Diabetes type 2 symptoms: The ‘first sign’ of high blood sugar could be on the skin

People who have high blood sugar levels tend to be more prone to bacterial infections, fungal infections, and itchy skin, said the American Diabetes Association. Moreover, there are certain conditions exclusive to diabetes. Are you showing signs of acanthosis nigricans? These raised tan or brown marks appear on the sides of the neck, by the armpits, or the groin area. Sometimes, these lesions can be spotted on the hands, elbows, or knees – and such marks develop when a person is “very overweight”.

“These changes can cause skin problems called diabetic dermopathy.”

Showing up as light brown, scaly patches – in oval or circular shapes – they can be mistaken for age spots.

This is especially true as the lesions don’t hurt, itch, or open up as a wound.

When you’re looking out for them, such lesions often appear on the front of both legs.


While considered a “harmless” skin condition, high blood sugar in itself can be a very dangerous health condition.

This is why it’s crucial to gain a diagnosis as soon as possible, and to bring down high blood sugar levels.

“Another disease that may be caused by changes in the blood vessels is necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum (NLD),” the organisation added.

“NLD causes spots similar to diabetic dermopathy, but they are fewer, larger, and deeper.”

Often starting out as a “dull, red, raised area”, the lesions transform into a shiny scar with a violet border.

The blood vessels may become easier to see under the skin, and NLD can become itchy and painful; sometimes, the spots crack open.

Once an open sore develops, it’s vital to book a doctor’s appointment as soon as possible.

How to bring down high blood sugar levels

The global diabetes community pointed out other warning signs of high blood sugar, such as:

  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Needing to go to the toilet often
  • Having a dry mouth
  • Feeling tired/lethargic
  • Feeling uncomfortable and irritable.

One of the best ways to bring down high blood sugars is to get moving, such as walking.

Strenuous exercise, on the other hand, could spike blood sugar as the body produces a stress response.

It’ll also help to drink more water when blood sugar levels are running high, helping your body to flush out the extra glucose.

Reflecting on how much sugar you consume in your diet is also handy; adjust this if needs be.

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