Cutaneous manifestation of diabetes mellitus

Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. Mar-Apr 2003;69(2):105-8.


One hundred consecutive diabetes mellitus patients attending the diabetic clinic of the hospital constituted the study group. One hundred age and sex matched non-diabetics were taken as controls. The majority, 63%, belonged to the 41-60 years age group and 98% had non-insulin dependent diabetes. Among the study group, 64% had one or more cutaneous manifestations as compared to 22% in the controls. This was statistically highly significant (p < 0.001). Infections comprised the largest group affecting 35 of the 64 cases. Among the bacterial infections, pyodermas were observed in 11 and erythrasma in one. Fungal infections were seen in 21, dermatophytoses in 11, and candidiasis in 10. Herpes zoster was seen in 2 cases. Pruritus was observed in 10, neurological abnormalities in the form of paresthesias was seen in 6, mal perforans in one, and meralgia paresthetica in one. Diabetic dermopathy was seen in 6 and rubeosis in 4. Six dermatoses strongly associated with DM were seen, namely one each of waxy skin syndrome, granuloma annulare, eruptive xanthoma, scleredema adultorum, and 2 cases of diabetic bulla. Ten patients exhibited other dermotoses less associated with diabetics: xanthelasmo palpebrarum in 5 patients, acrochordi in 4, and pigmented purpuric dermatoses in one. Likewise syndromes of insulin resistance were seen in 4 patients of whom 3 had aconthosis nigricans and one had congenital lipodystrophy. Furthermore, 9 patients had dermatoses known to be associated with an increased incidence of diabetes; vitiligo in 4, acquired perforating dermatoses in 3, and lichen planus in 2. Four patients had dermatoses known to be associated with diabetes: psoriasis in 3 and diffuse alopecia in one. Three had adverse drug reactions to anti-diabetic therapy.