Diabetic-related skin problems are common because high blood sugar levels help bacteria and fungi thrive. About 33% of diabetics suffer from one or other skin disorder at some stage. If caught early, most can be treated fairly easily, but they can sometimes be difficult to diagnose and if one treatment doesn't work the diabetic should persevere until another does.
Dry skin is an indicator of high blood glucose and possible diabetic neuropathy. If the resulting itchiness causes you to scratch and break the skin, germs are quick to take hold and thrive, which makes diabetics more prone to the same skin conditions as other people.
The Cleveland Clinic Foundation's website gives a thorough description of common skin ailments that diabetics encounter and is well worth reading quite carefully if you are particularly frustrated.
Three of us who swim daily at the local public pool are diabetic and all three have had skin conditions our different doctors diagnosed as psoriasis. However, none looks the same. While I suspect that our skins are all reacting in some way to the chlorine in the pool, one man has given up on treatment, another has had several cyst-like lumps cut out and I suffer on, possibly misdiagnosed by some four general practitioners over as many years.
On three occasions when I've been forced to go to the emergency room at my local hospital, strong antibiotics have helped tremendously, although not quite killed what I now realise is possibly a bacterial infection.
My next step is to find another general practitioner; one who will hopefully take my recent medical history from those hospital visits into account.
Medical professionals, though, are becoming understandably wary of prescribing antibiotics on a whim.
Antibiotics are becoming less effective and superbugs more common. This means they are easier to catch and that resistance to antibiotics is building among the general population. As super drugs, antibiotics became the first line of defence against illnesses that had often taken lives before their discovery. They have boosted healing and helped medical practitioners to treat bacterial infections with great success.
No wonder the medical fraternity is getting nervous...
Getting your blood-sugar levels under long-term control is essential, of course. Using mild, antiseptic, non-perfumed lotions and soaps can help moisturise dry skin considerably. All rashes and infections that don't clear or heal quickly should be taken to a healthcare professional without delay.
Remember that the very skin and tissue degeneration caused by diabetes can lead to aligned conditions like diabetic neuropathy, atherosclerosis and diabetic dermopathy. But aging also causes changes in skin texture and 'thickness' that we sometimes forget about.
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