New diet, insulin injections, blood sugar checks- diabetics already have a lot on their plate. However, many diabetics don’t realize that they may also face skin disorders as a potential side effect of diabetes. In fact, as many as one-third of diabetics will have a skin disorder related to diabetes during their lives. However, smart skincare can help prevent many of these issues.
Skin disorders linked to diabetes often stem from common side effects of diabetes. For example, high glucose levels often cause dry skin, which leads to other disorders such as itching, cracking, rashes, and difficulty healing from open wounds. Diabetics also experience reduced blood flow to certain areas of the body and weakened immune systems, making them prone to bacterial or fungal infections. In rare cases, insulin injections can cause yellow skin, or, more commonly, rosacea.
While these skin issues can turn serious, it’s possible to prevent them from even occurring with smart skincare techniques. Diabetics should bathe with mild soap and warm, not hot, water daily, using moisturizing soap and lotions afterwards to retain moisture. In the cold, windy winter months, air is drier; counteract this by keeping your home’s air humid. Keep your blood pressure and glucose levels controlled to maintain good circulation and soft skin. You may also want to keep a first aid kit for skin stocked; have it include items like antibacterial ointment, petroleum jelly, gauze pads, hypoallergenic tape, cleansing towelettes, and self-adherent elastic wrap.
Finally, diabetics are also vulnerable to foot problems, such as blisters, cracked feet, infections, and skin conditions caused by a lack of circulation or diabetic nerve damage. Stop these problems before they even start by wearing shoe inserts to prevent change in the shape of your foot that diabetic nerve damage may cause. You should also examine your feet daily for any damage or new conditions, and see your doctor yearly for a foot examination that focuses on circulation and sensation.
Diabetics may be prone to skin and foot issues, but with proper preventative care, you can avoid many of these disorders.