Skin Care Tips for People with Diabetes
Managing diabetes is about eating right, exercising, and following your doctor’s recommendations. But there are other considerations. For instance, many people with diabetes don’t realize the importance of skin care. With that in mind, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Hydrate – keeping skin hydrated with a moisturizing body lotion or cream helps relieve the itch associated with dry skin while preventing irritation and cracking. Dry skin thoroughly and moisturize with lotion or cream after a shower or bath. Make sure the lotion or cream is fully absorbed before getting dressed.
*Do not use creams or lotions on open wounds.
Clean & Dry – ensuring that skin is always clean and dry helps prevent fungal growth and harmful bacteria from developing into infections.
Check & Treat – checking skin daily for cracks, and treating problems straight away helps prevent infections. The American Diabetes Association recommends avoiding harsh antiseptics and talking to a doctor before using an antibiotic cream or ointment.
Avoid very hot baths and showers. Hot water can remove natural oils from skin making it dry and itchy. Try showering or bathing with warm water and limit your time in the water to 10 minutes or less. If your skin is dry, don't use bubble baths. Moisturizing soaps may help.
Always drink plenty of water. It’s wise to cut down on alcohol or caffeine, since these substances can dehydrate the body, robbing the skin of fluids.
Remember to wear sunscreen. Sun exposure can damage your skin’s ability to protect itself, so choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. Also, apply a lip balm with an SPF of 15 to help moisturize and prevent chapped lips.
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