Diabetes type 2 – the subtle skin condition that could be a sign of high blood sugar

Diabetes is a common condition that affects more than four million people in the UK. Around nine in every 10 cases are caused by type 2 diabetes. The condition could be caused by the body not producing enough of the hormone insulin, or the body not reacting to insulin. Your body struggles to convert sugar in the blood into useable energy if it hasn’t got enough insulin. You could be at risk of diabetes symptoms if you notice some subtle changes to your skin, it’s been revealed.

Patients with undiagnosed type 2 diabetes may have no symptoms at all

Dr Matthew Capehorn

Some skin disorders, including acne and cysts, could be a warning sign of diabetes, revealed LighterLife’s Medical Director, Dr Matthew Capehorn.

Cysts are a type of spot that could be caused by acne. They’re large, pus-filled lumps that could cause permanent scarring.

If you develop a number of cysts, you could have uncontrolled blood sugar levels, and may be at risk of diabetes, he said.

“It’s very important to remember that patients with undiagnosed type 2 diabetes may have no symptoms at all,” said Capehorn.

“Initially, and for many years, type 2 diabetes may have no noticeable symptoms at all, making it difficult to diagnose unless it’s picked up by routine health screening programmes.

“A change in season, temperature or even shower gel can irritate your skin, but some conditions are closely linked to type 2 diabetes.

“However, some skin conditions, including acne and recurrent or persistent cysts or other infections, are associated with poor control of blood sugar levels, so they should alert you to the possibility of a diagnosis of diabetes.

“Regrettably the spots can often be very difficult to distinguish and may appear the same, often getting mis-diagnosed during puberty,” he told Express.co.uk.

Most people develop acne at some point in their lifetime, however, said the NHS, and over-the-counter medication could help to reduce its severity.

You could also reduce symptoms at home by washing your hair regularly, and by trying to stop your hair falling across your face.

If you have severe acne, and develop nodules or cysts, they should be treated properly to avoid scarring. Speak to a GP for the best advice.

Symptoms of diabetes

Diabetes is a common life-long health condition. There are 3.5 million people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK and an estimated 500,000 who are living undiagnosed with the condition

A classic symptom of diabetes can lead to rapid weight loss

But many people may have diabetes without even knowing it, because the symptoms don’t necessarily make you feel unwell.

Common diabetes symptoms include having an unquenchable thirst, feeling very tired, and passing more urine than normal.

Speak to a doctor if you’re worried about the symptoms of diabetes, or if you think you may be at risk.

You could lower your risk of the condition by eating a healthy, balanced diet, and by doing regular exercise.

Everyone should aim to do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity every week.

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