WellSpan Home

Care of Your Skin When You Have Diabetes

Topic Overview

If high blood sugar levels have damaged nerves that go to your skin, you may sweat less, and your skin may become dry and cracked. Damaged skin becomes infected more easily when you have diabetes.

To prevent skin problems and allow for early treatment of any problems that develop, each day:

  • Inspect your skin, especially on your feet, between your toes, and around your fingernails and toenails. Watch for redness, cuts, scrapes, calluses, or blisters.
  • Keep your skin folds—such as in your groin or under your breasts—dry. Moist areas increase the risk of infection.
  • Dry the area between your toes well after bathing.
  • Use a bath soap that has a moisturizer added. Use soap only as needed (on your feet, underarms, and groin). Avoid using deodorant soaps and antibacterial soaps, which may dry your skin.
  • If your skin is dry, do not use bubble baths. Use a bath oil instead.

To prevent dryness and injury:

  • Use a home humidifier during cold weather and in dry climates.
  • Use a moisturizer after you bathe, but avoid skin folds and in between your toes.
  • Wear gloves when you garden, do yard work, use household chemicals, or do dishes.
  • Always test the temperature of the water before you take a bath or shower, especially if you have peripheral neuropathy. Use your elbow or upper arm to check the temperature, or have a family member do it.
  • Avoid hot water, which can dry out skin. Warm water is better.

To prevent problems from the sun:

  • Cover any ulcers or wounds with a bandage, not sunscreen.
  • Treat peeling sunburns with lotion to help prevent skin from cracking open and getting infected.
  • Be more careful about the time in the sun when you take medicines that can increase your sun sensitivity, such as some sulfonylureas, heart medicines, and antibiotics.

See your doctor or a dermatologist if you have a skin problem that does not go away.

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerDavid C. W. Lau, MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology

Current as ofDecember 7, 2017


Are you sure you would like to cancel?

All information will be lost.

Yes No ×

About the provider search

This search will provide you with WellSpan Medical Group and Northern Lancaster County (Ephrata) Medical Group primary care physicians and specialists. If we don’t have a WellSpan Medical Group physician to meet your criteria, the search will expand to include community physicians who partner with WellSpan Medical Group physicians through the WellSpan Provider Network or provide care to patients on the Medical Staffs of WellSpan’s Hospitals.

×

Schedule Your Next Appointment Online with MyWellSpan

Use your MyWellSpan patient portal any time to view available appointments, and pick the date and time that best suits your schedule.

Go to MyWellSpan

New to this practice?

If you don't have a WellSpan primary care provider and would like to schedule a new patient appointment with a provider who is accepting patients, just log into your MyWellSpan account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to see the offices that are accepting new patients in relation to your zip code. If you are not enrolled in MyWellSpan, go to https://my.wellspan.org, call 1-866-638-1842 or speak with a member of the staff at a participating facility to sign up. New patient scheduling not available at all practices/programs.

Already a patient at this practice?

If you already have a relationship with a WellSpan practice, simply log into your account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to schedule an appointment with any provider or practice that already counts you as a patient. Online scheduling varies by practice/program.

×