The American Diabetes Association advises patients to reduce their risk of skin-related diabetes complications by following these guidelines:
To avoid complications diabetics are advised to keep their skin hydrated. At the same time, as noted above, you must keep your skin dry. In caring for your skin this seems to be a contradiction, but it’s not really so.
Hydration: Maintaining hydration means the absorption of water into the body. This is critical because when blood sugar levels rise, the skin becomes dehydrated and dry, which may lead to irritation and cracking of the skin. This, in turn, can lead to greater problems as there is increased risk of germs entering the body and the occurrence of infections.
Keep Your Skin Dry: The focus here is on keeping your skin dry. Lots of persons perspire very easily and this can be aggravated when blood sugar levels become either too high or too low. Ms. Pearson, RN, CDE, diabetes educator, noted that moisture and fungus can get into the folds of the skin, particularly for people who are overweight. It’s very important that the steps recommended by the American Diabetes Association be heeded, that is, apply talcum powder to areas of the body where moisture is likely to develop.
An area that is often neglected because of difficulty reaching is between the toes. It’s very important to dry between the toes and wear well-fitting shoes as this is another area where moisture can lead to the growth of fungus very easily.
Protecting your skin is an important part of diabetes management, so keep in mind also that you should protect your skin from the elements to the extent you’re able to. This would include using sunscreen and a lip balm with sunscreen and moisturizers as well as keeping your body warm during the harsh winter months.