American Journal of Medicine Studies. 2013, 1(3), 32-37DOI:
Abstract: Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a clinical syndrome that is frequently associated by a variety of skin manifestations that commonly serve as ports of entry of different microorganisms. Although diabetes mellitus can be asymptomatic, many patients present with wide spectrum of manifestations. Skin manifestations can be associated with both type 1 & type 2 Diabetes and were seen in patients who use insulin as well as those who use oral hypoglycemic agents to control their glucose level. Early recognition of these skin manifestations assists in early diagnosis and helps to lead toward appropriate treatment for diabetes mellitus patients. Early diagnosis also share in preventing long-term complications. The present cross sectional study evaluates the frequency of skin manifestations in 110 diabetic Iraqi patients in Baghdad covering both males and females from different ethnicities and occupations. This study was conducted over the period of 2005 to 2006 including patients over 20 to 75 years age. A specific questionnaire was designed then distributed to all consenting patients. The skin manifestations observed were skin infections (19.4%), itching (12.1%), skin atrophy and inter-digital maceration (10.5%), waxy skin (9.7%), lipodystrophy (9.7%), skin thickening (7.2%), sweating disturbance (7.2%), DM dermopathy (6.5%), yellow nails (6.5%) and others. The different types of infections observed in diabetic patients involved in this study are discussed thoroughly. Infection, itching, skin atrophy and sweat disturbances are the most common three initial skin manifestations in Diabetes Mellitus patients of this work. A comparison is made between this study and other studies especially with the studies in Jordan and Pakistan and both agreement and disagreement are discussed. The present study reveals that it took more than 10 years for skin manifestations to appear in 60% of the patients. On the other hand, no patient reported manifestation at 30 or more years since they have been diagnosed with Diabetes mellitus. The maximum number of patients reported skin manifestations was at 17-18 year since the onset of Diabetes mellitus diagnosis. The paper concluded that the most cutaneous manifestations in DM Iraqi patients in Baghdad are bacterial and other skin infections.