Cutaneous Manifestations of Nutritional Excess: Pathophysiologic Effects of Hyperglycemia and Hyperinsulinemia on the Skin

Steven A. Svoboda, BS; Bridget E. Shields, MD


Cutis. 2021;107(2):74-78. 

In This Article

Bullosis Diabeticorum

Bullosis diabeticorum (BD) is the abrupt onset of noninflammatory vesicles and bullae developing in the setting of diabetes. The prevalence of BD in the diabetic population ranges from 0.16% to 0.5%.[63,64,65,66] Bullosis diabeticorum occasionally has been reported to occur prior to the onset of diabetes, warranting screening hemoglobin A1c in patients without an established diagnosis of diabetes.[67] Bullae most commonly present over the acral surfaces, but the lower extremities also are routinely affected. Bullae typically are large and painless, contain clear fluid, and may progress from tense to flaccid over the course of several days. Although histologic analysis reveals nonspecific findings, biopsy may be useful in excluding other bullous disorders. Because BD is a benign condition that spontaneously resolves over several weeks, treatment rarely is pursued.[63,64]