If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, you understand the importance of taking care of your blood sugar, insulin injections, and your diet- but have you made it a priority to care for your skin as well? Many people don’t realize it, but as many as one-third of diabetics will have a skin disorder caused or affected by diabetes at some point in their lives. However, some basic preventative care can stop skin issues before they event get started.
Some of the most common skin issues that diabetics face stem from side effects of diabetes. For example, high glucose levels lead to dry skin, which can lead to other skin disorders such as itching, cracking, rashes, and difficulty healing from wounds. Diabetics also tend to have weakened immune systems and reduced blood flow, which can lead to bacterial and fungal infections. Rosacea, skin tags, and diabetic dermopathy are also possible skin issues for diabetics.
Diabetics can prevent these common skin issues was basic skincare techniques. Bathe in warm water (not hot) with mild soap daily, and use moisturizing soap and lotion to combat dryness. In winter, keep your home’s air more humid than in other months, and moisturize regularly, especially in cold/windy weather. Check your skin regularly for any damages or abnormality, and add omega-3 fatty acid-rich foods to your diet to improve your skin. You may also want to keep a first aid kit for your skin on hand. This kit could include antibacterial ointment, petroleum jelly, gauze pads, and other healing items all in one place to be easily accessed.
Finally, don’t forget that skin issues can extend down to your feet as well. Diabetics tend to have blisters, infections, or cracked feet thanks to dry skin and high glucose levels. To prevent foot issues, wear shoe inserts, maintain healthy glucose levels, and see your doctor yearly for a foot examination that focuses on circulation and sensation.
Skin issues can be an unexpected side effect of diabetes, but with the right preventative care and skincare techniques, you can avoid skin issues and enjoy healthy, nourished skin.