Diabetics require special attention to skin care
Being a diabetic requires you to pay special attention to skin care. As a diabetic, you are highly susceptible to skin disorders and infections. Fortunately, with special care, most skin conditions can be prevented or easily treated. High glucose levels can lead to dry skin which can lead to bacterial infections if care is not used.
To prevent dry skin, one should apply moisturizer to clean, dry areas. During the cold winter months, it is best to use a home humidifier to help ward off dry skin, while in the hot summer months, the use of a sunscreen with at least a SPF of 30 is best to protect any exposed skin.
If you are sensitive to sunscreen, wear a wide brim sun hat, long-sleeved cotton blouse/shirt and limit your time exposed to the sun.
Since heat and moisture is the main culprit for rashes, friction sores, or chafing, one needs to take the following precautions:
- avoid very hot baths and showers,
- dry your skin thoroughly after a bath or shower, as well as after swimming,
- use a patting motion when drying your skin, do not rub your skin dry,
- do not take bubble baths, as this can dry your skin out, instead use moisturizing soap,
- in areas such as the groin, armpits, skin folds and anywhere else skin rubs together use talcum powder or high quality drying powder,
- do not hesitate to see a dermatologist on any growing skin problems.
No Skin Problem is Too Small
If you have diabetes you more than likely have poor circulation, a condition that makes it difficult for you to fight infections. Therefore proper care is important when it comes to blisters, small cuts, minor skin irritations, or even the slightest burn. No matter how big or small the injury, broken skin needs to be washed with mild soap and water immediately. After drying the area thoroughly, apply an antibacterial ointment and a gauze pad or cloth bandage and secured with paper tape to prevent any infection. The injured area needs checking daily and a new bandage applied. If the injury shows any signs of redness, swelling, warmth, or becomes painful, do not hesitate to call your doctor and/or get prompt medical attention.
If you are a diabetic that takes insulin shots extra care needs to be taken at the insertion site. To prevent infection, wipe the area of insertion with an antiseptic pad and take care that the needle does not come in contact with any surface other than your skin. If any signs of infection occurs, or any lumps with redness consult your doctor immediately.