Background: Diabetic dermopathy is the most common cutaneous marker of diabetes mellitus. The relationship of diabetic dermopathy to internal complications of diabetes mellitus, such as nephropathy, retinopathy, and neuropathy, is still unknown. Methods: The possible role of diabetic dermopathy as a clinical sign of internal complications in diabetes mellitus was investigated. One hundred and seventy-three patients with diabetes mellitus, of whom 125 (72%) had insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus and 48 (28%) had non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, were studied. Results: Diabetic dermopathy was present in 69 (40%) of patients, statistically more significant in patients 50 years of age and older. The mean diabetic duration was significantly higher in patients with diabetic dermopathy than in those without. The associations of diabetic dermopathy with retinopathy, nephropathy, and neuropathy were each statistically significant, and the increased frequency of diabetic dermopathy correlated with an increased number of these three complications in each patient. Conclusions: Some of the factors that affect the development of internal complications in diabetes mellitus may play a role in the development of diabetic dermopathy, and diabetic dermopathy may serve as a clinical sign of an increased likelihood of these internal complications in diabetic patients.
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