Diabetic Skin Care Awareness For National Diabetes Month

Diabetes is a serious illness that affects millions upon millions of people, putting a strain on all areas of the human body. While many people think that diabetes is something you are only unfortunately born with or contract due to bad eating habits and being obese, there are a number of other ways that diabetes can be caused.

For example, some have wondered does psoriasis cause diabetes? With November being National Diabetes Month, there is no better time to focus on the troubling fact that this common skin problem can lead to a much more harmful and life-changing disease.

Higher Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

According to a study published online in the archives of Dermatology, those with severe psoriasis were a whopping 56 percent more likely to have type 2 diabetes and should be screened for the condition.

Even those with mild psoriasis were found to be 49 percent more likely to have the disease. The link between psoriasis and diabetes has been attributed to whole body inflammation, which can result in the resistance of insulin, one of the main causes of Type 2 diabetes.

Warning Signs

Knowing the warning signs of Type 2 diabetes can give you an early insight into whether or not you have it, if you have any amount of psoriasis. According to the American Diabetes Association the following symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes include:

  • Frequent Urination
  • Unusual Thirst
  • Extreme Hunger
  • Unusual Weight Loss
  • Extreme Fatigue and Irritability
  • Frequent Infections
  • Blurred Vision
  • Cuts and Bruises that heal incredibly slowly
  • Tingling and Numbness in your hands and feet
  • Recurring Gum, Skin or Bladder Infections

If these symptoms are occurring on top of the psoriasis you already deal with, than you should be screened for Type 2 Diabetes immediately. The sooner you recognize these symptoms, the better you will be able to manage your diabetes going forward so that it doesn’t adversely affect your life as much.

Ways to Protect Yourself

With this added concern over the long term health effects psoriasis can have on your body, there are a number of things that should be done to better protect yourself from the skin condition and the possibility that could lead to Type 2 Diabetes in the future. People with even mild psoriasis should have tests annually for diabetes, as well as high blood pressure and cholesterol, since psoriasis sufferers also have a higher degree of heart attack and stroke risk.

On top of medical screenings on a yearly basis, if not more often, taking dietary supplements, keeping the skin moist with baths and humidifiers and not using dyes and perfumes should be incorporated into your daily life and routine.

Diet is also key, adding things like soy, nuts, chocolate and cranberries to your everyday diet, which the National Psoriasis Foundation lists as functional foods to help treat the ailment.

In other words, the more psoriasis is kept at bay, the less of a chance you will have at developing Type 2 diabetes in the future. It will be a constant battle, but one worth fighting for your overall health and happiness.

+Dr.Lee  Eberting is a board certified dermatologist and is a past fellow of the National Institutes of Health, who blogs regularly at cherylleemd.com