Diabetes can affect every part of the body, including the skin. In fact, such problems, such as skin tags, are sometimes the first sign a person has diabetes. “Cutaneous disease can appear as the first sign of diabetes or may develop at any time in the course of the disease.”

One manifestation is Acanthosis nigricans, “the name for dry, dark patches of skin that usually appear in the armpits, neck, or groin.”

Luckily, most skin conditions can be prevented or easily treated if caught early enough.


American Diabetes Association. “Skin Complications,” American Diabetes Association, n.d. http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/skin-complications.html (accessed on 8/3/2020).

Young, Becky; medically reviewed by Suzanne Falck, MD. “What’s the Link Between Skin Tags and Diabetes?” Healthline (September 18, 2018). https://www.healthline.com/health/skin-tag-diabetes (accessed on 8/3/2020).

Duff, Michelle, et. al. “Cutaneous Manifestations of Diabetes Mellitus,” Clin Diabetes. 2015 Jan; 33(1): 40–48. doi: 10.2337/diaclin.33.1.40. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4299750/ (accessed on 8/3/2020).

NHS. “Acanthosis nigricans,” NHS, n.d. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/acanthosis-nigricans/ (accessed on 8/3/2020).