Skin Complications

close-up of senior man's face

Skin conditions associated with diabetes include:

  • yeast infections
  • fungal infections
  • necrobiosis diabeticorum
  • scleroderma
  • vitiligo
  • pyoderma gangrenosa
  • cheiroarthropathy

Below are some skin conditions associated with diabetes:

Yeast (candida) infections

Yeast thrives on sugar, and yeast infections especially occur when the blood sugar is not well controlled. Common sites of yeast infections are the mouth, genitals (vagina, foreskin) and skin folds.

Fungal infections

Nails, feet and skin fold areas may be affected.

Necrobiosis diabeticorum

This is a less common skin condition characterized by patches of thinned, brownish skin that arise on affected individuals’ shins.


In diabetic scleroderma, there is localized thickening of the skin just over the upper back. This is different from systemic scleroderma, where the skin changes occur all over the body.


Vitiligo is another autoimmune condition, seen more frequently in people with type 1 diabetes, where the body attacks the pigment-producing cells in the skin. This results in patches of white de-pigmented skin.

Pyoderma gangrenosa

In this rare condition, the skin, especially on the back of the hand, is thick and discolored with some skin breakdown.


A skin thickening of the hand that may limit finger movement.

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