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Diabetes and Dry Skin

According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), 9.3% of the population in the U.S. has diabetes—that’s approximately 29.1 million children and adults. In diabetes, the body cannot produce or process insulin properly, leading to high blood glucose levels. This imbalance in blood glucose levels can also impact the skin, and often leads to dry skin.

Something as simple as dry skin can lead to more serious concerns in persons with diabetes—for example, abrasions caused by scratching dry, itchy skin can increase the risk of infection. Long-term diabetic patients can experience symptoms like nerve damage and loss of feeling in the lower limbs. When this occurs, a sufferer can be unaware of breaks and cracks in the skin until they’ve become infected. In some cases, skin infections on the extremities can lead to wounds that do not heal.   


To maintain healthy-looking moisturized skin with an effective protective skin barrier, it’s important for persons with diabetes to establish a daily skincare regimen. Monitoring their skin regularly and checking for any skin breaks (especially on the feet) is recommended, as is using moisture-rich cleansers and lotions to maintain the integrity of the skin’s protective barrier. Moisturizers that gently exfoliate and intensively moisturize are ideal, as they help remove flaky skin and bind water to keep skin soft and smooth. 

Cleanse with warm (not hot) water and a mild, soap-free cleanser. Keep baths or showers short to avoid drying out your skin. Gently pat dry with a soft towel and apply moisturizer while your skin is still damp, to seal in moisture. 

Good, daily skin care practices are recommended to strengthen the skin barrier, and help keep skin soft, smooth and healthy-looking. Consult your doctor or dermatologist for guidance on your specific health concerns.

The information provided herein is not intended to be medical advice. Nor is it intended to treat the underlying skin disease or condition. The information is provided solely to:

1. Moisturize, soften and smooth dry skin 
2. Improve the appearance of the skin
3. Achieve healthier-looking skin

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