Dry Skin Treatment For Diabetics

By Gloria MacTaggart

Skin problems and diabetes are so closely associated that diabetes is often first diagnosed by dermatologists. Several changes to the skin, including boils, blisters called ‘diabetic bullae’, skin tags, dark skin around the neck and fingers, and dry skin, indicate the possibility of diabetes.

What is diabetes and how does it cause skin problems? Many think diabetes is the result of eating too much sugar. In fact, it is a problem with the immune system. In a healthy body, specialized cells (called beta cells) manufacture insulin in the pancreas. Insulin is a hormone responsible for transporting glucose to the cells. The body then burns the glucose, creating carbon dioxide, water and energy. The body cannot maintain a healthy condition without this process. In type one diabetes, the immune system attacks beta cells – mistaking them for invaders. In type two diabetes, insulin is still manufactured, but in quantities below the needs of the body.

Diabetes causes damage to several organs, and to blood vessels and small nerves. This, in turn, promotes dry skin. In diabetics it is vital to take care of dry skin as it can lead to serious infections and ulceration.


Although discovering that one has diabetes can be frightening, it is often manageable by maintaining proper weight, eating a good diet, and exercising. Also, although there is no proven cure as yet, research in the area has progressed and scientists are hopeful that there may be a cure in the near future.

Until that time, diabetics need to take care of their skin. Doctors always include a daily skin care routine in their recommendations. Dry skin treatment for a diabetic starts with controlling environmental factors such as keeping the temperature as low as is comfortable, increasing humidity, wearing gloves when using any kind of solvent, avoiding extremely hot baths and showers, and wearing clothes made of natural fibers.

Keeping the skin moist is also very important. However, most moisturizers contain ingredients that cause the skin to produce less moisture. A good shielding lotion has been found to be most effective as dry skin treatment.

About the Author: Author, Gloria MacTaggart, is a freelance writer who contributes articles on skin care for 21st Century Formulations. For more information, visit





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