Diabetes Skin Care: (Acanthosis Nigricans, Atherosclerosis and Vitiligo) Know the 13 Typical Complications-III

This third section of the four-part part series examines three of the remaining 13 typical skin disorders of diabetics: Acanthosis Nigricans, Atherosclerosis and Vitiligo.


This skin complication is generally found among overweight women diabetics, diabetics, though it may affect other diabetics also. Acanthosis Nigricans starts as a nondescript wart. It is characterized by brown-tanned velvety raised patches that may appear all over the body. The affected portion thickens and darkens.

Particularly vulnerable portions are the skin folds of the knees, groin, elbows, and hands. They may also surface under the breasts and armpits besides on the back portion of the neck. The knuckle-top assume an unusual hue and appearance.

Acanthosis Nigricans is generally deemed a precursor to diabetics. It is the skin manifestation of the insulin-resistant factors at work. Once the symptoms appear, immediately consult your doctor for the treatment strategies. Diabetes can be cured if diagnosed at the initial stages, and the patient follows the regimen advised by the health expert.

There is no cure for this ailment. However, studies have found that losing weight checks the disease. Certain other health syndromes can also cause Acanthosis Nigricans. These are the Cushing syndromes and acromegaly.


This skin ailment affects particularly the legs – one of the most vulnerable parts of diabetics. It occurs due to the malfunctioning of the arteries especially when they start thickening. It strikes diabetics at the younger age bracket.

The symptoms of Atherosclerosis are skin starts losing hair. It gets thinner and shiny. The general skin temperature also becomes lesser as it cools down. The normal colour of the toenails gets blurred and they turn thicker.

Slight physical exertion leads to exhaustion. This happens as the muscles fail to get adequate oxygenated blood what with the blood vessels narrowing down. Patients feel a strange sensation and experience pain in their calves.

Other ancillary symptoms of Atherosclerosis are slow healing of cuts, abrasions or wounds on the legs. Even minor scratches lead to sores. It is fallout of the lower limbs not getting adequate amount of fresh blood containing white cells that can fight infection.


The people susceptible to vitiligo are generally the ones diagnosed with Type-I and Type-II diabetes. It causes patches of discoloured skin on the face, abdomen and chest. The reason is that this syndrome starts destroying the substance called pigment that monitors the colour of skin.

Health experts generally ask vitiligo patients to avoid getting sun-burnt. If the patient has to move outdoors, they should use sunscreen having 15 or above SPF. The clinical approaches are micro-pigmentation (tattooing) and injection of topical steroids.


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