Spotting Signs of Diabetes

Spots on the shins may indicate diabetes.

During a physical examination, take a good look at the patient’s shins; they may help you detect diabetes mellitus. In some persons, diabetes causes hyperpigmented and retracted round, linear, or irregular spot on the shin. I’ve found them in about 50% of young adults with type 1 diabetes and in 35% of women and 70% of men with type II diabetes. Shin spots of similar appearance can occur in older men without diabetes, but any person with dark shin spots deserves a diabetes check.