Diabetics often have a lot on their plate when it comes to managing their numbers and their health, and it can be easy to overlook something that seems as minor as skin irritation. However, some skin issues can indicate specific health issues going on inside your body — and slathering on some moisturizer won’t be able to fix it.
If you suddenly break out into itchy, yellowish-red bumps, you could have something called eruptive xanthomatosis, which indicates that something is up with your diabetes.
Eruptive xanthomatosis may seem like just an irritating skin condition or oddly-located acne, but it’s actually a warning sign of out-of-control levels of glucose (blood sugar) and triglycerides (fat) in the blood. When these elevations are both extreme and prolonged, it damages blood vessels in the body. This puts you at risk for a slew of health issues, including heart attack, stroke, and pancreatitis.
Insulin resistance makes it difficult for your body to clear out excess fat in your blood, so if you have high cholesterol and diabetes, it’s important to be on the lookout for any problems.
Type 2 and Type 1 diabetics are at risk for the condition. In particular, young men with Type 1 who also have high cholesterol often get eruptive xanthomatosis.
What It Looks Like
Eruptive xanthomatosis typically presents a clusters of firm, pea-like bumps that resemble pimples. The bumps slowly turn yellow, with a red outline surrounding them. They are sensitive to the touch and can be very itchy.
Common locations for them to crop up include the eyes and face; buttocks; the backs of your hands, feet, and legs; and the crooks of your elbows.
To clear up the unsightly skin condition, you must treat the underlying cause: high blood sugar. Adjusting your insulin dose with your doctor will typically help resolve the issue within a few weeks. Drugs that help reduce lipids in the blood may also be prescribed by your doctor.
If you have diabetes and develop this condition, it’s time to speak with your doctor about adjusting your insulin dosage or working on diabetes management. If you have this condition but haven’t been diagnosed with diabetes, it could mean that you have undiagnosed diabetes, or pre-diabetes.
Talk with your doctor to learn more about this condition.
C. Dixon likes to read, sing, eat, drink, write, and other verbs. She enjoys cavorting around the country to visit loved ones and experience new places, but especially likes to be at home with her husband, son, and dog.