Source: Best Health magazine, November/December 2015
Over nine million Canadians are living with diabetes or prediabetes, a disease that comes with a host of problems, including a susceptibility to dry, sensitive skin. We asked Francine Krenicki, SVP Product Development, at Skinfix, for her advice.
Why do those with diabetes often have problem skin?
When blood glucose levels run high the body loses fluids and this causes skin to dry out all over, especially on the extremities like hands, legs and feet. Many people find that what worked for their skin before diabetes isn’t as effective anymore. Moisturizers might not be enough to maintain hydration and other products could even be causing irritation.
What should someone with diabetes do differently, to care for their skin?
Avoid Hot Showers: Hot water is irritating and it weakens the skin barrier. Replace harsh bar soaps and body washes.
Lock in Moisture: Moisturize your skin immediately after bathing. Pat skin dry thoroughly, paying attention to areas like underarms, calves and skin folds. Water trapped on the skin can lead to irritation.
Go Fragrance-Free: Frequent handwashing before glucose meter readings can leave hands dry, especially if using antibacterial hand soaps or sanitizers. Replenish moisture with a rich, protective hand cream; avoid formulas with fragrance, which can irritate skin.
Use a Humidifier: In the cold winter months, a humidifier can help add moisture to the air in your home and help prevent skin from drying out.
Take Care of Your Feet: Find shoes with extra cushion and support to reduce the risk of injuries. At night, use a rich, urea-free foot cream to provide protection and increase skin moisturization to dry, cracked skin.
What ingredients should someone with diabetes look for in skincare products?
A good moisturizer has the right combination of humectants like aloe vera and glycerin, which pull water into the skin to instantly plump and hydrate. Natural emollients like botanical oils of coconut, sunflower, jojoba and grape seed lock in this moisture and create a protective barrier. Our Skinfix Healing Foot and Leg Balm ($25) for example, is clinically proven to moisturize dry, cracked skin by 83 percent.