Type 2 diabetes: Noticing dark patches on your skin could be a lesser-known sign

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Type 2 diabetes is a condition that causes the body to lose control of the amount of sugar in the blood. The body doesn’t respond to insulin properly and may not produce enough, causing blood sugar levels to become too high. If blood sugar levels aren’t controlled properly and stay too high, a number of problems can occur, including kidney failure, nerve damage, foot ulcers, heart disease and stroke.

When a person has type 2 diabetes it means they are either resistant to the effect of insulin or they don’t produce enough insulin to help maintain normal glucose levels.

Left untreated, the high blood sugar could affect various cells and organs in the body.

Complications could mean damage to the kidneys, often leading to dialysis, eye damage, which could result in blindness or having an increased risk for heart disease or stroke.

Acanthosis nigricans is another worrying symptom of high blood sugar level which involves the skin.

A warning sign of diabetes is the development of dark patches on your skin, particularly around your neck, said Healthline.

The site continued: “Dark patches might be widespread, or only noticeable in the creases of skin. The skin around your neck might also feel velvety or thicker.

This condition is known as acanthosis nigricans (AN).

“It’s sometimes present on the groin and armpits, too.

“This condition is common with type 2 diabetes and in those with darker complexions.

“It occurs when high levels of insulin in the bloodstream cause skin cells to reproduce faster than normal.”

The NHS said: “Acanthosis nigricans is the name for dry, dark patches of skin that usually appear in the armpits, neck or groin.

“It could be a sign of an underlying condition, so it needs to be checked by a GP.

“The main symptom of acanthosis nigricans is patches of skin that are darker and thicker than usual.

“They can appear anywhere on the body.”

Diabetes.co.uk said on their website: “Acanthosis nigricans is a relatively common skin condition that is one of the symptoms of diabetes.

“Acanthosis nigricans is characterised by darkening of the skin at particular areas.

“It is not a dangerous condition in itself but is typically a sign of the presence of a problematic condition such as type 2 diabetes and sometimes cancer.

“The signs of acanthosis nigricans are quite distinctive and result in a darkening of the skin around folds of skin, typically affecting the groin, neck, armpits or joint of the fingers or toes.

“As well as being darker, the skin may take on a leathery or velvety feel and the skin may itch or smell.”

Many people may have diabetes without even knowing it, because the signs and symptoms don’t necessarily make you feel unwell.

Common diabetes symptoms include having cuts or wounds that take longer to heal, having an unquenchable thirst, and passing more urine than normal.

You should speak to a doctor if you’re worried about the warning signs or symptoms of diabetes, or if you think you may be at risk.

Diagnosing the condition early is very important, because patients are more at risk of some deadly complications, including heart disease and strokes.

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