Diabetes Skin Care Tips
Type 2 diabetes
can cause of host of additional health problems. For people with diabetes,
is very important. Diabetics often experience
itchy, dry skin
(sometimes it's one of the first
signs of diabetes
that a person may notice). Dry skin tends to crack or split more easily and
wounds heal more slowly in diabetics. Thus skin conditions should be treated
as soon they're noticed to prevent them from becoming a bigger issue.
Keep Your Skin Healthy
- Monitor your blood
glucose levels regularly and keep them under control.
High glucose levels
contribute to dry skin conditions, as your body tries
to rid itself of the excess glucose by expelling it in urine. Increased
urination can lead your body to become dehydrated, including your skin.
- Moisturize. Use a good-quality cream or lotion
regularly to help prevent dry skin before it happens. Moisturize after you come out of the bath or
shower too, while your skin is still slightly damp. Moisturize again if
you have been outside in cold or windy weather.
- Protect your skin from the cold, wind, and the sun. Use a good
or wear sun-protective clothing.
On cold or windy days, wear layers to protect your skin from getting dried out.
- Don't moisturize in areas that are already naturally moist.
This includes between the toes. Excess moisture can encourage bacterial
growth or fungal infections to set in.
- Avoid harsh cleansers, scented lotions or soaps, douches or feminine
- Use a humidifier
to add moisture to the air if you live in a dry climate.
- Don't use very hot water. It may feel luxurious, but it tends to dry out the skin.
- Take short baths or showers. It may feel nice for a while, but soaking in
the tub or taking long, hot showers also rob the skin of moisture.
- Keep skin clean and dry.
- Exercise regularly. Exercise
helps to improve circulation. Good circulation
will help cuts or other wounds in your skin to heal more quickly.
- Take care of your feet.
Many diabetics have foot pain
or other problems,
so wear properly fitted
and check your feet for any sores
- Treat any wounds immediately. Minor cuts and sores can be washed with
mild soap and water, then covered with a sterile dressing.
Diabetics are more prone to abscesses
in the skin, so even minor scrapes and cuts should not be ignored. More major
wounds should be looked at by your doctor. This includes deep cuts,
burns, and infections.
- Try not to scratch itchy skin. This can cause tears in the skin, which
may take a long time to heal and can lead to infection.
- Talk to your doctor right away about any chronic or serious skin
conditions. This can include infections, itchiness that won't go away,
skin that feels "hot", and wounds that just won't heal or
are healing very slowly. Don't wait in the hopes that the problem will
resolve itself; consult your doctor to ensure that the skin condition
doesn't become something more serious. Good diabetes skin care will help
you feel your best, and that includes talking to a healthcare provider
whenever you need help or advice.
The information on this website is based on our own research and personal experience,
and is not a substitute for medical advice. Questions about your health and individual
situation should be directed to your doctor.