The new cause—and how to soothe your skin
Anyone living with diabetes is all too familiar with the first order of business at every doctor’s appointment: Take off your shoes.
That’s because diabetes-related nerve and blood vessel damage can lead to poor circulation and a loss of sensation in the feet. Patients might not feel a blister or sore, and are also more susceptible to calluses and ulcers, which can cause infection if they go untreated.
Now, one personal care company might help: Naterra recently announced the launch of Phase+, a skin care line specifically for diabetics. The line, which consists of a daily foot cream and an exfoliating face and body wash, is formulated with natural antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and moisture-retaining ingredients like peppermint oil and grape seed extract. The products are designed to soothe and repair cracked heels and dry skin, and the act of rubbing and exfoliating the feet helps circulation and prevents the skin thickening associated with diabetes. Even without the Naterra line, diabetics can benefit from gentle massage and exfoliation, using a moisture rich lotion and whatever scrub you’ve got in the bathroom cabinet.
Unfortunately, dry skin and cracked heels aren’t the only beauty downsides to diabetes. We’ve rounded up tips to combat three more:
Give yourself a shampoo massage. Diabetes can impair circulation all over—even to your scalp, causing strands to weaken or become thin and dull. To boost scalp circulation and stave off hair loss, spend a few minutes rubbing a hair oil formulated with stimulating rosemary or eucalyptus into your scalp before you shampoo.
Never miss a teeth cleaning. Diabetes reduces your body’s ability to fight bacteria, which can cause unsightly (and unhealthy) plaque build up, according to Pankaj P. Singh, DDS. He recommends bi-annual cleanings, and suggests scheduling them for mornings. “The stress of a dental appointment can raise blood sugar, so it’s better to go after breakfast and morning medication bring glucose levels down,” he explains.
Check your cosmetics. They could be upping your risk for diabetes, according to a study out of Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Divisions of Women’s Health. Researchers found that exposure to phthalates, chemicals found in personal care products like nail polish, hair spray, soap, and some perfumes, may cause high blood sugar and insulin resistance. (That’s not the only risk associated with phthalates.