Diabetes. What should you know about diabetic blisters?

Diabetes. What should you know about diabetic blisters?

People with diabetes (diabetes mellitus) can sometimes develop blisters on their skin. These are called diabetic bullae, bullosis diabeticorum, or diabetic bumps. Diabetic blisters are relatively rare, but reports of their incidence vary. These blisters usually occur in people who do not have good blood sugar control. They are painless and tend to go away on their own without treatment. In this article, we'll look at the causes and symptoms of diabetic blisters and provide some ways to treat them and prevent those that don't go away on their own and don't respond to other treatments.

Diabetes - causes of diabetic blisters

The exact cause of diabetic blisters is unclear, but several factors may contribute to their development. Diabetic blisters can be caused by:

  • Ill-fitting shoes

  • Impaired blood circulation

  • Candida albicans is a fungal infection

  • Injury or irritation to other feet or hands

In one of the 2009 the study states that diabetic blisters (diabetes mellitus) occur in 0.5 percent. people with diabetes . Another, older study of people in India from 2003 put the number closer to 2 percent. However, some people with diabetes have a higher risk of developing blisters than others. That includes:

  • People who do not control their blood sugar effectively (blood sugar is too high).

  • Those with diabetic neuropathy - nerve damage caused by long-term high blood sugar.

  • Individuals with peripheral artery disease.

  • People sensitive to ultraviolet (UV) rays.

  • For men, because they develop diabetic blisters twice as often as women.


Diabetic blisters (diabetes) usually develop in people who have not effectively controlled their diabetes for several years (diabetes is uncontrolled or untreated). However, some people may find that blisters are the first symptom they experience of developing diabetes or even prediabetes.
Diabetic blisters are usually clear bumps that usually appear on the legs, calves, and feet, as well as the hands, palms, and fingers. They can be:
  • irregular shapes
  • they are up to 6 inches in diameter
  • a vesicle or, more rarely, several vesicles merge into one larger one
  • filled with clear liquid
  • causes itching

The skin around diabetic blisters will usually look healthy. If the skin is red or swollen, you should see a doctor immediately.

Treatment of diabetic blisters

Based on 2015 According to a review in the journal Clinical Diabetes, diabetic blisters often go away on their own without treatment within 2 to 5 weeks. Therefore, the treatment of diabetic blisters focuses on preventing infection. One of the main ways to prevent infection is to avoid puncturing or bursting the blisters. If diabetic blisters are particularly large, persistent, painful, or hot, you may treat them with:
  • Salt compresses: This can help relieve itching and irritation.
  • Bandaging: This can protect the blister and surrounding skin from bursting or puncturing the blister.
  • Aspiration: During this procedure, the doctor will drain fluid from the blister, leaving the skin covering the blister intact to reduce the risk of infection.
  • Topical antibiotics or steroids: These can help in severe cases, but are a last resort and are not necessary for most diabetic blisters.

In addition to reducing the risk of infection, it is also advisable to consult a doctor or dermatologist to prevent more serious skin conditions that can develop in people with diabetes . In some cases, the doctor may biopsy (take a sample of) the diabetic blister.


The most important step a person can take to prevent diabetic blisters is to control their blood sugar. Proper use of medication and ensuring a healthy, wholesome diet and a healthy lifestyle (exercise, physical activity) are the best options for effective blood glucose control. Also, people with diabetes should keep a close eye on their skin (especially the feet, as diabetics often develop diabetic foot) and look for blisters and other skin conditions. You can reduce your risk of developing diabetic blisters by taking several steps:
  • Regularly and thoroughly examine your hands and palms, legs and feet. Also, ensure proper skin hygiene and care, moisturize it (available cream, lotion for people with diabetes).
  • Wear appropriate shoes and avoid shoes that rub or irritate your skin.
  • Be sure to wear socks and shoes to avoid injury to your feet.
  • Wear gloves when handling tools that can cause blisters, such as scissors and other tools.
  • Limit exposure to UV rays on your skin and use sunscreen when outdoors.
  • Consult your doctor or podiatrist for immediate treatment of any other foot skin problems.

When to see a doctor

People with diabetes (diabetes mellitus) should contact their doctor if they notice any skin changes, including the formation of diabetic blisters. Symptoms that require response and prompt treatment include:

  • swelling of the skin
  • reddened or irritated skin around the lesion
  • hot blister sensation
  • pain
  • fever

It's important

Diabetic blisters are rare and more common in people with uncontrolled blood glucose than in others with the condition. In most cases, the blisters are painless and will heal on their own within a few weeks. Nevertheless, since blisters increase the risk of secondary infection, it is necessary to consult a doctor if diabetic blisters appear, especially if they are accompanied by other symptoms.
Some steps that can help prevent diabetic blisters are for a person with diabetes to check their skin regularly and protect it from injury and irritation. It is important for people with diabetes to manage their blood sugar effectively to prevent blisters and other complications.

Adapted from https://diabetesjournals.org/clinical

#diabetes, #diabetes

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