a look at diabetic rash treatment and ways to avoid and treat ringworm.
Diabetes ringworm symptoms
Fungal skin infections can affect any part of the body. The same is the case with ringworm. It can impact the scalp, toes, nails, fingers, feet etc. A diabetic can acquire the infection from the soil, at daycare, near swimming pools, public baths etc. Ringworm is also highly contagious, so the spores spread quickly and from one person to another. Here are the symptoms:
- Red scaly patches on the arms, legs, torso
- The rash appears red, raised and itchy.
- It has a ring like appearance (which is what gives it the name ringworm.)
- This rash can be very itchy and scratching it can lead to secondary skin infections which are harder to treat in people with high blood sugar levels.
Your doctor can diagnose the diabetic rash by observing the skin sample under the microscope. For this purpose, the patient must give a sample of the skin for observation. Depending on the extent and severity of the infection, you may need to take medicine as prescribed by the doctor. This is true if the rash does not go away on its own in a few days. Common fungal skin infections in diabetics include Jock Itch, Athletes Foot, and Tinea Capititis.
Before you start the Diabetic itchy skin treatment, you must ensure that it isn’t bacterial in nature. Carbuncles are one such bacterial complication characterized by deep, inflamed blisters which can impact any part of the skin. In this case the skin is not itchy; it is inflamed and red. Bacterial skin infections in type 2 diabetics are generally caused by staphylococcus bacteria. In the past, many of these infections could turn life threatening. But thanks to powerful medicines available today, it is much easier treating them. Naturally, a diabetic patient must also focus on keeping blood sugar level under control. Higher levels of blood glucose feed the bacteria and can aggravate the infection.
Yeast infections in diabetes
Diabetics are also prone to yeast fungal infections. These are caused by Candida albicans. They are usually seen in moist areas of the body such as the pubic area, armpits, oral cavity, toenails, in between fingers and toes etc. In women, the skin under the breasts can be impacted. In men, it can also be seen in the penile region, under the foreskin in uncircumcised males.
If you suspect fungal skin infection, ringworm or bacterial infection, you must have it evaluated by a doctor. Do not waste time in home treatment or remedies as skin infections in diabetics can escalate and spiral out of control rapidly. In most cases, you will need prescription medicines to cure the disease.
Not all infections can be bacterial or fungal. Some diabetics can have localized itching caused by skin dryness, inadequate hydration or moisturization and poor circulation. The legs and arms are itchy in most cases. It is a good idea to use a mild soap while bathing. Patients must avoid very hot water while bathing. They must use a lotion or cream post bathing. If humidity level is very low, use a humidifier.
Sometimes, allergic reactions can also cause blisters, rashes, itching etc in diabetic patients. Some people are also allergic to insulin. One must note down symptoms and ensure that is not the case.
Small changes in blood vessels can also cause skin changes. Dermopathy in diabetes leads to brown, reddish or scaly patches which can imitate ringworm. Sometimes it is mistaken for age spots. The spots are usually seen on the front part of legs. They are non itchy and do not open up.
This is characterized by raised, brown areas on the neck, groin, and armpits. Acanthosis affects overweight people so it is important to keep both the weight and sugar levels in control. Applying cream on the rashes can help to some extent.
Tips to take care of skin and prevent rashes in Diabetes
- Patients must keep their sugar levels under control. It is important to monitor glucose levels and take prescribed medicines.
- Those with dry skin must take precautions to keep bacterial and fungal contaminants away as far as possible. This is because; dry skin with microbial contamination is a dangerous combination for diabetics.
- In hot, humid conditions, one must keep the skin dry and clean. Wipe the skin completely after bathing. Use an anti-fungal powder or talcum powder post bathing.
- Avoid skin dryness. Use a moisturizing lotion or cream but not between the toes where fungal skin infections can occur.
- Treat all cuts, no matter how small, immediately.
- Increase humidity in winters and cold and dry climate.
- Take good care of your feet. Soak the feet in warm water every now and then and use a gentle scrub or loofah. Wipe dry and use antifungal cream. Cover with socks and leave it on overnight.
- Check your skin from time to time. If you notice anything abnormal, see your doctor right away.
Diabetes can give rise to many complications in the form of skin infections. However, one can prevent these complications by using certain precautions. We hope the above tips and remedies help prevent diabetic dermathopathy, ringworm and other serious skin issues.