From Aroda, Virginia, USA:
I am a 42 year old woman, have had type 2 diabetes (currently treated with pills) for approximately six years, and about two years ago, I developed a spot on my lower right leg (between calf and ankle). My doctor sent me to the university where they diagnosed lipodermatosclerosis. When I directly asked the doctor at the university if this came from diabetes, he said that it did not, that it was a relatively new diagnosis ("discovered" only about four years ago), that the disease only showed up in one leg, and that it was found in patients who have had trauma to their legs at one point in their lives (which I did at age 11). The doctor also said there was no cure for this, and although I would keep my leg, it would become very painful and disfigured. He put me on compression stocking therapy.
While my family doctor agrees with the therapy, he says the disease comes from diabetes and that I can (and probably will) get it in both legs. Which doctor is right? Is there anything else that can be done? I work in a furniture factory, and am on my feet 10 to 12 hours a day. My leg has to iced down and elevated at night so I can go to work the next day, but the pain is getting so much worse.
Necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum, a term used to indicate a diabetes-related skin condition, is frequently seen with diabetes. Recurrent trauma cause the areas to be slow to heal, maintaining a persistent skin involvement. This particular diagnosis, if not related to diabetes and different from the above diabetes-related diagnosis, may not respond to any therapy directed at the diabetes.
[Editor's comment: See Diaz-Cascajo C, Borghi S. Subcutaneous pseudomembranous fat necrosis: new observations J Cutan Pathol 2002 Jan;29(1):5-10. SS]
Original posting 23 Feb 2002
Posted to Complications
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:30
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