How to care for diabetic skin

4 min read
Show more

Check your skin regularly

The skin on your feet is particularly susceptible to damage if you are Diabetic, so be sure to check your feet regularly. Perhaps family or friends can help?
Always clean your skin before you moisturize.
Wear socks and shoes made of breathable materials to prevent moisture from building up.

Avoid irritant triggers

Avoid foods that can cause itchy skin, especially citrus fruits (fresh fruit, fruit juices and juice-based fizzy drinks) and do not drink chlorinated water. 
Do not use a vinegar foot soak or attempt to treat feet with gels or foot powders.

Caring for diabetic skin

Diabetics often suffer from a disturbed skin barrier, which can cause lead to reduced sweat and sebaceous gland activity. The result is dry or scaly skin.

In more extreme cases, Diabetes can interfere with the skin’s ability to detect wounds and this increase the risk of infection.

Giving diabetic skin the care it needs can help to prevent and/or alleviate these symptoms.

Take care when cleaning your skin

Do not shower more than once a day, and for no longer than five minutes. Keep the water temperature below 37°C.
If you bathe, use a moisturizing oil – try not to use bubble bath or bath salts.

Use mild care products

Use a mild shower oil or gel, ideally one that contains Urea and is proven not to dry skin out such as Eucerin UreaRepair PLUS Washfluid 5% Urea.
Use an intensive  moisturizer such as Eucerin UreaRepair PLUS 10% Urea to keep the skin on your body hydrated. 

Keeping active

Did you know that muscle cells process glucose more efficiently than fat cells? According to The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), building muscle actually helps control blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of diabetic skin problems. So even if it’s just going for a brisk walk or doing some light gardening, these short stints of exercise can surprisingly leave a positive impact. 

Wearing the right clothes

It might not seem like much, but wearing lightweight and breathable materials like cotton can actually help you avoid unnecessary skin issues. As such, do your best to avoid wearing rough, scratchy materials that could aggravate dry skin.

Additionally, instead of having your skin exposed to the Sun or from the cold winds, you might want to opt for something with sleeves. This helps to shield your skin from dry air (or from potential scratches) while you’re out and about.

It’s also important to note that poorly-fitted shoes that don't provide the right support can cause blisters, calluses, and ulcers. To avoid that, try wearing something that fits snugly and is neither too tight or too loose. If you’re still unsure of how it should fit, consult your doctor or podiatrist for advice on specific footwear for diabetics.


Prepare your own diabetic skincare kit!

Just like a first-aid kit, it’s also helpful to have a portable care kit that’s dedicated to diabetic skincare for when you’re spending time outdoors. Essentially, you can think of this “mini care pack” as a way of managing the skin on your hands and feet at all times. This way, you won’t have to rush home to treat wounds or scratches while you’re out and about. 

Suggested for your mini care pack could include:
Antibacterial ointment 
Gauze pads 
Hypoallergenic or paper tape 
Prepackaged cleansing wipes (in case soap or water is unavailable)
Mini moisturiser (to prevent itchy skin)
Lip balm 


When to call for a doctor

When you have diabetes, you need to allocate special attention to your overall skin condition — and not be hesitant about calling your doctor if something doesn’t feel right. Below are some examples of symptoms/situations to look out for that will require medical intervention;

You don’t see any improvement a day after treating a minor skin problem (like a small cut).
You’re experiencing pain or discomfort that lasted more than 2 days. 
Your body’s temperature is high.
You’re noticing pus surrounding the wound. 



In conclusion, while all these practices can seem daunting at first — it’s important to stay positive since stress and anxiety are commonly known for compromising your immune system. When that happens, you become more prone to falling sick.

Instead, remember that you’re not alone in this journey and that there’s always helpful tips and support when it comes to caring for diebetic skin.


Our brand values

Dermo-cosmetic approach
Pioneers in skincare

We deliver a holistic dermo-cosmetic approach to protect your skin, keep it healthy and radiant.

Eucerin skincare products are recommended by dermatologists
Recommended by dermatologists

We work together with leading dermatologist and pharmacist partners around the world to create innovative and effective skincare products they can trust and recommend.

Committed to innovation
Committed to innovation

For over 100 years, we have dedicated ourselves to researching and innovating in the field of skin science. We believe in creating active ingredients and soothing formulas with high tolerability that work to help you live your life better each day.

Complete the routine