Our skin is the largest organ and also the main defense against germs and pathogens. However, in people with diabetes, skin infections are extremely common and instead of protection, this organ needs the most care. A common complaint in diabetics is dry, itchy skin. The skin becomes fragile and brittle, leading to frequent infections and sores. Poor circulation, repeat injuries and diabetic ulcers also cause skin wounds to heal slowly. It is common to see reddish blue bruises on a diabetic’s arms and legs. The feet are also affected in the form of painful blisters and sores. In this guide, we will study some natural remedies to treat diabetic dry skin and prevent skin problems holistically.
The reason why many diabetics suffer from leg sores and dry itchy skin is because of reduced skin lipids and decreased ability to release moisture. This is the main reason why people with diabetes suffer from skin dehydration. Many doctors recommend special diabetic lotions to moisturize dry skin. The main difference between regular lotions and diabetic lotions are that the latter contain lanolin and other emollients which provide several layers of lipid barriers that prevent moisture loss and keep the skin moisturized for longer duration.
In addition to using special diabetic skin care products, the following natural remedies can also help:
Bathing is necessary for diabetics as they are more prone to bacterial and fungal skin infections. Pay special attention to heels, toes, elbows and feet while bathing. Use a gentle, ph balanced moisturizing soap. This will eliminate fungus as well as bacterial spores. Also, always use lukewarm water while bathing as very hot water can strip natural oils and make the skin drier.
Steaming is a good way of opening clogged pores and oil glands without irritating the dry skin. The process also dislodges oil and dirt from the pores and protects the skin from infections, blisters, acne etc.
Diabetics are extremely susceptible to sores and corns on the feet. Depending on the skin type in the feet region, a diabetic lotion or a foot powder which absorbs moisture will help resolve this problem.
• If you have the tendency to sweat in between your toes, liberally sprinkle foot powder before wearing clean socks. This will prevent ringworm/athlete’s foot and other toenail infections. Cotton socks are best as they absorb sweat. Change and wash the used socks daily.
• Wear good quality footwear. If needed, place silicone inserts inside shoes to minimize friction and abrasion on the soles of the feet.
• For dry, itchy skin on the feet, moisturize using lanolin or beeswax.
• Avoid cutting the nails too short and always be on the lookout for blisters, corns or sores.
• Never walk barefoot, even indoors.
• Elevate your feet from time to time to promote blood circulation.
• Massage the feet with warm coconut oil using upward strokes to moisturize dryness and prevent itch.
Manuka honey is moisturizing and healing. Scientific reports have shown that this honey has antibacterial healing properties that could prevent and treat many diabetic skin problems. Apply the honey to facial skin, hands and neck before bathing and wash off using lukewarm water after 10 minutes.
Aloe, the “plant of immortality”, can heal minor skin infections, wounds, sores, ulcers and blisters in diabetics. It can also be a soothing salve for sunburns, frostbite and minor burns. However, in case of serious wounds and deep infections, do not rely solely on aloe vera gel. Seek prompt medical help.
Many essential oils can successfully heal minor skin problems in diabetics.
• 12-15 drops of Myrrh essential oil
• 1 oz of extra virgin coconut oil
Mix the oils and apply to chapped skin.
• 2-3 drops of Peppermint essential oil
• 1 tsp of virgin coconut oil
Mix the oils and massage into dry, cracked fissures. Wear socks and leave on overnight. Be patient.
• 3-5 drops of Lavender oil
Rub the oil neat on rashes or hives.
• 3-5 drops of Frankincense oil
• 1 tsp virgin coconut oil
Mix the oils and apply on itchy areas.
For serious sores:
• 5 drops each Frankincense and Helichrysum oils
• 1 tsp virgin coconut oil
Mix the oils and massage the blend gently, 2-3 times a day, on affected areas. Consistency is important.
• Avoid skin care products with parabens. There are many organic and natural skin care products that come with the USDA organic seal of approval.
• Do not use toxic sunscreens.
• Avoid dairy. Go for dairy alternatives like almond milk or soy milk.
• Try to eat only organic fruits, vegetables and meats.
• Learn to read food labels. Avoid foods with BHA and BHT. A study by Saito et al showed that BHA and BHT are cytotoxic and have adverse effects on the lungs, kidneys and heart. Moreover, these preservatives prevent decomposition of fat, leading to obesity. Artificial sweeteners found in processed foods reduce good bacteria and also increase colonies of bad bacteria that further increase the risk of obesity and diabetes. If you’re avoiding sugar, try a natural sweetener such as stevia.
• Replace pesticides and herbicides with bio-degradable natural products.
• Use essential oils instead of chemical cleaners.
• Drink filtered spring water. If possible, use chlorine-free water for bathing.
• Avoid microwaving foods, especially in plastic containers. When you use BPA based plastic containers, the harmful resins from those plastics leach into the food. This causes hormonal damage. In addition, BPA has been linked to diabetes and cancer.
We hope these natural diabetic dry skin treatment remedies will help you prevent any future complications. Do let us know what you've tried and what works for you!
How To Treat Diabetic Dry Skin Naturally
The content found on this website is for informational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Information and statements regarding health related benefits of certain ingredients are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information provided is not meant to substitute the advice provided by your personal physician or other medical professional. Do not use the information found within this website to self-diagnose any medical conditions or treat any health problems or diseases. The information provided is not intended to prescribe or be taken as medical advice.
Comments will be approved before showing up.