How to Take Care of Your Skin When You Have Diabetes


Diabetics have the same skin problems as everyone else— and then some, especially if their diabetes is in poor control. First, their skin can become excessively dry. This can be counteracted by using skin lotions and emollients, but it is best to prevent it by good blood glucose control and drinking lots of water.

If you have high blood cholesterol, you might see orange-yellow fatty plaques (xanthomas) around your eyes or on shins and elbows. If you significantly lower your blood cholesterol, by diet alone or with the help of medication, they will disappear.

How to Take Care of Your Skin When You Have Diabetes  take care skin

Necrobiosis lipodica diabeticorum (NLD) is a relatively harmless but unattractive condition in which the layer of fat beneath the skin is destroyed. It makes the skin look thin, discolored, and dim­pled. It occurs more frequently in female diabetics than in males and begins usually in adolescence. The most common site is the front of the shins. In itself, NLD is nothing to worry about, but you should be careful to protect the affected skin because it can easily break or tear and is especially vulnerable to injury. There is no treatment, and it often disappears in time.

The most important things diabetics can do for their skin is to take care of it, protect it from the elements, and treat it immedi­ately and appropriately when it breaks. Take these precautions:

  • Avoid sunburn. Always (not just when you go to the beach) use a sunblock on all exposed skin in summer, and do the same in winter if you are outdoors a lot. It may be cold out, but the glare of the sun can do a lot of damage as it bounces off ice and snow onto your skin.
  • Wash your entire body every day with warm soap and water. If you prefer baths to showers, it is a good idea, before you leave the tub, to stand under the shower for a minute or two to rinse off the dirty bath water.
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Filed Under: Health & Personal Care

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About the Author: Andrew Reinert is a health care professional who loves to share different tips on health and personal care. He is a regular contributor to MegaHowTo and lives in Canada.

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