|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,
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
saturated fat levels with diet and, if necessary, lipid-lowering
medications, to minimize fatty deposits in the skin associated with
- 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
- 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
- Maintain proper
diet and nutrition, as recommended by your physician;
- Vitamins, especially
antioxidant Vitamins A & E, and minerals are important preventive
- Keep skin
clean, dry and healthy to:
bacterial infections. Use an antibiotic if infection occurs. Be
careful not to overuse antibiotics - use them only to treat an
- prevent fungal
infections, especially in warm, moist folds of the skin. Use
skin fungicides, if necessary, to control existing fungal
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.
The American Diabetes
Association for valuable information for this article.
For more information about Diabetes, please see
products available at Eastbay Skin Care: