Common skin problems, like infections and itching, can happen to anyone. However, people suffering from diabetes are more susceptible to skin ailments, particularly to certain types of infections. Diabetic patients may experience greater loss of body fluids due to high blood glucose levels, which can cause your skin to become dry. Dry and broken skin can cause germs to enter through wounds and cuts, and spread leading to infections.
Common Skin Problems for Diabetic People
Diabetes can lead to a number of specific skin problems/conditions in people. Some of the most common ones are –
Necrobiosis Lipoidica Diabeticorum – usually affects people with Type 1 diabetes, characterized by yellow or purple patches on the skin
Diabetic Dermopathy – leads to raised, round lesions that may turn into ulcers
Acanthosis Nigricans – causes black and brown lesions under the skin
Taking care of your skin is essentially important to avoid infections. If left unchecked, even minor skin problems can lead to serious diabetes complications, like diabetic foot ulcers and even amputation.
How to Take Care of Your Skin
Skincare for diabetes patients is no different from that needed by people without diabetes. However, some extra skincare tips can ensure and help you maintain healthy skin.
Use a gentle, mild soap to wash your hands and feet or when taking a bath. They do not contain retinoid or alpha-hydroxy acid and hence, are not too harsh on the skin. Moreover, gentle cleansers prevent your skin’s natural oils, thus keeping it hydrated.
An important part of skincare for Type 2 diabetes is to avoid ulcers and cracks in the skin, especially if you have neuropathy. Therefore, moisturize your skin daily, as it helps prevent thickening and itching. Use a moisturizing lotion or cream to keep your skin moist and soft.
Dry or broken skin can be itchy but avoid scratching a wound or cut. It may crack the skin further and increase the risk of infections. Instead, look for ways to soothe the itch by bathing in lukewarm water and moisturizing after.
Areas, where the skin folds and gets moist and warm, like the armpits, the groin, under the breasts, are prime locations for fungal infections. Take necessary steps to keep these sweaty areas dry. Wear loose-fitting cotton garments that allow air to pass through.
Wear specialized shoes and socks if you have neuropathy, and worry about skincare of the feet
For diabetic people, maintaining good skincare, particularly of the feet, is of utmost priority. Nevertheless, seek medical assistance if you have persistent dry skin or if your skin problems worsen over time.