Diabetes can affect many parts of your body, including your skin. When diabetes affects the skin, it’s often a sign that your blood sugar (glucose) levels are too high. This could mean that:
a) You have undiagnosed diabetes, or pre-diabetes
b) Your treatment for diabetes needs to be adjusted
Luckily, these skin problems can be prevented or easily treated if caught early. These include bacterial infections, fungal infections, and itching.
Why does it happen?
High blood glucose levels makes Diabetics prone to dry skin as the body looses fluids and becomes dry. Diabetic neuropathy or nerve damage also causes skin problems.
What kind of problems ?
The following describes general skin problems that may occur in Diabetics.
Bacterial Infections are common in diabetics. The Inflamed tissues are usually hot, swollen, red, and painful.
• Styes – infections of the glands of the eyelid.
• Folliculitis- infections of the hair follicles.
• Carbuncles- deep infections of the skin and the tissue underneath.
• Infections around the nails.
Fungal Infections – The yeast-like fungus causes itchy rashes of moist, red areas surrounded by tiny blisters and scales. These infections often occur in warm, moist folds of the skin. Problem areas are under the breasts, around the nails, between fingers and toes, corners of the mouth, under the foreskin (in uncircumcised men), and in the armpits and groin.
Itching – It can be caused by a yeast infection, dry skin, or poor blood circulation. Poor blood circulation is the cause of itching . Itchiest areas may be the lower parts of the legs.
Allergic reactions- to your medicines or insulin pills. In such cases consult your doctor immediately.
Other specific skin problems include – skin discoloration, blisters, rashes, thickening of skin, ring-arc shaped rashes, pea-like bumps on the skin, raised yellow, waxy skin. Consult your dermatologist for an opinion in such cases.
How can I manage and prevent skin problems?
• Ensure regular blood sugar monitoring with the help of a compact and easy to use mobile based glucometer as this will help maintain normal sugar levels.
• Keep your sugar levels in control
• Keep skin clean and dry particularly the skin under breasts, armpits and groin.
• Avoid hot baths and showers
• Prevent dry skin. Moisturize your skin to prevent chapping in cold weather.
• Treat cuts the right way. Wash minor cuts with soap and water. Only use an antibiotic cream or ointment if your doctor says it’s okay
• Use mild shampoos
• Avoid over exposure to the sun
• Do not use feminine hygiene sprays
• See a dermatologist (skin doctor) about skin problems
How can BeatO help?
Diabetes care and diabetes management is an on-going practice which must be proactively opted for by every diabetic. With BeatO, you are not only empowered to check your blood sugar levels regularly using the mobile based glucometer from the comfort of wherever you are, but you are also connected to your personalised diabetes educator to get tips on taking care of your skin and making a healthy diet plan to ensure your skin and body gets all the essential nutrients.