Skin Care and Diabetes
By Nabil Andrawis, MD
Burke Internal Medicine, Inc.
Skin Care and Diabetes
Diabetes can affect every part of the body, including the skin. 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. Luckily, most skin conditions can be prevented or easily treated if caught early.
People with diabetes need to pay extra attention to their skin not only because they are more likely to develop skin conditions but, also because reduced nerve sensitivity and circulation to the extremities can make it hard to identify skin problems.
Skin Care Tips
There are several things you can do to head off skin problems including
Keep your diabetes well managed. People with high glucose levels tend to have dry skin and less ability to fend off harmful bacteria. Dry skin can crack, letting germs into your body that can cause infections.
Keep skin clean and dry. Use talcum powder in areas where skin touches skin, such as armpits and groin.
Avoid very hot baths and showers. If your skin is dry, dont use bubble baths. Moisturizing soaps may help. Afterward, use a standard skin lotion, but dont put lotions between toes. The extra moisture there can encourage fungus to grow.
Keep your skin moist by using a lotion or cream after you wash.
Drink lots of fluids, such as water, to keep your skin moist and healthy.
Treat cuts right away. Wash minor cuts with soap and water. Do not use alcohol, or iodine to clean skin because they are too harsh. Only use an antibiotic cream or ointment if your doctor says its okay. Cover minor cuts with sterile gauze. See a doctor right away if you get a major cut, burn, or infection.
Take good care of your feet. Check them every day for sores and cuts. Wear broad, flat shoes that fit well.
See a dermatologist (skin doctor) about skin problems if you are not able to solve them yourself.
If you have any skin problems, talk to your healthcare provider about them right away.
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