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Diabetic Skin Problems: How to Deal with Dry Itchy Skin


If you have diabetic skin problems, like itchy skin, it's important to care for your skin properly – read on for tips to add to your skin care regime!

If you have diabetes then you’re more likely to have dry skin, which can lead to itchiness. Are you one of those who suffer with diabetes and itchy skin? Itchy skin and diabetes often go together. The good news is that by taking care of your skin, you may be able to help reduce the risk of developing skin problems due to dryness and maintain healthy-looking, smooth skin.

Tips and Tricks to Help Diabetic Skin Problems

  1. Take Care When Washing
    Itchy skin, diabetes related or not, can often be made worse by washing with the wrong skin care products that increase skin dryness. Although you might think you’re doing the right thing by keeping your skin clean, if you’re using the wrong products, or washing too frequently, then you can actually aggravate the problem.

    Try to use mild and gentle soaps that are free from harsh chemicals and heavy perfumes. Unless it’s necessary, don’t wash your skin more than twice a day – washing too often, especially with hot water, can actually dry the skin out more. Avoiding these triggers may help to minimise itchiness.

  2. Moisturise Your Skin
    If you’ve got diabetes, itchy skin due to dryness can be a concern. A good moisturiser like Vaseline® Intensive Care™ Advanced Strength Lotion may help to soothe and relieve itchiness. With micro-droplets of Vaseline® Jelly and glycerin, this lotion locks in essential moisture to help facilitate the skin’s natural recovery process. It’s fast absorbing and gentle on skin.

    Moisturising can help to calm your dry skin and may reduce the urge to scratch. Remember, even though dry, itchy skin can be uncomfortable, always try your best to avoid scratching as this can lead to skin becoming damaged. If you have diabetes and damaged skin, you should always consult your doctor for advice.

    While dry and itchy skin is a general concern for those who have diabetes, the feet in particular can be prone to dryness. It’s essential to moisturise your feet regularly to help prevent dry, cracked feet, which can lead to itchiness. Apply Vaseline® Jelly to your feet to seal in moisture and help stop them from drying out.
  3. Be Careful When Dressing
    Many people who have diabetes actually wear the wrong type of shoes, which can increase the risk of skin problems on the feet. Poorly fitting shoes that do not support the foot can lead to sores, blisters, calluses, or ulcers . Be sure to wear appropriate shoes and consult your doctor or podiatrist for advice on specific footwear and shoe inserts available for diabetics.

    It’s also a good idea to think about the clothes you wear and the detergent you use to wash them. Avoid wearing rough, scratchy materials that could aggravate dry skin and choose loose-fitting clothing made of smooth-textured fabrics like cotton to help reduce irritation. Also, use a mild, fragrance free laundry detergent to wash your clothes.

  4. Exercise Regularly
    Muscle cells are much better at processing glucose than fat cells. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) recommends building muscle to help control blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of diabetic skin issues. Even light bursts of exercise, like going for a quick walk could have an impact.

    If you have diabetic skin issues related to dryness, caring for every part of your body, including your feet, is essential – regular moisturising can help to soothe itchy skin and seal in moisture to reduce dryness. You should also avoid irritants like very hot water, fragranced products, and rough materials in order to help reduce skin irritation. Living with diabetes and skin problems may be difficult, but you can help to manage and relieve some of the symptoms of dryness associated with diabetes with the tips above – why not give them a try at home?

    Check out our article on dry, itchy skin relief for more useful tips.

Expert Advice

The advice in this article does not constitute medical advice, it is solely available for information purposes.

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