Society for Endocrinology - a world-leading authority on hormones

20 Nov 2018

Skin inflammation may increase your risk of type-2 diabetes

Inflammatory skin disorders, such as psoriasis, may directly increase the risk of type-2 diabetes, according to a new study presented at the Society for Endocrinology annual conference in Glasgow. The study findings indicate that improving skin health could be of major importance for the control of blood sugar and lowering diabetes risk.

Approximately 2-3% of the global population suffer from psoriasis, a chronic inflammatory disorder where the immune system attacks skin cells, resulting in too much growth of younger skin cells leading to itchy red sores. Unfortunately there is currently no cure for psoriasis with patients having to use treatments to alleviate the symptoms throughout their life. To add to this burden, previous studies have shown that having psoriasis increases your risk of developing type-2 diabetes. However, the specific biological mechanisms linking the two disorders are unknown, and if defined, they could lead to new therapies to treat patients suffering from skin problems and reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes.

Elizabeth Evans commented, “The laboratory model we used in this study closely-resembles many of the major hallmarks of psoriasis and we have observed some changes caused by the condition which reflect what is seen in a pre-diabetic patient.”

Next Elizabeth and her colleagues plan to determine which skin derived factors are released during psoriasis, and the impact they have on the development of diabetes.

Elizabeth Evans said, “If we can pin point novel skin-derived factors that are directly affecting blood sugar control they may lead to potential therapeutic targets for the treatment of diabetes or insulin resistance. Additionally, finding out if skin-derived factors which alter blood sugar control are lower when treatment for psoriasis is properly adhered to would be very interesting, as it may lower a patient’s risk of developing type-2 diabetes.”


The study, “Skin-endocrine regulation of whole-body metabolism” was presented by Elizabeth Evans on Tuesday 20 November 2018, at the Society for Endocrinology BES 2018 Conference in Glasgow, UK.

The Society for Endocrinology’s annual conference was held at the Scottish Event Campus from 19-21 November 2018. The conference featured some of the world’s leading basic and clinical endocrinologists presenting their work. 

The Society for Endocrinology is a UK-based membership organisation representing a global community of scientists, clinicians and nurses who work with hormones. Together we aim to improve public health by advancing endocrine education and research, and engaging wider audiences with the science of hormones.