Back to Ask the Diabetes Team Ask the Diabetes Team

From Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA:

Are diabetes and skin discoloration (leucoderma) related? If so, what is the remedy?


Leucoderma (also spelled leukoderma) is a synonym for vitiligo which is an autoimmune disorder of the skin which is now recognised as being, like Type 1 diabetes mellitus, part of a group of autoimmune diseases which also includes Addison's disease (adrenal gland failure), pernicious anemia, gonadal failure and thyroid disease. This group of disorders is sometimes called the autoimmune polyendocrine syndromes.

Vitiligo is present as multiple depigmented, oval or irregularly shaped flat skin discolorations, often symmetrically distributed over the extremities and around the body orifices. It has been recognised that the melanocytes (the cells of the skin that make the pigments) are absent in vitiliginous skin, in the same autoimmune-like manner as diabetic patients lose pancreatic islet beta cells. Patients with vitiligo should also be followed closely for the development of thyroid diseases. So far, there is no specific treatment for vitiligo.


Original posting 7 Dec 97


  Back to Ask the Diabetes Team Return to the Top of This Page

Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:56
This Internet site provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. If you have any concerns about your own health or the health of your child, you should always consult with a physician or other health care professional.

This site is published by T-1 Today, Inc. (d/b/a Children with Diabetes), a 501c3 not-for-profit organization, which is responsible for its contents. Our mission is to provide education and support to families living with type 1 diabetes.
By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Legal Notice, and Privacy Policy.
© Children with Diabetes, Inc. 1995-2018. Comments and Feedback.