Diabetes doesn’t just affect your blood sugar; it has an impact on your whole body. High blood sugar can cause your body to lose fluid, leaving you with itchy dry skin. Nerve damage from prolonged high blood glucose levels can decrease the amount you sweat, robbing you of more bodily fluids.
Why is dry skin bad?
Aside from being itchy and uncomfortable, dry skin can actually be hazardous to diabetics. If you scratch your itchy skin too much, you can sometimes scratch the skin open. Dry skin may also crack on its own. Cracks, cuts, and scratches let germs into the skin to cause infection. High blood sugar actually FEEDS germs, making infections worse.
I hate to sweat! Why is less sweat a bad thing?
When you’re working out, sweating helps your body cool off. Sweating also helps keep your skin moist and soft. If you’re not sweating enough, your skin can dry out.
It’s not difficult to take care of your skin.
1. Wash with a mild soap. Some kinds of soap can dry your skin out. A soap with a moisturizer included, like Dove, will be gentler.
2. Dry yourself thoroughly. Water trapped on your body can actually promote bacterial growth. And leaving your skin wet isn’t the same thing as moisturizing your skin!
3. After you have dried off, use a lotion or cream. Ask your doctor to suggest one.
4. Check your skin daily. Watch out for dry skin, redness, and sore spots.
5. Tell your doctor about any skin problems you are experiencing!
6. Drink water! Hydration starts from within. A good guideline is to drink at least six 8oz glasses of water daily. That’s one glass with each meal, and one glass in between. Soda and coffee don’t count!
7. Switch to cotton underwear. Cotton is a breathable fabric, and lets air move more freely around your body.