Dry, Itchy Skin
Itching skin, called pruritus, can be attributed to poor blood flow. In diabetics, the lower legs and feet are often affected. Use lotion and moisturizer that is fragrance-free and designed for people with sensitive skin. Avoid hot baths and showers which aggravate dry, itchy skin. Use only mild soap without added fragrance. Look for products for babies and sensitive skin. Most bath and body products are loaded with fragrances and preservatives. Steer clear of these and choose mild, sensitive formulas instead.
Skin Care Tips
Keep your diabetes well managed.
Keep skin clear and dry.
Avoid hot baths and showers.
Don’t use bubble bath.
Prevent dry skin.
Clean cuts immediately.
Wash with soap and water.
Use mild shampoo.
Reduce the Likeliness of Bacterial Infections
Bacterial infections including staph infections often occur in people with poorly controlled diabetes. Infections can range from styles (eyelid), nail infections to fungal infections like jock itch, athlete’s foot and ringworm. Keeping your diabetes under control is the best way to prevent infections.
Keep Cuts Clean
Cuts and nicks can be problematic if you have diabetes because wounds take longer to heal due to poor circulation and nerve damage. When you get a cut, wash the skin with antibacterial soap. Look for soap that contains tea tree oil, called melaleuca, an essential oil. Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic and ideal for topical skin applications.
Hypotension refers to abnormally low blood pressure. Blood pressure is the pressure of blood circulating through blood vessels. When the blood pressure is too low, the body does not deliver enough blood to the organs, causing dangerous side effects. According to the American Heart Association,”To know if you have high or low blood pressure, you need to know what a healthy blood pressure level is. Optimal blood pressure is less than 120/80 mm Hg (systolic pressure is 120 AND diastolic pressure is less than 80).
Other Skin Conditions
Vitiligo is common in people with type one diabetes and affects the skin’s color. You may notice patches of the skin which look discolored, usually on the chest and stomach. Treatment for this condition includes UV light treatment and using sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more. Digital sclerosis is a skin condition which causes the skin on the fingers and toes to become thick and waxy with stiff joints. Treatment includes getting the blood sugar under control and using lotion and moisturizer to treat the affected areas.
Knowledge is the key to gaining control of your health. Most skin conditions can be treated using natural and alternative remedies, rather than relying on steroid creams and antibiotics. Know what is in the products you are putting on your skin. Take time to read the labels and ask questions. Your health and your body are at stake. Begin by educating yourself so you can become your own advocate on your journey to well-being.