Skin manifestations in diabetic patients attending a diabetic clinic in the Qassim region, Saudi Arabia

Muhammad Shahzad, Ahmad Al Robaee, Hani A Al Shobaili, Abdullateef A Alzolibani, Abdullah A Al Marshood, Barakat Al Moteri
Medical Principles and Practice: International Journal of the Kuwait University, Health Science Centre 2011, 20 (2): 137-41

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the prevalence of skin manifestations in diabetic patients attending a diabetic clinic in the Qassim region, Saudi Arabia.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS: A prospective observational study was performed on 320 patients (174 males and 146 females) attending the diabetic clinic. A detailed dermatological examination was carried out by a consultant dermatologist and the cutaneous findings were recorded.

RESULTS: The overall prevalence of skin manifestations was 91.2%. Cutaneous lesions were seen in 12 patients (34.3%) of type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM) and 280 (98.2%) of type 2 diabetics. There was a statistically significant difference (p < 0.001) in skin manifestations between type 1 and type 2 DM patients. For those patients having diabetes of less than 5 years' duration, the incidence of skin manifestations was 80.6%; for those having had diabetes for more than 5 years, the incidence was 98%. This difference was statistically significant (p < 0.001). The skin manifestations that had a statistically significant difference (p < 0.05) in prevalence between the 2 durational groups were gangrene, diabetic dermopathy, paresthesia, diabetic feet, diabetic bullae and fungal infections.

CONCLUSION: Diabetics had a greater prevalence of skin manifestations in type 2 than type 1, and as the duration of diabetes increased, the likelihood of developing skin manifestations also increased. Early referral to the dermatologist may help to detect complications of the skin in diabetes at an early stage and may prevent disability caused by these complications.

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