Diabetes & skincare

When you think about having diabetes, managing your diet, getting insulin shots, and checking your blood sugar are all things that come to mind. However, many diabetics don’t realize that their skin may be affected as well.

In fact, as many as one-third of people with diabetes will have a skin disorder caused or affected by diabetes at some time in their lives. There are a wide variety of potential issues diabetics may have with their skin. For example, high glucose levels can lead to dry skin, which can often lead to other skin disorders.

Diabetics are also prone to fungal infections or bacterial infections because of weak immune systems, weakened blood flow, and difficulty healing from wounds. Other skin issues may include itching, difficulty with healing wounds, yellow skin, rashes, diabetic blisters, skin tags, rosacea, and diabetic dermopathy.

However, preventative measures can stop many skin conditions linked to diabetes before they even occur. Diabetics should bathe wild mild soap and warm to lukewarm water daily, avoiding very hot showers and bubble baths because they may cause dry skin. A humid home during cold months will also prevent dry skin, as will the use of lotion and moisturizer.

Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon, will nourish and strengthen skin; drink lots of fluids to maintain skin’s hydration. In addition, check your skin regularly for any bumps, redness, or abnormalities, and keep your blood pressure and glucose levels under control.

If you do develop skin issues, it helps to keep a first aid kit for skin in your home so that you can address any issues as soon as they come up.

This kit should include:

• Antibacterial ointment • Clean petroleum jelly or ointment • Gauze pads and non stick pads • Hypoallergenic or paper tape • Prepackaged cleansing fragrance-free towelettes • Self-adherent elastic wrap from Coban

Diabetics also encounter many foot problems, such as blisters, cracked feet, infections, and skin conditions caused by a lack of circulation or diabetic nerve damage. To prevent these, use shoe inserts and check your feet regularly for any issues. Rub calluses and corns in one direction for relief.

With these preventative measures, diabetics can decrease their chances of developing skin and foot problems while keeping themselves healthy. If problems do persist, it is recommended to see a dermatologist.

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