Diabetic Skin Changes Can Benefit from Moisturizer and Cleanser Use: A Review

Robert S. Kirsner, Gil Yosipovitch, Shasa Hu, Anneke Andriessen, Jason R. Hanft, Paul J. Kim, Lawrence Lavery, Luigi F Meneghini, Lee C. Ruotsi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


INTRODUCTION: Diabetes mellitus (DM) associated skin changes, which may be the first sign of DM in undiagnosed patients. Frequently these patients present with dry skin, which may benefit from the use of gentle cleansers and moisturizers. A review paper was developed to explore DM-associated skin changes and possible benefits of cleanser and moisturizer use. METHODS: For this purpose, an expert panel of physicians involved in the care of patients with DM selected information from literature searches coupled with expert opinions and experience of the panel. RESULTS: A defective skin barrier predisposes the skin to water loss leading to dryness, hyperkeratosis and inflammation. Skin changes that may benefit from the use of gentle cleansers and moisturizers are, amongst others, diabetic foot syndrome, ichthyosiform skin changes, xerosis, and keratosis pilaris. Adherence to treatment is a considerable challenge making education essential, especially about the need to keep skin clean and what skin care to use. Specifically designed diabetic skin care that contains anti-aging ingredients, urea, and essential ceramides, has demonstrated benefits for dry/itchy skin. CONCLUSIONS: Skin disorders are common complications among either diabetic patients with patients with DM and may lead to serious adverse events. Evidence suggests that daily application of optimal skin care using gentle cleansers and moisturizers is one of the measures that may help improve skin barrier dysfunction, preventing complications by providing early-stage treatment of patients with diabetes. J Drugs Dermatol. 2019;18(12):1211-1217.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1211-1217
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of drugs in dermatology : JDD
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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