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What should you do about a diabetes rash?

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Quick Answer

Type 2 diabetes patients should see a doctor if they experience a skin rash, states Healthline. Treatment depends on the cause of the skin condition. Approximately a third of all diabetics develop skin problems, which commonly include bacterial and fungal infections as well as rashes related to neurological or blood vessel complications.

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Any common skin problem can become worse when an individual is diabetic, Healthline explains. Jock itch, boils, sties or fungal infections can be more severe. Diabetes patients also frequently experience chronically dry skin.

Bacterial infections, which include boils and sties, may need to be treated with antibiotics, advises Healthline. Fungal infections, such as jock itch, ringworm and athlete's foot, can worsen and spread without prescription medications.

Some skin conditions are complications specific to Type 2 diabetes patients, Healthline reports. One common complication is diabetic dermotopathy, which usually doesn't require treatment but may be permanent. It appears as a scaly patch or oval that may be light brown in color and is caused by damage to small blood vessels.

The thickening of the leg's arteries, called atherosclerosis, creates skin changes in diabetics. Symptoms include cold, hairless legs and toes, very thick toenails and sometimes shiny skin. Skin conditions are often the first signs of diabetes, notes Healthline. Many conditions improve when a patient's glucose levels become well-regulated.

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