Monday, February 18, 2008

Diabetes Induced Dry Skin

This was interesting because having Diabetes, I am a victim of dry skin - Charles

As a diabetic, if your blood glucose is high, your body loses fluid, hastening the dry skin process.

Dry skin can become itchy and can crack, causing you to scratch; breaks in the skin allow germs to enter and thus cause infection. If your blood glucose is elevated, it feeds the germs and makes these infections worse.

Nerve damage can decrease the amount you sweat and decreased sweating can lead to dry skin. Additionally, diabetics with nerve damage in the legs and feet have difficulty feeling pain, heat, or cold in the extremities, a condition called diabetic neuropathy, that can lead to a large sore or infection.

Poor blood flow, another very serious condition of diabetes also known as peripheral vascular disease, happens when not enough blood flows to the legs and feet, slowing the healing process to sores or infections. Smoking when you have diabetes makes blood flow problems much worse.

These harsh diabetic conditions can create havoc in the skin and feet. Using a quality shielding lotion will bond with the skin’s outer layer, protecting it from losing moisture in the first place, and moisture from the air to the skin through the use of special high-quality humectant moisturisers.

Additionally, shielding lotions help to keep irritants away from the deeper layers of skin, and do not wash off with soap or exposure to chemicals, allowing the skin to heal itself.

The following tips can help you stay on top of your skin care during the harsher winter months:

• Keep your diabetes well managed; people with high glucose levels tend to have dry skin and less ability to fend off harmful bacteria, thus increasing the risk of infection.

• Keep the skin clean and dry and use talcum powder in areas where skin touches the skin, such as armpits and groin.

• Avoid very hot baths and showers and if your skin is dry, do not use bubble baths. Moisturising soaps may help and always use a shielding lotion to encourage your skin to retain moisture. Do not put lotions between the toes as the extra moisture there can encourage fungus to grow.

• Try to prevent dry skin; scratching dry or itchy skin can open it up and allow infection to set in. Moisturise your skin with a shielding lotion to prevent chapping, especially in cold or windy weather.

• Treat cuts immediately; wash minor cuts with soap and water, do not use alcohol, mercurochrome antiseptic or iodine to clean the skin because they are too harsh. Only use an antibiotic cream or ointment if your doctor advises it, cover minor cuts with sterile gauze and see a doctor if you get a major cut, burn, or infection.

• During cold, dry months keep your home more humid. Bathe less during this weather, if possible.

• Use mild shampoos. Do not use feminine hygiene sprays.

• See a dermatologist (skin doctor) about any skin problems if you are not able to solve them yourself.

• Take good care of your feet. Check them every day for sores and cuts. Wear broad, flat shoes that fit well. Check your shoes for foreign objects before putting them on.

Source - Tenerife News
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