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Leg Rashes and Diabetes

Among the many causes of leg rashes, diabetes is also considered to be a major possibility. Learn how to read the signs, along with the symptoms of this condition.
Naomi Sarah
Last Updated: Mar 19, 2018
Diabetes which is a common reference of 'Diabetes Mellitus', translates into 'sweet urine'. The term diabetes mellitus, in Greek, means 'to flow, honey'. This condition impairs the body's ability to respond to/produce insulin, that the body needs to allow glucose into cells via the bloodstream, thus producing energy. The signs of diabetes are easily identifiable, wherein some patients also develop a leg rash. Let us take a look at some of the symptoms and the complications that can arise when diabetes goes undetected/untreated over an extended period of time.
Types of Diabetes
Hyperglycemia is a condition where glucose seeps into one's urine. This is because of high levels of blood glucose. Due to this, body cells weaken because of no energy supply to the cells, causing severe damage done overtime to the kidneys, heart, eyes and blood vessels.
Hypoglycemia, is when the pancreas secrete a hormone called 'glycogen', where the liver and muscles convert it back to glucose. This then starts off a reaction of where the kidneys, small intestines and liver break down protein into glucose, after the stored glycogen is used up. When it peaks, the symptoms escalate from mild to severe. There are three main types of diabetes - Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes (doesn't have any early symptoms) and gestational diabetes (only during pregnancy).
Foot Related Problems of a Diabetic
Leg rash and low blood sugar, is where the former is a symptom as a result of hypoglycemia. The following are the two most highly witnessed problems when it comes to one's feet area.
Peripheral Vascular Disease
Due to diabetes affecting how blood flows, it takes longer for wounds, cuts and sores to heal. The meaning of peripheral vascular, is when the blood flow to the legs and arms is reduced due to the narrowing of blood vessels. Peripheral vascular disease affects blood vessels that are far off from the heart.
Diabetic Neuropathy
Diabetic neuropathy affects the nerves in the feet and legs, and can severely damage them. Sensations like feeling cold, hot or reacting to pain aren't signals that can be received by the nerves, when damaged. So because of this, one cannot feel pain when a cut or wound is inflicted to the area where the damaged nerves are, making the chances of infection very high.
Diabetes Induced Symptoms and Disorders
Here we will focus on how leg rash and diabetes are related, by delving into skin and foot problems that arise during diabetes.
This normally occurs when there is poor blood circulation, a yeast infection or dry skin. The lower parts of the leg develop a rash, on the lower side, due to poor circulation, thus causing itching as well. Use a mild soap and apply skin creams after you bathe; limit the number of times you have bath in a week.
A callus is when hard skin builds up in layers, under the person's foot. It is caused by uneven distribution of one's weight, around the heel or forefoot area. This can arise when one has a skin abnormality or ill-fitting shoes, which can even make a callus form under one's soles. This can be removed by using medication to soften the calluses, or a pumice stone to gently remove the tissue that's been building up. If this problem gets out of hand, and goes untreated, it can lead to serious complications resulting in amputation.
Dry Skin
Dry skin can result from the inability of the nerves in your leg and feet area, to receive messages sent by the brain, to stay smooth, sweat or remain moist. Due to this, germs can easily enter cracked skin surfaces, again leading to infections. It is advisable to use moisturizers and creams to keep your skin moist at all times.
Acanthosis Nigricans
It is a condition where brownish raised skin bumps appear around the areas of the armpits, on the side of one's neck, knees, elbows and hands. This attack occurs only if one were obese, and can be solved by trying to lose the excess weight.
It is likely that a person ignores signs of skin bumps and rashes, especially a lower leg rash. Diabetes can be a possible reason for any of the above mentioned symptoms or it might be possible that the patient is allergic to diabetic medication too. Find out if there is a family history of this diseases/condition. It is hereditary in nature, so like I always say, it is good to pay your doctor a precautionary visit, if you experience anything abnormal about your health. Good luck.