Whether it’s pre-diabetes – meaning you’re at increased risk of diabetes – or you’ve had the condition for a while, digital sclerosis might appear. What does it look like? According to AAD, the back of the hands will feel “tight” and the skin will look “waxy”. Digital sclerosis can cause the fingers to become stiff and difficult to move.
If diabetes has been poorly controlled for a number of years, or you’ve been unaware of the condition, it can feel like there are pebbles in the fingertips.
“Hard, thick, and swollen-looking skin can spread, appearing on the forearms and upper arms,” warned the AAD.
This skin condition can also develop on the upper back, shoulders, and neck.
Sometimes the thickening skin can spread to the face and chest area.
As the condition progresses, the bumps can turn into yellow, reddish, or brown patches of swollen and hard skin.
You may also notice:
- The surrounding skin has a shiny porcelain-like appearance
- You can see blood vessels
- The skin is itchy and painful
- The skin disease goes through cycles where it is active, inactive, and then active again.
Another telling sign of diabetes can be acanthosis nigricans, which is areas of darkened, velvety skin.
These usually appear:
- On the back of the neck
- In the armpit
- In the groin area
Shin spots are also another possible indication of high blood sugar levels, added the AAD.
These spots (or lines) create a “barely noticeable depression in the skin”.
The medical term for this skin condition is called diabetic dermopathy, and it usually appears on the legs.
In rare instances, the skin depressions might appear on the arms, thighs, trunk, or other areas of the body.