Background/aims: Diabetes mellitus is responsible for many cutaneous alterations. Xerosis and sclerotic change of the skin are the most common findings. Recently non-invasive computerized devices have been developed and used for determining the desquamation rate and measuring the mechanical properties of the skin. Using these devices, the necessity to characterize the conditions of the skin in the healthy as well as the diseased state is increasing. The aim of this study was to compare the elasticity and desquamation rate between the diabetic population and the normal population using non-invasive, objective methods.
Methods: Skin sites of 96 diabetics with normal appearance, were measured for skin elasticity and desquamation rate using the Cutometer and visual grading and D-Squame-image analysis method, respectively. The values of parameters were compared to values of 83 non-diabetics' results.
Results: There was a significant decrease in skin elasticity (expressed by Uv/Ue and Ur/Uf of the face) and in the value of fine flakes in the diabetics. Although insignificant, the SDI (Scale Density Index) calculated from objective automatic measurement was higher in the diabetics than the control group.
Conclusions: The elasticity of facial skin was decreased in patients with diabetes. Decrease of the fine flakes of the diabetes patients reflect that irritation and xerotic changes are aggravated in skins of diabetic patients. The results indicate the presence of skin elasticity alteration and desquamation with diabetes mellitus. Such non-invasive evaluations of the skin may be useful for evaluating changes in the skin that are associated with diabetes mellitus.