Although diabetes is primarily a condition to do with glucose levels in the blood, it’s also associated with several skin conditions, some more serious than others.
The most common skin problem for diabetics is simply dry skin. High blood-sugar levels cause the body to pull moisture in an attempt to dilute the glucose in the blood, which results in less moisture in the skin, and therefore dry skin. Dry skin is problematic because it is more vulnerable to infection, to damage, and to external irritants like dust, pollen and detergents, all of which can result in itchiness.
Because diabetics are more vulnerable to infection, they can also be at higher risk of skin issues such as yeast infections like thrush and dandruff, as well as bacterial infections of the skin such as staph and strep.
Uncontrolled diabetes can mean poor circulation and nerve damage, both of which can have an effect on the skin, particularly itching and dryness.
What can you do?
- Make sure your blood-sugar is as well managed as possible
- Go for regular checks with your diabetes team
- Use gentle, unscented, nourishing skincare products
For a more detailed list of skin problems caused by diabetes see What Does Diabetic Skin Rash Look Like?
For more information about what you can do to help your skin, read our article Top Tips For Stopping Diabetic Itchy Skin.
Recommended products for diabetics:
We’d recommend using our intensive Skin Salvation ointment if your hands or feet get really dry or cracked; Balmonds Daily Moisturising Cream for day-to-day maintenance; and our antimicrobial rescue oil (Balmonds Scalp Oil) to keep feet or other areas clean and help ward off fungal infections.Our refreshing Cooling Cream can be great for sensitive and dehydrated diabetic skin too, and try our versatile Balmonds Natural Shampoo & Body Wash if you need the gentlest of soap-free cleansers.
If you require medical advice we recommend you always contact your healthcare professional.
If you or someone you are caring for seems very unwell, is getting worse or you think there's something seriously wrong, call for emergency services straight away. For general medical advice, please contact your healthcare professional, this article does not contain or replace medical advice.
Do not delay getting help if you're worried. Trust your instincts.