Diabetic Dermopathy

A skin condition associated with diabetes, especially poorly controlled diabetes. Diabetic dermopathy (sometimes called “shin spots”) typically appears as dull red or brown scaly patches on the shins that don’t sting or itch. According to various sources, it may affect more than half of all people with diabetes. Doctors don’t know exactly what causes it, but it tends to appear in people who have diabetic neuropathy (nerve disease) or blood vessel complications or who have had diabetes for a long time


Diabetic dermopathy is harmless and does not necessarily need treatment. Cosmetics may be used to cover up lesions. Good blood glucose control can help manage the condition but may be even more important for slowing the progression of the diabetic neuropathy and vascular disease that often goes with it. Some doctors prescribe topical creams that contain fusidic acid or a combination of fusidic acid and a corticosteroid such as betamethasone or hydrocortisone.

Want to learn more about neuropathy? Read “Coping With Painful Neuropathy,” “Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy,” and “Controlling Neuropathic Pain.”

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