Diabetes can negatively affect many organs, from the heart to the lungs to the kidneys. But it can also cause problems for the biggest organ of them all: the skin. People with diabetes are more likely to develop skin problems or have difficulty healing cuts, scrapes, or abrasions that would be minor for other people. Fortunately, you can do plenty of things to protect yourself and your skin from diabetes-related complications (beyond not falling down or injuring yourself).
Here are six skin care tips for individuals with diabetes:
- Educate yourself. The first step to preventing diabetes complications is to understand what causes them. Speak with your healthcare team and find other reputable resources to learn about your risks and how to lower them.
- Check yourself. Diabetic nerve damage, also called neuropathy, can make it difficult to feel pain and discomfort, especially in the legs and feet. You could have a cut, puncture, or scratch without realizing it. Left untreated, those wounds could become infected, also without your knowing it. Inspect your legs, ankles, feet, and in between your toes every day for new injuries or old ones that haven’t healed.
- Quickly treat sores and wounds to prevent infection and speed healing.
- Cover yourself. Wearing long-sleeve shirts, pants, shoes, and gloves can prevent skin injuries. Protecting yourself from wind and cold with hats, scarves, and other cold-weather gear can also help you avoid skin damage.
- Stay clean and moisturize. Dry, cracked skin can be uncomfortable and unattractive and is more prone to infection. Keep your skin clean and dry, but moisturize when needed and use lip balm to prevent chapped lips.
- Control your diabetes. Regular monitoring of blood sugar levels is an essential component of managing diabetes and minimizing the risk of complications, including those that can affect your skin.
Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) is a tested, approved, and easy-to-use transceiver device that helps those with diabetes control their condition and their lives without the need for inconvenient and burdensome finger-pricking multiple times a day.
Ask your doctor about CGM and contact us today to see if you qualify for CGM and access our guide to continuous glucose monitoring.