For people with diabetes, the existence of excess glucose or sugar in the blood for an extended period of time can lead to skin problems. If blood glucose levels are high, the body responds by converting water into urine in order to remove excess sugar from the blood. This in turn causes the skin to become dry. In addition, nerve and small blood vessel damage can make dry skin worse for Diabetics. Dry skin can be uncomfortable and cause tightness, itching, cracking, peeling or become red and sore. Open cracks in the skin provide opportunity for germs to enter the body and cause an infection.
Fortunately, most skin conditions can be prevented and successfully treated if caught early. If left untreated or not cared for properly, a minor skin condition can turn into a serious problem with potentially severe consequences. Keeping the skin well hydrated will help prevent cracks and fissures from forming.
Here are some tips to prevent dry skin:
- Humidify the Air- Central heating systems and heaters push hot, dry air through our homes and offices where we spend most of our time. Humidifiers will put moisture in the air and help prevent your skin from drying out.
- Avoid hot baths and showers which can strip natural oils from the skin.
- Avoid exposure to harsh soaps or cleansers which tend to remove the natural oils from your skin.
- Use a moisturizing balm containing urea on the soles of your feet. Cover your feet with socks to help keep moisture in.
- Protect Your Hands- It is difficult to keep your hands moist in cold, dry weather because the skin on the top of your hands is thinner and has fewer oil glands than on most other parts of your body. This can lead to itchy, cracked skin. Be sure to use hand cream and wear gloves when you go outside-avoid wool if possible as it can be irritating.
- Avoid Wet Socks and Gloves-Wearing wet socks and gloves can cause the skin to become macerated and susceptible to infection. If your hands or feet become moist and sweating, it is important to put a moisturizer on them before they dry off. Otherwise, the skin can dry out and become chapped.
- Certain areas of your body should be kept dry to prevent fungal infections, such as your armpits, between your toes, and other moisture-prone skin-fold areas. Use baby powder to help keep these areas dry.
- After bathing, pat your skin dry and apply a body lotion that helps replenish your skin’s natural oils. This barrier will also help prevent moisture loss through evaporation.
- Avoid putting moisturizers between your toes as this can encourage fungus to grow.
- See your Dermatologist to determine which ingredients your skin can tolerate and to address your specific skin issues and solutions.