Diabetes and Dry Skin
What are the effects of diabetes on skin?
The onset of diabetes can affect all areas of the body and the skin is no exception. Skin becomes sensitive, dry, itchy and cracked and more prone to infection; both bacterial and fungal.
What are the causes?
With the onset of diabetes, the body becomes dehydrated and dried out. Excess water is used to remove glucose from the blood and this causes dehydration and dry, cracked skin.
Those with diabetes tend to have more skin problems than those without, and the disease constantly breaks down the skin’s defenses, making it dry, cracked and more prone to irritation and infections. The areas of the body that show dry skin the most are the extremities such as arms, hands, legs and feet, but dry cracked lips are common as well.
Tips for managing dry skin due to diabetes:
- Keep skin clean and well hydrated at all times
- Drink more water
- Avoid prolonged hot baths or showers and use a mild fragrance-free cleanser
- Apply an emollient rich moisturizer all over the body after bathing
- Adopt a daily skincare regimen from head to toe, paying special attention to lower extremities such as legs, feet and heels
- Treat minor cuts, scrapes and burns immediately and seek a physician’s care if infection sets in