While diabetics understand that having diabetes will affect their diet, what many diabetics don’t realize is that having diabetes is likely impact their skin 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. However, many potential skin disorders that stem from diabetes can be prevented with proper skincare.
Potential skin issues that diabetics may encounter are usually caused by high glucose levels, weakened immune systems, and weakened blood flow. High glucose levels can lead to dry skin or itching, while a weakened immune system may lead to bacterial or fungal infections. Weakened blood flow can slow the healing of open wounds. Insulin use can lead to rosacea or, in rare cases, yellow skin.
Luckily, most of these skin disorders can be stopped early with the help of some basic skincare techniques. Diabetics should bathe with mild soap and warm water daily, avoiding very hot water that can dry out skin. Keep your home more humid during cold months when the air is drier, and use lotion or cream after showers and in cold, windy weather to avoid excess dryness. Control your glucose levels, and fill your diet with foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon.
You may also want to keep a first aid kit for your skin in your home. This kit might include antibacterial ointment, clean petroleum jelly, gauze/non-stick pads, hypoallergenic tape, cleansing towelettes (fragrance free), and Coban self-adherent elastic wrap.
Diabetics also commonly face foot problems, such as blisters, cracked feet, infections, and skin conditions caused by a lack of circulation or diabetic nerve damage. These problems can be prevented as well. Wear shoe inserts to help prevent changes to your foot shape, and examine your feet daily to prevent any damage or conditions. Finally, see your doctor once a year for a foot examination that focuses on circulation and sensation.