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Get on Track with Better Living

Find information, tips, and resources on managing your diabetes

Live a healthier, fuller life by learning more about the types of diabetes, potential complications, and ways to receive insurance coverage.

Shea Butter Replenishes Dry Skin

Originating in Africa, nuts from the Shea tree produce a fat known as Shea butter. Shea butter is commonly used in African chocolate; however, you may be more familiar with its cosmetic purposes. Products containing Shea butter are generally used to treat dry skin conditions. Shea butter, for diabetics, can help combat dry skin caused by abnormal glucose levels as well as prevent infection.

Having irregular glucose levels makes it easier for your body to lose fluids. For people with diabetes, dehydration is a very common problem. When your glucose levels are high, your body cannot produce enough water to stay hydrated, resulting in dry skin and risk of infection. Although most consider dry skin merely an inconvenience, it can be a serious issue for people with diabetes.

Unstable glucose levels can cause permanent damage to your nerves. Nerve damage, also known as neuropathy, affects about half of the diabetes population. The condition commonly occurs in people who have had the disease for awhile. Over time, fluctuating glucose levels damage the walls surrounding your nerves. Consequently, this can cause your sweat glands to produce less sweat. By inhibiting your ability to sweat, it is more difficult for your body to cool off. This makes hydration even more difficult to achieve.

Dry skin is unpleasant. When your skin is dry, scratching ensues. Although it might provide you with temporary relief, continuous scratching can cause your already cracked skin to break, providing an easy entryway for germs. Since researchers believe people with diabetes are more susceptible to infections, germs entering through your dry skin may lead to a life-threatening infection.

Shea butter is an easy way to treat and prevent dry skin. Shea butter is known for its buttery texture and nutty scent. Similar to other lotions, shea butter contains humectants and emollients. With the help of humectants, absorption occurs more quickly and does not leave a sticky residue. Emollients are also important because they provide your dry skin with much-needed hydration. If your skin is also irritated, you can reduce skin inflammation by using Shea butter. For diabetics, fast-acting relief is needed. Fortunately, Shea butter provides this.

Fortunately, Shea butter is readily available. You can find this product in grocery stores, beauty supply shops, and online. In addition to being easily accessible, Shea butter is fairly inexpensive. Shea butter comes in several forms, including, pure Shea butter, lotions, soaps, salves, and creams. It's also available in certain hair conditioners. Although all forms of Shea butter can be effective, raw Shea butter is the most beneficial butter for diabetics because it possesses all of its essential nutrients. For convenience sake though, Shea butter lotion may be your best option because application is easy.

Regardless of what type of product you decide to use, Shea butter provides aid when it's needed most. Not only will it leave you skin feeling soft, but applying it on a daily basis can reduce your risk of infection.