Got skin infection? Check for diabetes

Wednesday, 7 August 2013 - 7:47am IST | Agency: DNA
At least 1 in 4 patients with skin infections shows high blood sugar level, finds study.

Thirty-seven-year-old banker Rohit Rane (name changed) visited a dermatologist two months ago to consult for his skin infection. The doctor told him that it was florid Candidiasis and advised him to check his blood sugar. But he was shocked when he found that his glucose level was 265 mg/ dL, double than the normal level.

Rane is not alone. A study conducted by a city dermatologist has revealed that more than 25% of patients visiting for skin ailments showed high blood sugar levels. The study conducted on 360 male and 60 female patients showed 85 males and 40 female detected for the first time to have high blood sugar level. The study was conducted between April 2012 and July 2013.

“High blood sugar level offers a favourable medium for pathogens to grow. Hence many diabetic patients show skin disorders. However, the skin problems could also provide first sign that a person is diabetic,” said Dr Tushar Jagtap, a Bandra-based researcher.

“Common skin manifestations like fungal infection, candidiasis, tinea-cruris, tinea corporis, bacterial infection like carbuncle, boils, viral infection like herpes zoster and even eczema and neuro-dermatitis seem to be associated with high blood glucose levels,” Dr Jagtap added.

He said that random blood sugar testing by glucometer can be employed in a dermatological setup. It would help in early diagnosis, proper medication and management of the disease. If untreated, the diabetes can lead to several complications like cataract, coronary heart disease and kidney disorders etc.

According to experts, hectic life style, stress, improper diet, lack of rest, sleep, family history, sedentary life style and environmental degradation are major contributing factors for the prevalence of diabetes and common skin conditions.

Dr Chitra Naik, professor of dermatology at Nair Hospital, said, “We have also observed prevalence of diabetes among skin patients. But the figure of 25% in this study seems to be very high.” She, however, advised that all skin patients need to be screened for blood glucose test.

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