Diabetes and Skin Care – Problems and Risks


Diabetics need to take extra care of their skin. You may have heard about this from your doctor, friends of family members. But why is it so important? We have got the answers for your questions. Read on to know more about diabetes and skin care. Circulatory problems and reduced sensitivity caused by damage to the nerves are common among diabetics and make it hard to spot any skin condition or infection in its early stage.

The infection may spread to the skin tissues and go unnoticed till it reaches a stage where it can cause some serious problems. So, to stay safe and have healthy skin, you need to know all about diabetes and skin care.

Why are diabetics at more risk of developing skin problems?

  • High blood glucose levels can cause loss of fluid in the body and lead to dry skin on the hands, legs, feet and other areas.
  • Dry skin, if left untreated, can crack and germs thrive in the cracked areas of the skin leading to infections.
  • Even small cuts, bruises or skin problems can turn into serious diabetes complications like diabetic leg sores, foot ulcers etc which if left untreated can lead to amputation.
  • Therefore, taking good care of the skin must be the top priority for diabetics.

Common skin problems that affect diabetics
The topic ‘diabetes and skin care’ has much more to it than just talking about ways to treat dry and cracked skin. You also need to know about the common skin problems that most of the diabetes patients are prone to develop.

Necrobiosis Lipoidica Diabeticorum (NLD)
-It is a rash that occurs gradually and affects the shins. It looks like a patch of plaque and its color can range from yellow to purple. The affected area of skin tends to get thinner and starts developing ulcers.

Once healed, it can leave brownish scars on the affected area. The exact causes of this skin condition are not known. Type 1 diabetics are more prone to develop NLD.

Diabetic Dermopathy
– This is another skin condition that is common among diabetics. It is also known as shin spots and it leaves round and raised lesions, which if left untreated, can turn into ulcers.

Bullosis Diabeticorum
-This skin condition leads to formation of nodules under the skin which look similar to subcutaneous blisters. The cause for this condition are also unknown.

Acanthosis Nigricans
-It is a form of hyperpigmentation wherein black and brown lesions are formed under the skin. It is common amongst African Americans and Hispanics.

Tips for diabetes and skin care
A normal skin care regime can be followed by diabetics. However, there are a few extra tips that diabetics can include in their skin care regime to maintain healthy skin.

  • Use a mild soap and ensure that you pat dry your skin with a towel after every wash. Any traces of water that is left behind in the skin folds and under the arms must be dried.
  • Use a mild moisturizer to moisturize your skin. But ensure that no cream is left in the skin folds.
  • Keep your body and skin well hydrated by drinking lots of water.
  • Wear comfortable and loose fitting underwear preferably made of 100% cotton. This would allow air flow.
  • Wear special socks and shoes that fit comfortably in case you have diabetic neuropathy.
  • If you notice any spots, sores or blisters, visit your doctor immediately and seek medical care.
  • Never leave your skin dry and this may be the primary cause of developing infections.

Now that you know more about diabetes and skin care, take the required precautions and pass on the information to those who may need it. Stay safe and healthy.


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