15 tips for skin care in diabetes

Some skin care is needed in diabetes as some skin conditions can occur with this disease. The most common are dryness, color changes and even the appearance of sores and ulcers.

Taking into account that people with this disease have specific needs, it is advisable to apply some measures. This includes, as we will see later, drying yourself well, avoiding long baths and irritating products.

Impact of diabetes on the skin

In diabetes, blood sugar levels rise which results in a negative impact on the skin, increasing the risk of various skin conditions. This is due to a malfunction of the defense systems, which reduces the body’s ability to respond to attacks by pathogens.

On the other hand, fungi and bacteria find more food for reproduction when glucose is more available. And as the body tries to get rid of the excess sugar in the urine, this causes a lot of fluid loss. As the skin becomes dehydrated, cracks form on its surface, opening the door for further infection.

most common symptoms

Among the most common skin symptoms associated with diabetes are the following:

  • Appearance of reddish spots.
  • Wound healing problems.
  • Dry and tight skin, often sensitive and fragile.
  • Formation of wounds, scabs and possible ulcers.
  • Yellowish skin, most common on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.
  • In the absence of healthy collagen networks, the skin tends to harden, taking on a waxy appearance.
  • Due to diabetic neuropathy, there may also be some sensory loss. And due to lack of sensitivity, injuries can occur without realizing it.

Skin conditions related to diabetes

A person with diabetes increases the risk of skin diseases. Let us now see what some of these conditions may be.

acanthosis nigricans

One of the most common is the so-called acanthosis nigricans. This condition is characterized by darkening and thickening of the skin.. The same happens particularly in the folds, such as the back of the neck, the armpits or even the groin.

I agree with you Education by the way, acanthosis occurs in about 3 out of 4 diabetic patients. Although also in people with obesity or hormonal problems or even reactions to medications.

Acanthosis in a woman with diabetes.
The areas of the folds are most affected by acanthosis.


Similarly, people with type 2 diabetes increase their risk of developing psoriasis, presenting with red, itchy, flaky patches. In some cases the scalp and even the nails are affected.

Buschke’s scleroedema

This is a connective tissue disorder that characterized by a thickening of the skin, especially in the upper part of the trunkneither in the back nor in the neck. Unlike acanthosis, there is no darkening or it is not as noticeable.

However, when the Buschke’s scleroedema it is serious, it can hinder mobility. It is believed to appear more in overweight people.

diabetic dermopathy

THE dermopathy it is also quite common, occurring in 33 or 40 percent of people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, respectively. circular, reddish or brown spots appear on the calves scaly-looking.

diabetic foot ulcers

Since diabetes affects circulation, sometimes small wounds become ulcers. They can be common in what is known as diabetic foot. If they become infected, the risk of necrosis increases.


Xanthelasma is one type of injuries caused by fat accumulation. The appearance is yellowish and scaly. It appears on or near the eyelids, as well as on the neck, shoulders, armpits, and other areas of the trunk.

It can be the result of high sugar and fat levels, although it also occurs in people in whom these factors are not present. Although it does not pose a health risk, it does affect quality of life. In some Education the use of lipid reducers is suggested for its treatment.


On the other hand, xanthomas are produced due to glucose mishandling. These are bumps of varying shades, from dark yellow or orange to brown or reddish.. They itch.

They appear most frequently on the thighs, buttocks and areas with creases (elbows or knees). They are also associated with hypothyroidism, cirrhosis or pancreatitis.

skin tags

This is called sure papillomas hanging from the skin, soft and flesh-coloured. They can appear on the eyelids and other folds (groin, armpits, neck, breasts).

They are a sign of high blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes. They also occur in people who don’t have this disease.

Lipoid necrobiosis

THE lipoid necrobiosis it is a rare condition. It is a granulomatous condition with degenerative connective tissue. About half of the people who have it are insulin dependent..

Initially, the lesions are small, firm bumps, like a rash. They then progress to larger, harder, waxy patches of skin that are bright yellow or brown in color. Although they do not cause pain, the skin is more prone to infection and ulceration can occur.

granuloma annulare

It can be a complication of shingles or diabetes. It appears on the hands or forearms. It has the shape of small reddish bumps that form a ring. (hence its name).

Bacterial infections and mycoses

People with type 2 diabetes can develop it bacterial and fungal infections more frequently than in the population without this disease. Here we include the following:

  • ringworm
  • styes.
  • Bubbles.
  • yeast infection
  • Athlete’s foot.
  • lichen planus.
  • Onychomycosis.

The best tips for skin care in diabetes

Because of all these risks, it is necessary to take measures for skin care in diabetes. Next, we will see some tips in this regard.

1. Avoid long showers

Excessive or prolonged showering also dries out the skin. And this usually doesn’t go very well for people with skin sensitivity, including patients with diabetes, as part of the fatty layer that protects the skin from external pollutants can be removed.

Prolonged bathing that does not take care of the skin in diabetes.
Prolonged contact with water is not recommended for patients living with diabetes, as it increases skin dryness.

2. Wash your feet every day

Notwithstanding the above, they need to wash their feet every day to keep the skin as clean as possible. As long as it involves short baths and dries well, it’s beneficial.

3. Use gel soaps

It is recommended to avoid the use of soap bars. Go for shower gels instead.

There are some specially developed for sensitive skin, made from natural ingredients such as Vegetable glycerin. They help to hydrate and hydrate better.

4. Avoid irritating products

On the other hand, too care should be taken to use personal hygiene products that do not dry out or irritate. We include here mild, fragrance-free shampoos and creams. Avoid aerosols, as well as those they contain parabens.

5. Dry the skin well

Once you take a bath, try to dry the skin well, above all folds (armpits, bikini line, neck). And above all, it is essential to do it between the fingers, to avoid possible fungal infections.

It is best to use a dry, soft towel. If possible, get a separate towel for some areas.

6. Apply the cream every day

When there is dryness, the propensity for irritation or cracking increases, causing itching and sores. To avoid them, skin care moisturizers should be applied in diabetes.

In this sense, those with plant extracts and containing vitamin E are recommended, as well as substances that favor the conservation of natural humidity. In this regard, you have the option of ingredients such as jojoba oil.

7. Use talcum powder

To help keep the foot dry and prevent humidity, which could be harmful, the use of talcum powder is recommended. The ideal is to place it inside the shoes and not on the foot, so as not to trap moisture.

8. Do not walk barefoot in public places

In public places, such as swimming pools or gym bathrooms, the propensity to contract infections increases, such as athlete’s foot. Walk in these places swim sandals must be worn.

9. Trim your nails gently

Extreme precautions should be taken when trimming toenails, not exceeding, so as not to cause wounds that are a gateway to infection.

10. Watch your feet

Among skin care in diabetes, people should watch their feet and see them every day. In this way they will be able to detect any alteration over time.

11. Avoid scratching

While it is true that dry skin is itchy, avoid scratching, as this can lead to injury which eventually become infected or worsen, turning into sores. Instead, a glycerin cream can be applied.

12. Don’t burst blisters

When blisters appear, they should not be blunted, either with a needle or fingernails. The same goes for scabs on wounds that don’t need to be removed.

13. Take care of wounds

When a wound appears, it is necessary to maintain appropriate care, applying dressings if necessary. Cuts must be dealt with immediately and vigilance must be maintained. on the progress of the healing.

14. Check your sugar levels

Blood sugar levels need to be monitored and regulated.. This is a vital task; not just in terms of skin care in diabetes, but for all the negative effects it brings.

Glycemic control in diabetes.
Self-monitoring is essential in the patient with diabetes. The person must learn to do it correctly.

15. Follow the treatment to the letter

Last but not least, the diet must be strictly followed as well as the recommended medications by the health professional. This is the best way to treat problems, preventing them from appearing.

When to go to the doctor?

While some of these symptoms we’ve just described are harmless, others can lead to serious complications, such as necrosis requiring amputation. Evolution is rapid in patients with hyperglycemia.

To maintain good skin care in diabetes it is advisable to consult a dermatologist if the problems appear persistently or if you experience symptoms such as purplish discoloration, pain, swelling, redness, or fever.

The post 15 Diabetes Skin Care Tips first appeared in research-school.



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