Diabetes can affect every part of the body, including skin. In their lifetime, as many as one third of diabetics will have a skin disorder caused or affected by diabetes. Most skin conditions can be prevented or easily treated with early detection.
To improve diabetic skin care, there are several things you can do:
- Manage your diabetes – If you have high blood glucose levels, you are more likely to have dry skin and a decreased ability to fight off harmful bacteria. Both conditions increase the risk of infection.
- Keep skin clean and dry – Use talcum powder in areas where skin touches skin, such as armpits and groin.
- Avoid super hot baths and showers – The heat can increase drying of the skin. If your skin is already dry, don’t use bubble baths. Moisturizing soaps may help. Apply a moisturizing skin lotion afterwards, but avoid the area in between toes as too much moisture there can encourage fungus growth
- Prevent dry skin – When your skin is dry, it can become itchy. Scratching can open skin, allowing infection to set in. Moisturize your skin to prevent chapping, especially in cold or windy weather.
- Treat minor cuts and scrapes right away – Wash minor cuts with soap and water. Only use an antibiotic cream or ointment if your doctor recommends it. Cover minor cuts with sterile gauze. Should you get something more serious, don’t hesitate to see a doctor before it becomes infected.
- Increase home humidity – During cold, dry months, keeping your home more humid can help alleviate dry skin. You can and should bathe less during the dry seasons as well.
- Take care of your feet – Check your feet every day for sores and cuts. Wear broad, supportive shoes that fit well and allow air to move freely around your feet. Always check your shoes for foreign objects before putting them on.