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Eastbay Skin Care,
as seen in...
 
Diablo magazine...

Diabetic Skin Care

The incidence of diabetes has risen sharply in the U.S. in recent years.  Naturally, so have the complications associated with it, and one of the most common is skin-related. Diabetic-related skin conditions can have serious consequences unless they are controlled. Our skin is the first line of defense against infection, so it's important to keep it healthy so it can play its vital, protective role.

One of the most common problems is dehydration. When blood sugar is high, the body turns water to urine in an attempt to eliminate the excess sugar in the bloodstream. The body loses fluid, causing skin to become dry.  Compounding the problem, some diabetics' skin doesn't sweat properly, especially on the legs and feet, because the sweat glands don't get the message to perspire due to diabetic neuropathy.  This causes the skin to become even drier and more brittle.

Dry Skin is more likely to crack and peel...
...and germs enter through cracks in the skin

Dry skin is more likely to crack and peel; then skin becomes red and irritated. This sets the stage for infection, as the itch is scratched, and germs enter through cracks in the skin.  High blood sugar levels already create an environment that is ideal for fungi and bacteria to grow. Plus, a diabetic's body is less able to fight infection and heal itself due to a diminished flow of white blood cells and oxygen to the skin caused by restricted blood flow.

Several measures can be taken to minimize skin problems associated with diabetes:

  • Control blood glucose (sugar) levels to help prevent circulatory and neurological problems;
  • Control saturated fat levels with diet and, if necessary, lipid-lowering medications, to minimize fatty deposits in the skin associated with diabetes;
  • Minimize skin dryness by increasing omega-3 fatty acids intake with oily fish, or dietary supplements like flax seed oil; these oils are good for you and your skin!
  • Control your weight to minimize the conditions above;
  • Use skin moisturizers daily to keep skin moist and supple;
  • Apply an oxygenated cream, such as Karin Herzog's Oxygen Body Cream.  The antiseptic and healing properties are very beneficial for diabetic skin;
  • Treat skin irritations topically with Aloe Cort Cream to minimize itching and the  damaging effects of scratching;
  • Avoid allergic reactions to food, medicine and environment;

 

  • Use sunscreen daily to prevent sunburn of skin that is discolored due to diabetes;
  • Check for, and prevent, skin irritation and inflammation at insulin injection sites;
  • Maintain proper diet and nutrition, as recommended by your physician;
  • Vitamins, especially antioxidant Vitamins A & E, and minerals are important preventive maintenance;
  • Exercise regularly;
  • Keep skin clean, dry and healthy to:
    • avoid bacterial infections. Use an antibiotic if infection occurs. Be careful not to overuse antibiotics - use them only to treat an existing infection;
    • prevent fungal infections, especially in warm, moist folds of the skin.  Use skin fungicides, if necessary, to control existing fungal infections;
       

Most diabetic skin conditions can
be prevented with proper care

Diabetics are more prone to have problems with their skin.  As many as one out of three people with diabetes will have a skin condition related to their disease.  Fortunately, with proper skin care, most conditions can be prevented; if found early, they can be successfully treated. But beware - seemingly minor skin conditions can become serious problems if not cared for properly.

The best way to minimize them is to keep your diabetes under control.  That, and proper skin care will help reduce your risk of skin-related problems.


Thanks to The American Diabetes Association for valuable information for this article. 
For more information about Diabetes, please see

American Diabetes Association


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