diabetes and eczema

How Diabetes Can Affect Your Skin

Did you know that there is a strong link between diabetes and eczema? While this might seem like a farfetched notion, once you understand the ways in which diabetes affects our bodies, it makes much more sense. Many people rely on drugs like Dupixent to help deal with diabetes-related eczema. Dupixent is a prescription medication used to treat moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis (eczema) by targeting and inhibiting specific proteins involved in the inflammatory process. Keep reading to learn more about diabetes, its correlation to eczema, treatment options and more.

Worst Foods For Diabetics

Some of the word foods for people with diabetes include:

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Processed Foods

Foods like chips, cookies and pastries are high in refined carbohydrates and unhealthy fats, which can negatively impact blood sugar control.

White Bread and Pasta

Foods made from refined flour can cause significant spikes in blood sugar levels. Consider replacing these foods with whole grain alternatives.

Fried Foods

Fried foods are high in unhealthy fats and calories, which can contribute to weight gain and insulin resistance.

High-Fat Dairy Products

Full-fat milk, cheese and yogurt can be high in saturated fats, which may increase the risk of heart disease.

Red and Processed Meats

Red and processed meats can be high in saturated fats and sodium, which are detrimental to heart health and can worsen diabetes-related complications.

Our food choices have a great impact on our blood sugar levels. That’s why it’s pivotal that people with diabetes opt for a diet that can help control blood sugar levels.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic medical condition characterized by high levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood. It occurs when the body either does not produce enough insulin (a hormone that regulates blood sugar) or cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. There are two main types of diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition in which the body's immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. People with type 1 diabetes require lifelong insulin therapy.

Type 2 Diabetes

This is the most common form of diabete4s and occurs when the body becomes resistant to insulin or when the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin. It is often associated with lifestyle factors such as obesity and lack of physical activity.

According to the CDC, 38.4 million people in the United States had diabetes in 2021, which is 11.6% of the population. In addition, 38.1 million adults aged 18 years or older had diabetes.

What is Eczema?

Eczema is a chronic skin condition characterized by inflamed, itchy and/or red skin. It can occur anywhere on the body but is commonly found on the hands, face, neck and legs. Eczema is believed to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors that lead to a dysfunctional skin barrier and an overactive immune response. More than 31 million Americans have some form of eczema, per the National Eczema Association.

Understanding the Link Between Diabetes and Eczema

Experts believe that there is a potential link between diabetes and eczema. Here are a few ways in which the two chronic disorders may be linked:

Inflammatory Pathways

Both diabetes and eczema involve chronic inflammation. In diabetes, high blood sugar levels can lead to systemic inflammation, which can extend to the skin. This inflammation of the skin can develop into eczema.

Immune System Dysfunction

Both conditions involve abnormalities in the immune system. In diabetes, the immune system attacks insulin-producing cells, whereas in eczema, skin inflammation comes from an overactive immune response.

Skin Barrier Dysfunction

People with diabetes often have dry skin due to poor circulation and high blood sugar levels, which can damage blood vessels and reduce blood flow to the skin. This can exacerbate eczema symptoms by weakening the skin barrier, making it more prone to infection and irritation.

Treatment Options

Despite the correlation between the two disorders, there are different ways to treat them. In diabetes, the most common treatment options include:

  • Medication.
  • Diet and exercise.
  • Lifestyle changes.
  • Blood sugar monitoring.

As for treating eczema, experts recommend the following options:

  • Topical medications
  • Medications such as Dupixent
  • Moisturizers.
  • Avoiding triggers, such as foods, allergens and stress.
  • Antihistamines.