Categorized | Skin Care

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Type 2 Diabetes – Can Controlling Blood Sugar Levels Control Necrobiosis Lipoidica?

Necrobiosis lipoidica is sometimes referred to as necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum because it was first discovered in people who had been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and is often seen with the condition. Collagen, connective tissue, is replaced with…

  • immune cells,
  • fat cells, and
  • thickened blood vessels,

to make what is called a granuloma. Granulomas are used to wall off…

  • infection,
  • inflammation, or anything else
  • the body perceives as undesirable.

Gradually granulomas take on calcium and become as hard as bone. Necrobiosis lipoidica is seen in about 0.3 percent of diabetics and is diagnosed before the diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes in 15 percent of people…

  • 60 percent have a diagnosis of diabetes before necrobiosis lipoidica, while the other
  • 25 percent are diagnosed with both conditions at the same time.

About 30 to 91 percent of Type 2 diabetics will develop some chronic skin disease at some point. On the skin necrobiosis lipoidica can resemble ringworm, a fungal infection, although the two are unrelated. In rare cases, necrobiosis lipoidica can develop cancer, although most are benign. Nonetheless, it is safest to prevent them.

In June of 2017, the International Journal of Dermatology reported on a study from the University of British Columbia and the University of Toronto in Canada. Workers there found all the reports they could on Type 2 diabetes control and necrobiosis lipoidica. They pored over the literature and found ten studies to analyze as one stand-alone large study. Of the 24 participants included in the ten studies, 16 (67 percent) of the participants found their necrobiosis lipidosis cleared up when their diabetes and blood sugar levels were brought under control.

The researchers concluded, since the number of participants was so small, more work needs to be done to establish whether a link exists. Even if there is no such link, positively controlling Type 2 diabetes makes for a healthier, and in some cases, a longer life.

Other skin conditions are seen in people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, more than in nondiabetic individuals and include…

  • psoriasis – red, scaly rash, painful when it covers enough skin.
  • acanthrosis nigricans – black, velvety skin in the groin and armpits.
  • infections – especially fungal.
  • scleroderma diabeticorum – thickened skin on the neck and back. Treated with moisturizing lotions and by controlling blood sugar levels.
  • dermopathy – areas of thickened, reddened skin on a person’s legs.
  • diabetic blisters – appear spontaneously. Treated with control of blood sugar levels and tend to occur in Type 2 diabetics with diabetic neuropathy.

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