Diabetics are more vulnerable to several different kinds of skin issues because of the effects of their blood/glucose levels on the body. It’s essential to check yourself very carefully for skin issues, and to make sure your diabetes is as well controlled as possible.
As well as some common issues, there are a few more complicated skin issues that are caused by diabetes, which are also worth knowing about. So how do you know what’s what?
Dry skin: rashes related to diabetic circulation issues can look hyper- or hypo-pigmented (on skin of colour) or red (on pale skin), and are generally dry, cracked, hot, itchy or inflamed.
(Image: diabetes-related dry skin)
Injection site rash: diabetics can get rashes around injection sites, which look bumpy, itchy or spotty.
Fungal infections: fungal infections like thrush (candida albicans) can cause itchy, red rashes in and on the genitals, warm or damp folds of skin, and on the tongue. Other fungal infections can cause sore, cracked rashes at the corners of the mouth (angular cheilitis) or between the toes (athletes foot). Another fungal infection that diabetics are vulnerable to is ringworm, which appears as a circular, scaly, itchy ring on the skin.
Bacterial infections: bacterial infections can appear as rashes or inflamed areas, commonly as boils or styes on the eyelids, as well as on finger or toe nails.
(Image: bacterial infection: a stye)
Other conditions associated with diabetes that can cause rashes:
Eruptive xanthomatosis: small, yellow, itchy bumps with red halos around them, which occur most often in young men with high cholesterol and poorly controlled blood-sugar levels, and are usually found on arms, hands, feet and buttocks.
Disseminated granuloma annulare: itchy, raised rings or arcs of rashes on the skin, often found on fingers and ears, but also on the body.
Check yourself regularly for any abnormal patches of skin, whether they’re itchy, blistered, raised, bumpy, extra dry or inflamed. Talk to your diabetic nurse for advice about what treatment might be needed; you might need an antifungal cream or a course of antibiotics.
All the products in our Diabetic Skin Collection are excellent choices for looking after diabetic skin. We’d recommend choosing products that work for different areas of the body.
- Cooling Cream with menthol, aloe, shea butter and lavender to cool itchy lower legs (£19 for 100ml)
- Skin Salvation balm, made with beeswax and hemp seed oil to nourish and soften cracked skin on the feet (from £7.99 for 30ml)
- Intensive Hand Cream, rich in sea buckthorn berry oil, shea butter, hemp, olive and safflower to soften and protect dry hands (from £10.99 for 50ml)
- Daily Moisturising Cream with four biodynamic anti-inflammatory herbal tinctures, plus hemp and shea butter, as a general moisturiser for all-over natural hydration (from £13.99 for 100ml)
- Bath & Body Oil with lavender, hemp and olive, to lock in vital moisture during or after bathing (£12.99 for 200ml)
- Scalp Oil which contains tea tree, rosemary and borage, for managing folliculitis on the scalp or as an antimicrobial foot rub to keep fungal infections at bay (£14.99 for 50ml)
- Tea Tree balm, an antimicrobial tea tree ointment for instant application on minor cuts, grazes, bites, blisters etc. (£4.65 for 15ml)