In the UK and the US, around 9% of the population in total have diabetes and these are worrying statistics with some serious side-effects. As many as one-third of people with diabetes will also develop skin conditions related to their diabetes – at some time in their lives. Have you been diagnosed with diabetes? Are you worried that you will be? As well as making you feel generally unwell, diabetes can lead to issues with your skin.
Fortunately, most skin conditions can be prevented and successfully treated if caught early. But if not cared for properly, a minor skin condition can turn into a serious problem with potentially severe consequences.
Diabetes affects life on a day to day basis. It affects the amount of glucose in your body but, if not treated, it can lead to serious health issues. If you have been diagnosed, know that when your blood sugar is high, your body will start to lose fluid, and this is because it turns to urine so to excrete any excess sugar. You have to learn how to manage the symptoms of diabetes.
Although you may not think that looking after your skin is especially important, it certainly is if you have been diagnosed with this health condition, because, your skin may dry out sufficiently to sustain injuries more easily. You may find that the nerves in your legs and feet will not sweat the same but, sweat is very important as it helps to keep the skin in those areas moist and soft. When your skin starts to dry out, it can crack and become sore. You are also at risk of infection developing in your skin as a result.
We often wear poorly-fitting footwear in the name of fashion so, don’t make that mistake. Invest in shoes that fit well so to avoid your risk of blisters but, if blisters do occur on your heels through your shoes rubbing, make sure you do not pop the blister. The skin that covers it is there to protect you from infection. Remember, if a diabetic, you would be more prone to infection, so wash the blister with warm water and very mild soap and add antibacterial ointment. Cover with gauze and change daily.
The skin on your feet is so important. Regular checks with your doctor is paramount. Even a cut on your foot can cause problems and if you start to gain a temperature, notice an infected area near the cut or, if it is not healing, do not leave it, seek medical advice. Cuts, scratches and albums take longer to heal and can easily become infected. So, a good skincare regime, is really important.
It’s also important to protect yourself from the elements. Try to cover up as much as possible, wear a hat and try to protect your facial skin. Keep fingers and feet warm too. The skin on your face is always under pressure and lips can easily become chapped so, invest in a good lip balm. Try to have warm but not hot water when in the shower and use very mild, moisturising soaps and if you have a skin condition you can try a gentle cleanser for acne. It will be beneficial to pat your skin dry rather than vigorously rubbing it as well.
After bathing, use a gentle skin lotion to protect your skin all over and even keep some near to the sink so that you can use it after washing your hands. If you have had acne previously, it is best to use a specialized facial cleanser to keep this under control.
Burns are another issue for diabetics. Try to alleviate a burn by running the injured area under cool water and again, pat dry rather than rubbing. Cover with gauze and change the pad daily. It is so important to keep your skin hydrated. Drink plenty of water and sugar-free drinks and remember, the moment you feel thirsty, you are already starting to become dehydrated. Your skin will thank you for providing it with extra fluid. Keep an eye on your diet too. Eat omega-3 fatty acids as this will help to nourish your skin.
If you like fish, eat sardines, mackerel and salmon but, you can also eat tofu, flaxseed, walnuts and soybeans. It’s worth investigating in the best foods to help alleviate these health problems. Diabetes has many symptoms so always take it seriously, look after your skin, watch your diet and exercise regularly but, if you have any worrying symptoms, do go and seek medical assistance.