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6 Diabetes Skin Care Tips

Diabetes makes you more likely to get a wide range of skin problems. But you can do a lot to keep your skin healthy. These simple tips can help.

Get educated.One key to preventing problems is to understand what causes them. Talk to your doctor. Learn about the complications, what your particular risks are, and how you can lower them.

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Lower Your Risk of Nerve Pain and Damage From Diabetes

If you have diabetes, chances are good that you already have some form of nerve pain or nerve damage, called diabetic neuropathy. "People with diabetes have about a 60% chance of getting neuropathy of any kind," says Dace L. Trence, MD, an endocrinologist and director of the Diabetes Care Center at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. "It's probably an equal risk of getting neuropathy with type 1 and type 2 diabetes." You may have tingling, pain, or numbness in your feet and hands...

Read the Lower Your Risk of Nerve Pain and Damage From Diabetes article > >

Control your diabetes. Get -- and keep -- your blood sugar within a normal range. If you already have skin problems, you can stop them from getting worse. Strive for a healthy weight, eat right, cut back on salt, maintain a healthy blood pressure, and exercise. That's a tall order, but talk to your health care team for support.

Be aware. If you have diabetic nerve damage, which is called neuropathy, you could have an infected cut, scratch, or skin puncture and not know it. Don't let a small problem turn into a big one. Be aware of your body. Check your legs, ankles, feet, and in between your toes every day for new wounds or old ones that aren't healing.

Treat wounds and sores. Don't neglect wounds. If you find a nick, a scratch, a small cut, or anything that isn't healing or that worries you, talk to your doctor immediately.

Cover up. This simple first line of defense can help you avoid the cuts and scratches that can lead to infection. Whether you're gardening or walking the dog, cover your legs with long pants and your feet with flat, well-fitting shoes.

Prevent dry skin. Skin that's too dry can crack, itch, and get infected.

  • Keep your skin -- especially at armpits, toes, and groin -- clean and dry, but not too dry. Talcum powder can help.
  • Take short, lukewarm showers or baths and use mild soaps and shampoos when you wash. Skip deodorant or scented cleansers, which can be harsh on sensitive skin.
  • Moisturize if your skin is dry. The best time is right after a shower or bath, when it’s still moist.
  • Dry well by patting gently. Don't rub. Focus on underarms, between legs, under breasts, and between toes.

Basic skin care can go far toward helping you prevent diabetic skin complications. If you have questions or if a cut, scrape, or bruise worries you, talk to your doctor or dermatologist right away.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Debra Jaliman, MD on November 02, 2013

Is This Normal? Get the Facts Fast!

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If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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