Glucose content in human skin: relationship with blood glucose levels

Scand J Clin Lab Invest. 1995 Aug;55(5):427-32. doi: 10.3109/00365519509104982.


In order to ascertain the dynamic relationship between the extracellular glucose in upper skin layers and blood glucose, skin suction blisters were raised in six Type 1 diabetic patients during a three-step glucose clamp. Blister glucose closely paralleled venous glucose (mean of r = 0.998). However, in three patients blister glucose was constantly lower than plasma glucose and this appeared to be related to their slower formation of skin blisters. A substantial difference in skin blister suction time was noted among patients and it was found that suction time was linearly correlated to glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1C) (n = 6, r = 0.865, p = 0.026). It is concluded that a non-invasive blood glucose monitoring system could be successfully based on measurement of alterations in skin glucose contents.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Blister / metabolism
  • Blood Glucose / physiology*
  • Body Fluids / chemistry
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / metabolism*
  • Glucose / analysis*
  • Glucose Clamp Technique
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Skin / chemistry*
  • Suction
  • Time Factors


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glucose