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Diabetes skin care tips: 7 rules every diabetic should follow

When we think of diabetes, it is mostly about controlling the elevated blood sugar levels. That means watching your diet, so that with time, no serious damage is done to the eyes, heart, kidneys and other parts of the body. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 422 million people in the world are living with diabetes, making it a major health concern. It’s not just their eyes or heart that they need to pay attention to. Their skin also takes a hit. So, proper skin care for diabetics is very important. Scroll down for some diabetes skin care tips!

Diabetes and skin problems

Diabetics tend to have some skin issues, says Dr Seema Oberoi, consultant, dermatology, CK Birla Hospital, Gurugram. Some of them have darkening of skin, especially the neck area and sometimes underarms too. Diabetics also tend to have very dry skin. Many of them may have certain patches on their legs. Also, because of neuropathic changes, long standing diabetes can lead to certain nerve damages or reviving of the nerves in the body and inflammation of the nerves. Because of that they can have burning in the hands and feet. They sometimes get ulcers or erosions in feet or ankles.

7 important diabetes skin care tips

Keeping diabetes in check with proper diet, exercise, weight control and medication is the way to begin taking care of skin. There is more you can do.

1. Keep skin hydrated

Make moisturisers your best friend and avoid hot water baths as your skin can dry up. Don’t just moisturise after taking a bath, use a moisturising body wash during a shower.

2. Avoid humidity on skin

Your skin, especially skin folds like groins, underarms and under breast areas need to be kept away from humidity. Wear loose cotton clothes as much as possible to avoid fungal infections, suggests the expert. Keeping weight in check is important here, as it helps in less sweating and good diabetic control.

3. Check your skin regularly

Neuropathy means nerve damage, so you could have cuts, wounds and injuries, which is why checking your skin regularly is a must. Wear protective comfortable shoes to avoid accidental injuries. Fire, knife and fork can be dangerous, so be careful while your are in the kitchen. If you have any wound or infection, seek treatment early as even small issues can get complicated very fast in case of uncontrolled diabetes.

4. First-aid kit for skin

Make sure you have a first-aid kit near you so that your wounds, especially on hands and feet are taken care of. The kit should have antibacterial ointment, gauze pads and paper tape.

5. Avoid scratching your skin

Scratching can strip away the upper layer of your skin. This in turn might lead to development of skin problems such as dermatitis and eczema. So, don’t scratch your skin even if you feel itchy.

6. Massage your scalp and feet

Treat yourself to a massage every now and then to improve your blood circulation. You can go to a spa for this or even rope in your family members. While full body massage is beneficial, don’t forget your scalp and feet.

7. Use sunscreen

A sunscreen is a must for everyone as the rays can damage your skin. Make sure to cover exposed parts of your body when you step outside. Choose the right sunscreen and reapply if needed.

Diabetics can also opt for beauty treatments. Try hydrafacials to rejuvenate your skin. Energy-based devices for skin tightening give great anti-ageing benefits without any injections or skin wounds, says Dr Oberoi.

There are hair removal lasers for hair-free smooth skin too. If you keep the pubic area and underarms hair-free, you will have less chances of getting infections. But at the end of the day, these are personal choices.

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