For the millions of Americans who suffer from diabetes, skin disorders are a prevalent threat that will eventually affect as many as one-third of diabetics at some point in their lives. Issues such as dry skin, bacterial or fungal infections, itching, rosacea, and more can impact the lives of diabetics.
Diabetics are more prone to skin disorders for a variety of reasons. For example, high glucose levels can lead to dry skin, which can then lead to other skin disorders, such as itching, cracking, difficulty with healing wounds, and infection. Diabetics are also susceptible to fungal and bacterial infections because of weakened immune systems and reduced blood flow to some areas of the body. Insulin injection can also lead to side effects, such as rosacea or rarely, yellow skin.
Luckily, many of the skin conditions associated with diabetes can be prevented with basic skincare. Diabetics should bathe with mild soap and warm water, avoiding hot water, which can lead to dry skin. Using moisturizing soap and keeping your home humid during the cold months will also keep your skin from drying out. Nourish and strengthen your skin my eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids (like salmon) and drinking water and sugar-free caffeinated drinks.
For total skin care, keep a first aid kit for skin on hand in your home. This kit should include antibacterial ointment, clean petroleum jelly, gauze pads, hypoallergenic tape, prepackaged cleansing fragrance-free towelettes, and Coban self-adherent elastic wrap.
Many diabetics also face foot problems, such as blisters, cracked feet, infections, and skin conditions caused by a lack of circulation or diabetic nerve damage. To prevent these issues, wear shoe inserts to help prevent changes to your foot shape and see your doctor for a foot examination at least once a year.
While skin issues are a real problem for diabetics, preventative care can help you avoid many skin disorders. If your problems do persist, see a dermatologist.
Please include attribution to Skinfo.com with this graphic.