October is National Diabetes Awareness Month — a disease that affects an estimated 30 million Americans. Its pretty well known that the high sugar levels of diabetes has been linked to heart disease, strokes and blindness. What is less well known is the impact of diabetes on the skin.
Elevated blood sugar affects every organ so the body tries to flush out the sugar in urine and perspiration. This dehydrates the skin leading to cracking and peeling. This severely dehydrated skin becomes rough, thin and flaky. It damages the outer layer of the skin so severely that it no longer can act as a barrier aginst dirt and bacteria. Not only does it increase chance of infections diabetes makes it harder for the body to fight infections.
Diabetes Skin Care and Protection
The best way to deal with this type uber type skin of diabetes is with a plan of prevention:
1. Keep your blood sugar under control with diet, exercise and medication
2. Avoid long hot baths or showers
3. Gently wash the body with a mild, lower ph rich soap like CereVe Hydrating Cleanser or Aveeno Moisturizing Bar with oatmeal.
4. After a short shower apply a soothing fragrance free body lotion like Eucerin Diabetes Dry Skin Relief Lotion or True Lipids Lotion with ceramides.
5. Drink water throughout the day to keep the body hydrated
6. Each morning make certain that you protect the skin with at least a 30 SPF sunscreen. The thinner diabetic skin is more suseptible to UV damage and potentially skin cancer. A hat will provide extra coverage. Head gear is especially helpful for men since a bald scalp is a common site for skin cancer appear.
7. Check your feet and hands for sores and reddened areas. If they persist more than 3 days, have them examined out by a doctor. Small spots can become big problems during diabetes.