Skin infections

The view that cutaneous infections are more frequent in diabetic individuals has recently been disputed. Perhaps the better control of DM with oral medicines and insulin has contributed to a reduction of severe dermal infections. Furuncles, carbuncles, styes and erythrasma were in the past (before the introduction of insulin and antibiotics) much more common in diabetic individuals, but now their frequency has definitely decreased. Furuncles and carbuncles are due to Staphylococcus, and erythrasma are due to Corynebacterion (C. minutissimum). Malignant otitis externa due to Pseudomonas infection is also infrequent today, but potentially lethal. Fungal dermal infections are also common in diabetic individuals, mainly from Candida albicans. This yeast can cause vulvovaginitis in women, balanoposthitis in men, intertrigo and chronic paronychia. Intertrigo is an infection occurring on opposing skin surfaces (under the breasts, in the axillae, the groins, the skin of the abdomen, etc.). Proper antibiotic and antifungal treatment (local or systemic) will usually help in the confrontation of these infections.

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