Careful daily skin care is essential for those with diabetes, but cold, dry winter weather makes it even more essential for skincare mindfulness. Since November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, it seems a perfect time to talk about winter skin care for diabetes.
What does cold, dry weather do to skin?
People with diabetes often have skin that tends to be dry. Combine that with the fact that higher blood sugar levels increase the risk of bacterial and fungal infections and that cold winter weather causes skin to become even more dry and you see that precautions are required to protect skin.
Particular Body Parts
Our most exposed body parts are the face, lips, hand, and fingers. Moisturize after washing your face, both morning and evening, and also use a moisturizer with sunscreen. Just because it is winter, doesn’t mean the sun won’t still damage your skin.
Your lips are also likely to chap, dry, and crack and a good lip balm can work wonders. Look for those with few ingredients, but make sure that petroleum jelly, mineral oil, or shea butter is in the mix. Avoid balms with chemicals.
Keeping your hands covered is the best way to protect them from the cold. Also moisturize using creams rather than lotions. Make it easy – keep tubes of moisturizer handy: by your bed, in the bathroom, in the kitchen, and in the car. You can also use common kitchen oils including olive oil, canola oil, and coconut oil. All such moisturizing products are pretty much the same, even the ones that say they are specifically for those with diabetes.
Poor circulation often accompanies diabetes and that means special foot care, especially in winter months. You need shoes and socks that fit well because it is easy to develop blisters, calluses, and other lesions. When buying socks, choose breathable material such a wool or anything that is moisture-wicking and will keep your feet from getting sweaty. Also use antifungal powder to help avoid problems.
Around the House
Using a humidifier during the dry, winter months will help keep moisture in the air and help prevent dry skin.