When we think about diabetes, it mainly involves controlling increased blood sugar levels. This means monitoring your diet so that over time no serious damage is caused to the eyes, heart, kidneys or other parts of the body. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 422 million people worldwide live with diabetes, making it a major health problem. It’s not just their eyes or their hearts they need to pay attention to. Their skin also takes a hit. So it is very important to take care of the skin of diabetics. Scroll down to learn some diabetes skin care tips!
Diabetes and skin problems
Diabetics tend to have skin problems, says Dr Seema Oberoi, consultant dermatology at CK Birla Hospital, Gurugram. Some of them show darkening of the skin, especially on the neck and sometimes also in the armpits. Diabetics also tend to have very dry skin. Many of them may have certain spots on their legs. Additionally, due to neuropathic changes, long-standing diabetes can lead to certain nerve damage or reactivation of nerves in the body and inflammation of the nerves. Because of this, they may get burns on their hands and feet. They sometimes have ulcers or erosions on their feet or ankles.
7 Important Tips for Diabetes Skin Care
Controlling diabetes through proper diet, exercise, weight control and medication is the best way to start taking care of your skin. You can do more.
1. Keep skin hydrated
Make moisturizers your best friend and avoid hot water baths as your skin can dry out. Don’t just moisturize after taking a bath, use a hydrating shower gel while showering.
2. Avoid moisture on the skin
Your skin, especially skin folds like the groin, armpits and chest, should be kept away from moisture. Wear loose cotton clothing as much as possible to avoid fungal infections, suggests the expert. It is important here to control your weight, as it helps in reducing sweating and good control of diabetes.
3. Check your skin regularly
Neuropathy means nerve damage, so you could get cuts, sores and injuries, which is why checking your skin regularly is essential. Wear comfortable protective shoes to avoid accidental injuries. Fire, knives and forks can be dangerous, so be careful when in the kitchen. If you have a sore or infection, seek treatment as soon as possible, because even small problems can become complicated very quickly with uncontrolled diabetes.
4. First aid kit for skin
Make sure you have a first aid kit near you so that your injuries, especially to your hands and feet, are treated. The kit should contain antibacterial ointment, gauze pads and adhesive tape.
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5. Avoid scratching your skin
Scratching can damage the top layer of your skin. This in turn could lead to the development of skin problems such as dermatitis and eczema. So, don’t scratch your skin even if you feel itchy.
6. Massage your scalp and feet
Treat yourself to a massage every now and then to improve your blood circulation. You can go to a spa for this or even rope with your family members. Although full body massage is beneficial, don’t forget your scalp and feet.
7. Use sunscreen
Sunscreen is essential for everyone because the rays can damage your skin. Make sure to cover exposed parts of your body when going out. Choose the right sunscreen and reapply if necessary.
Diabetics can also opt for beauty treatments. Try hydrafacials to rejuvenate your skin. Energy-based skin tightening devices offer great anti-aging benefits without any injections or skin injuries, says Dr. Oberoi.
There are also hair removal lasers for smooth, hair-free skin. If you keep the pubic area and armpits hair-free, you will be less likely to get infections. But ultimately, these are personal choices.