Diabetic Dermopathy

Diabetic Dermopathy is widely considered the most common skin condition affecting people with diabetes. In fact, estimates suggest that as many as 50 percent of all diabetics have or have had the condition. The dermopathy is also referred to as skin spots or pigmented pretibial patches.


I am sure you will not be surprised to learn that poorly controlled diabetes is the typical culprit causing the condition. High glucose levels in your blood causes the blood vessels to structurally change. These changes cause the blood vessels to leak small amounts of blood into the skin. The leaking blood results in the discoloration of the skin.


The condition is usually found on the lower legs. However, it can also result on the feet, thighs and forearms. The blemishes are usually round or oval and a bit scaly. The color can run the gamut from pinkish and red to tan and even darker brown. They look similar to age spots in some people. The spots can be quite numerous and cover a large area.

The spots do not typically itch, sting or burn. They also do not typically hurt or become open sores.


Under normal circumstances, dermopathy is harmless and usually does not need to be treated. The condition typically improves over time. Nonetheless, it is best to avoid injuring the affected areas and to keep the skin moisturized to avoid cracking.

There are many skin conditions associated with diabetes, so it does not do you any harm to have your doctor take a look at the blemishes, to confirm they are dermopathy. While no specific treatment is usually recommended, remember the typical cause: poorly controlled diabetes.

Your best treatment solution with this condition and your overall diabetic health, is to properly control your blood glucose levels. Dermopathy can be just one symptom of an overall state of health and diabetes management.

Sources :
Skinsight.com (accessed May 2013)
By Erich Schultz – Last Reviewed May 2013.