If you have diabetes, you might have dry skin. Glucose levels can affect your skin, when they are high, your skin is dry. Neuropathy can also cause dry skin on your feet and legs. Skin problems from dry skin include cracking, itching and infection. The following are tips to help keep your skin healthy when you have diabetes:
- Use a moisturizer every day. Keeping your skin moisturized is the simplest way to prevent skin problems. Apply moisturizer after bathing when your skin is damp. Avoid using moisturizer between your toes.
- Treat cuts immediately. Wash the area with soap and water and cover if necessary. If you have neuropathy pay careful attention to your legs and feets as you can have a cut or scratch and not know it is there because your nerves aren’t sending messages of pain to your brain.
- Avoid scratching cuts or scratches as this can increase the chance for infection. Apply a moisturizer instead.
- Keep baths and showers warm, but not hot. Hot water washes away the natural oils on your skin and increases dryness. Use a moisturizing cleanser.
- Pat your skin dry after showering or bathing. Be conscious of areas where water can accumulate, such as between toes and your armpits. Make sure these areas are dry. Use talcum powder in areas such as armpits, between the toes. the groin and other places where skin touches skin.
- Do a visual inspection of your skin. Look for red spots, dry or cracked skin, blisters or sores that can lead to infection. Treat any areas immediately and see your doctor if a sore does not heal.
- Make sure your doctor checks your feet during your office visits.
- Drink plenty of fluids. Your skin is moisturized from the inside. Drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated helps keep your skin healthy.
- Use lip balm to keep your lips moisturized.
- Avoid products with perfumes or other chemicals that can dry your skin. Use mild skin care products. Avoid using any products that aren’t essential to your skin care.
- Use a humidifier in your house to raise the moisture in the air.
- Always use a sunscreen when going outside.
- Wear all-cotton underwear.
- When outside in the cold or wind, always wear a hat that covers your ears. Wear gloves and boots. Use extra moisturizer during the cold winter months.
- Keep a first aid kit at home and in your car. Include items such as antibacterial ointment, gauze pad, paper tape and cleansing towelettes.
Despite good skin care, you might develop skin problems because of complications with diabetes. Be sure to contact your doctor if you have a sore that doesn’t heal properly, you notice red or swelling around a cut, have a major cut or burn or develop a rash after taking medications.
Published On: March 25, 2014