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Your Skin and Diabetes


Diabetic Dermopathy

Diabetes can cause changes in the small blood vessels. These changes can cause skin problems called diabetic dermopathy.

Dermopathy often looks like light brown, scaly patches. These patches may be oval or circular. Some people mistake them for age spots. This disorder most often occurs on the front of both legs. But the legs may not be affected to the same degree. The patches do not hurt, open up, or itch. Dermopathy is harmless. You do not need to be treated.

Necrobiosis Lipoidica Diabeticorum

Another disease that may be caused by changes in the blood vessels is necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum (NLD). NLD is similar to diabetic dermopathy. The difference is that the spots are fewer, but larger and deeper.

NLD often starts as a dull red raised area. After a while, it looks like a shiny scar with a violet border. The blood vessels under the skin may become easier to see. Sometimes NLD is itchy and painful. Sometimes the spots crack open.

NLD is a rare condition. Adult women are the most likely to get it. As long as the sores do not break open, you do not need to have it treated. But if you get open sores, see your doctor for treatment.


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