Unfortunately, diabetes can affect every part of our body, including the skin. Skin complications, such as itching, bacterial infections and fungal infections are more common in people with diabetes.
Yeast infection, dry skin, or poor circulation can cause itching. When poor circulation is the cause of itching, the itchiest areas may be the lower parts of the legs.
There are several kinds of bacterial infections that may occur. For example, styes (infections of the glands of the eyelid), boils, folliculitis (infections of the hair follicles), carbuncles (deep infections of the skin and the tissue underneath), infections around the nails, inflamed tissues are usually hot, swollen, red, and painful.
The culprit in fungal infections of people with diabetes is often Candida albicans. It can create itchy rashes of moist, red areas surrounded by tiny blisters and scales. These infections often occur in warm, moist folds of the skin. Problem areas are under the breasts, around the nails, between fingers and toes, in the corners of the mouth, under the foreskin (in uncircumcised men), and in the armpits and groin. Common fungal infections include jock itch, athlete’s foot, ringworm (a ring-shaped itchy patch), and vaginal infection that causes itching.
Yes, you can prevent skin complications. You can prevent that by doing the following things :
- First, it is important to keep your diabetes well managed. People who have hyperglycemia tend to have dry skin and less ability to fend off harmful bacteria. Both conditions increase the risk of infection.
- Second, avoid very hot baths and showers. If your skin is dry, don’t use bubble baths. Moisturizing soaps may help. Afterwards, use a standard skin lotion, but don’t put lotions between toes. The extra moisture there can encourage fungus to grow.
- Third, prevent dry skin. Scratching dry or itchy skin can open it up and allow the infection to set in. Moisturize your skin to prevent chapping, especially in cold or windy weather.
- Also, treat cuts right away. For instance, wash minor cuts with soap and water. Furthermore, cover minor cuts with sterile gauze. See a doctor right away if you get a major cut, burn, or infection.
- Moreover, during cold, dry months, keep your home more humid. Bathe less during this weather, if possible.
- Take care of your feet. It is recommended to check them every day for sores and cuts. Wear broad, flat shoes that fit well.
- Last, but not least, if you don’t know how to solve your skin problems, go to your dermatologist (skin doctor).