Caring For Your Skin With Diabetes

Caring For Your Skin With Diabetes

Diabetes throws off your body’s insulin and blood glucose levels. These imbalances affect your body and subsequent lifestyle in many different ways. Although these issues go further than skin deep, they can in fact, also affect your skin. People with diabetes are much more prone to developing skin disorders and infections, and often suffer from intensely dry skin. Tending to your skin as a diabetic does require extra effort, but the steps do not differ all that much from any other skin regimen. Giving your skin the extra attention it needs allows your body to focus on managing diabetes more efficiently.

Self-Examination Saves

Caring For Your Skin With Diabetes

If you have diabetes the most helpful thing you can do for your skin is pay attention to it! At the end of each day be sure to examine your skin and take note of its condition.

  • Many long-time sufferers of diabetes suffer from nerve damage and loss of sensation, especially in their feet and legs. This, in addition to the dry skin diabetics often experience, can make them both susceptible to cuts and lesions, and also unaware of their existence. Not a good combination. Regularly check yourself (using a mirror if need be) for any cuts.
  • If you do have a cut, no matter how minor, be sure to treat it immediately. Avoid harsh disinfectants, and opt for warm water and soap to clean any cuts. An antibiotic cream can help fend off harmful bacteria, as can wrapping the wound. If you have any concern that the wound may be serious do not hesitate to see your doctor.
  • If you are experiencing any prolonged, intense itching speak with your doctor about it. While many times dry skin can cause your skin to itch, it could also be the symptom of a fungal infection.

More Moisturizing

Caring For Your Skin With Diabetes

Often diabetic skin is stripped of its protective layer of oils and natural moisturizing agents. Dry skin is more vulnerable and easily irritated or infected. Creating a daily moisturizing regimen can help provide your skin added protection and also help soothe any discomfort it may be causing.

  • Opt for cream based cleansers and soaps. Do not use bubble bath, or other bath add-ins. Prolonged exposure to the chemicals in these products will only make dry skin worse, as will soaking in a warm bath for any long amount of time.
  • Go heavy duty with your lotions and moisturizers. Make sure they have a petrolatum base and high percentage. While you may be especially tempted to moisturize your feet, avoid getting product on or between your toes. This can make you more susceptible to a fungal infection.
  • As backwards as it may seem, you should not be afraid to exfoliate your skin. Very gentle exfoliation (often found in cleansers and body washes) can help encourage skin cell turnover, bringing forth new, healthy skin.
  • Following a shower avoid rubbing yourself dry, as this can irritate your skin, and instead gently pat your skin dry. Apply your lotion or moisturizer while your skin is still slightly damp. This will help you better retain moisture.

Dr. Scott Darling of KC Healthy Skin and Vein Center knows proper care of diabetic skin is best complimented by regular visits to a dermatologist

Image Credit: 1, 2, 3.

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  • Five Gifts To Ask For This Holiday Season If You Have Diabetes
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