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Diabetes Health Type 1 & 2: Protecting Your Skin from Complications

0 2 years ago

Skin issues aren’t the first thing most people associate with diabetes. But it is a very real and potentially serious problem, affecting one-third of both type 1 and type 2 patients at some point in their lives, according to the American Diabetes Association.

The good news is, many skin issues are manageable and can even be prevented with proper self-care.

How diabetes affects the skin and feet

When glucose levels are high, the body flushes out fluids, meaning less moisture makes its way to the skin. Over time, especially in those who have difficulty managing the disease, tiny blood vessels near the skin’s surface may narrow and even become clogged, exacerbating the problem. Dry, itchy skin can crack, leading to complications such as infections and slow-healing sores. At this point, gangrene becomes a danger that can lead to amputation, according.

Diabetes patients are especially vulnerable to foot-related complications such as corns, calluses, ingrown toenails, and foot ulcers. However, periodic foot screens by a doctor, in addition to daily personal monitoring of both the skin and toenails, can reduce the risk of amputation by more than 50 percent, according to the National Diabetes Education Program.

The most important component in keeping skin healthy is proper disease management. Eating right, exercising, monitoring blood sugar, and taking medication as directed all help improve circulation in the body, which is the most important factor in keeping skin hydrated from within.


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