Warning signs of diabetes on your skin

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Type two diabetes is epidemic because of more people being overweight or obese and having sedentary lifestyles. Common symptoms include frequent urination and unusual thirst. But there are some other signs right on the skin that indicate you may have diabetes or that you're at high risk for it.

Kim Nagel, a nurse practitioner at Research Medical Center--Brookside, says one sign is a darkening of the skin in places.

"People come in and ask why around the neck or under their arms the skin is dark or almost has a velvety texture to it," says Kim.

Another sign can be skin tags in those same areas. People may think the skin tags result from rubbing, but they actually form because of insulin resistance.

The nurse practitioner says sometimes people will see red, flat areas or darkened brownish spots on the shin. Other possible signs include yellowing of the nails or thickening of the skin which causes itching.

Increased skin infections may also indicate diabetes.

"So they might have increased fungal infections, meaning ringworm or athlete's foot or just bacterial infections. People come in and they have these blisters or boils that are red and inflamed," says Kim.

She says when people have those multiple times, you need to be checking for diabetes.

Cuts and bruises that are slow to heal can be another sign.

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