Diabetes and Your Skin: Winter Survival Guide

A few simple diabetes-friendly skin care tips can help keep your skin glowing and infection-free this winter.   

Health Monitor Staff
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Diabetes, Skin Care, Winter, Infection-free

Bitter cold weather and dry-air heating systems can wreak havoc on your skin. And for people with diabetes, the result isn’t just uncomfortable—it’s an invitation for infection to set in. To the rescue: tips to help you winter-proof your skin and survive the season ahead.

Take quick, cool showers. A steaming shower may sound great on a chilly morning, but hot H2O can strip your skin’s natural oils, causing dryness and itching. Aim for lukewarm showers that are under 10 minutes.

Skip your morning face scrub. Instead, cleanse and moisturize your face before bedtime and just do a quick morning rinse to avoid overdrying skin.

Give yourself a scalp massage. Diabetes can hamper circulation to the scalp, which can lead to itchiness and dandruff. So spend a few minutes gently massaging your shampoo into your hair, then rinse thoroughly. Tip: Switch to a sulfate-free shampoo. It won’t lather, but it will cleanse your scalp without drying it out.

Use soap sparingly. Soap is harsh on skin—so use this dirty little secret: You really need to use it only in areas like the underarms, the groin and the feet.

Brush your teeth before doing this. Washing your face! Toothpaste contains moisture-sapping ingredients, so it’s important to wash away any drying residue to avoid chapped lips.

Did you know? During periods of stress, the skin’s ability to retain water is reduced, according to a report in Archives of Dermatology. Try yoga or meditation, or go for a brisk walk to tame tension.

February 2013