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November 16, 2006

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Question from Bath, United Kingdom:

I have had type 1 for 26 years and am now 30. My diabetes is reasonably controlled with an average A1c of 7.0. I am in pretty good health though I did have laser surgery whilst pregnant a couple of years ago. I have recently developed circles of raised, discolored scabby skin on both shins. I can't think of anything that would have caused it and it hasn't healed up over a month or so. Is it likely that it could be diabetes related? I saw on the American Diabetes Association web site that something like 30% of adult diabetics will get a diabetes related skin condition. I will be going to see my general practitioner, but if I can provide him with some ideas, I know I will get more from the appointment as he doesn't specialize in diabetes.

Answer:

The most common shin condition is called a “shin spot.” These often occur in bunches. They appear as hyperpigmented raised areas that form in areas of minor trauma and are very slow to go away. There can also be other lesions that are larger and are referred to as necrobiosis lipoidica diabetecorum. These areas may become ulcerated and can form much larger areas on the shins. It is less common, however. The most important thing is to keep from re-injuring your shins by protecting them or avoiding activities that allow them to injured.

JTL