Diabetes is a complicated disease that can affect multiple areas of the body. One complication of diabetes that many diabetics deal with are skin problems. Diabetes causes dry skin because when the body’s glucose levels are high, the body loses fluids. When that happens, skin can become dry, itchy, and cracked. Unfortunately, high sugar levels also produce excellent conditions for bacteria and fungus to grow, which means that a diabetic’s dry skin can also lead to infections. Helping a senior care for their skin to prevent dryness and other problems associated with diabetes requires a daily skin care routine as well as some extra precautions.
There are several ways family caregivers and senior care providers can help senior diabetics to keep their skin healthy. Some tips for daily care are:
- Bathe or shower with warm water, not hot. Hot water dries skin.
- Use moisturizing soaps.
- Keep baths and showers short.
- Don’t rub skin dry, pat it instead.
- Use lotion after bathing and drying. Keep a bottle of lotion near the sink for use after hand washing.
- Drink lots of water or other liquids that are caffeine-free and sugar-free.
- Eat foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids, which help keep skin healthy.
A senior care provider can help keep diabetic skin healthy by assisting seniors with daily skin care, including applying lotion, which can be difficult for seniors with physical limitations.
Caring for diabetic skin changes a bit depending on the circumstances of the weather. In the summer, senior care providers and family caregivers need to make certain the diabetic senior wears sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 when they will be outside. Using lip balm can help protect lips from sunburn and keep them moisturized regardless of the time of year. In colder temperatures, diabetics should keep skin covered when they are outside in the cold. Use hats or earmuffs to protect ears, gloves or mittens to protect hands, and scarves to protect the neck and face. Because the air is usually drier in cold weather and because indoor air becomes even drier when the furnace is in use, running a dehumidifier to regulate the moisture in the house so that skin does not become too dry.
Skin First Aid
It’s a good idea to inspect diabetic skin every day, looking for changes that may indicate a problem. Some things to look for include:
- Red spots.
- Bumps or other changes in feet.
Create a first aid kit for the senior’s skin so that all skin issues can be dealt with promptly. The kit should contain gauze pads, antibiotic ointment, cleansing wipes, and hypoallergenic tape. It’s a good idea to keep a skin care kit in the car or a bag when taking a senior on an outing just in case they should sustain an injury.
If you or an aging loved one are interested in hiring senior care in Scottsdale, AZ or the surrounding areas, please contact the professional team at Devoted Guardians Home Care. Call today at (800) 699-4781 or (480) 999-3012.
Aaron spent 5 years working for Intel Corporation in Chandler, Arizona right out of college until he ventured off on his own. Aaron has owned and operated successful small businesses for the past 10 years.
Aaron is currently the CEO and owner of Devoted Guardians a Non-Medical In Homecare Agency covering the entire Phoenix valley. Aaron has been CEO since 2012 and running businesses since 2005.