Over 30% of those who suffer from diabetes also deal with some sort of related skin condition. Diabetics have higher levels of sugar in the blood that create an ideal environment for fungi and bacteria to grow, creating skin problems and making it difficult for the body to heal the problem on its own. Diabetics also lose fluid quickly, making the skin dry out faster.
When your body has excess sugar, it uses excess water to create urine in order to reduce the sugar levels of the body. Skin may also dry out because of diabetic neuropathy, during which the nerves don’t get the message that they need to sweat, which helps keep the skin moist and soft. This is particularly common in the feet and leg areas.
Dry skin also cracks and peels faster, causing soreness and redness all over the body. As the skin cracks, germs and bacteria find a way into the body through the crack in the skin. As dry skin typically itches, scratching the skin also increases the chances of infection.
Caring for the Skin
While skin problems are common in diabetics, they are also treated easily if they are caught soon enough. Without proper care, even the smallest skin condition can turn into a raging infection that causes serious problems down the road. Proper skin care for diabetics is an important part of limiting the effects of your disease.
Skin conditions can be prevented and treated in just a few simple steps. Awareness is an important part of skin care, and it’s important that you know what you are up against and how to fight it.
- Always use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 when you are in the sun
- Always cover the skin as much as possible from the wind or cold with a hat, gloves, and warm boots or shoes
- Keep showers and baths short
- Never rub the skin dry, pat it
- Apply lotion after you wash your hands
- Never bathe in extremely hot water
- Place a humidifier in your room when the temperature drops in order to prevent the skin from drying out
- Prevent chapped lips by always using chap stick or lip balm
- Apply moisturizer to dry skin rather than scratching it
- Use as few products as possible on the skin in order to avoid a reaction
Diabetics should also speak to their doctor before choosing a moisturizer for the face. Some products can actually make the problems worse rather than help. Speak to your doctor before choosing a product that you regularly apply to your skin.
The Importance of Health Care for Those With Diabetes
A big part of lessening the effects of diabetes is ensuring that you have the right tools and information to care for your body. While diabetes can lead to a long list of related conditions, you have control over certain aspects of your care if you are prepared to take care of the body.
While your body fights to regulate blood sugar and remove waste, make sure you are taking care of your skin. Regular attention and TLC can keep your skin healthy and moisturized for many years. Give your body the best chances of success with regular skin care.