Is there a body wash for diabetics?

Diabetes is a chronic health condition that affects how the body processes sugars. An estimated 37 million Americans have diabetes, with 1.5 million new cases diagnosed each year. While diabetes cannot be cured, it can be managed through medication, diet, exercise, and self-care. One area that is important for diabetes management is skin care, as diabetics are more prone to skin complications. This raises an important question – is there a special body wash formulated for diabetics?

How Diabetes Affects Skin

Diabetes impacts skin health in several ways:


Dry skin is a common complaint for diabetics. High blood sugar leads to dehydration and reduced circulation, resulting in dry, flaky skin. Areas like the legs and feet are especially prone to dryness issues.


Diabetics have a weakened immune system that makes them more susceptible to bacterial and fungal infections. Bacteria can enter cracked skin and lead to complications.

Slow Healing

Poor circulation and nerve damage make injuries and sores on the skin slow to heal for diabetics. Cuts and blisters that a healthy person recovers from quickly can turn problematic.

Bacterial Imbalance

The combination of high blood sugar and circulatory issues can cause the bacterial balance on skin to become disrupted. This allows harmful bacteria to thrive, leading to infection risks.


Very dry, flaky skin leads to itchiness and discomfort. The itch-scratch cycle further damages skin integrity for diabetics.

Special Skin Care Needs for Diabetics

Given the increased skin complications diabetics face, specialized skin care is important. Key skin care tips for diabetics include:

– Moisturizing thoroughly with gentle, fragrance-free lotions and creams. Focus on very dry areas prone to cracking like heels, elbows and knees.

– Avoiding harsh soaps that strip natural skin oils. Use mild cleansers with added moisturizers.

– Treating skin gently, avoiding very hot showers or baths. Use lukewarm water instead.

– Inspecting skin daily for any cuts, bruises, sores or infections. Seek prompt treatment for any skin problems detected.

– Using sunscreen diligently when outdoors. Diabetics burn more easily and sun exposure exacerbates dryness.

– Wearing moisture-wicking socks to keep feet dry. Change socks daily.

– Staying well hydrated and maintaining blood sugar control to improve circulation.

Key Ingredients to Look for in Diabetic Body Wash

When selecting a body wash for diabetes-prone skin, look for these key ingredients:


Emollients provide lasting hydration benefits that help diabetic skin retain moisture. Good options include plant oils like coconut, olive or avocado oils. Shea butter also has excellent emollient properties.


Humectants attract moisture to the skin. Glycerin and hyaluronic acid are two of the most effective humectants used in body washes. They pull moisture from the air into the skin.


Ceramides are lipids that help form the skin’s protective moisture barrier. Diabetics often have depleted ceramide levels, so replenishing them helps seal in moisture.

Anti-inflammatory botanicals

Plant extracts like aloe vera, chamomile, oatmeal and green tea have soothing properties that reduce skin inflammation. This helps comfort diabetes-related skin conditions like infections or itchy rashes.

Antimicrobial ingredients

Substances like tea tree oil, neem oil and sulfur have antimicrobial effects to combat bacteria on diabetic skin and prevent infections.

pH balancing agents

Diabetic skin tends to be acidic with an imbalanced pH. Ingredients like glycerin help restore proper pH levels.

Review of Top Body Washes for Diabetics

Now that we understand which ingredients to look for, let’s review some top-rated body washes specifically formulated for diabetics:

CeraVe Hydrating Body Wash

CeraVe is a dermatologist-recommended brand that makes this hydrating body wash ideal for diabetics prone to dry, itchy skin. Key features:

– Contains hyaluronic acid and ceramides to attract moisture and reinforce the skin barrier.

– Fragrance and soap-free formula is non-irritating.

– Mix of emollients like glycerin, jojoba oil and petrolatum provide 24-hour hydration.

– Can be used on face and body. Rinses clean without residue.

Aveeno Skin Relief Fragrance-Free Body Wash

Aveeno uses soothing colloidal oatmeal as the star ingredient in this cleanser. Benefits include:

– Natural colloidal oatmeal relieves itchy, irritated diabetic skin.

– Rich lather rinses cleanly while locking in moisture.

– Glycerin attracts moisture and acts as a humectant.

– Yeast extract helps calm inflammation.

– Fragrance and soap-free for sensitive skin.

Vanicream Gentle Body Wash

Vanicream is a dermatologist-created brand for sensitive skin. Their body wash offers:

– Ultra-gentle cleansers that do not strip natural skin oils. Rinses residue-free.

– Enriched with skin-nourishing phospholipids to reinforce the moisture barrier.

– Balances skin pH for healthier microbiome.

– Free of common irritants like fragrances, dyes, lanolin, formaldehyde and gluten.

– Can be used as a gentle facial cleanser in addition to body washing.

Neutrogena Diabetics Dry Skin Relief Body Wash

Neutrogena designed this body wash specifically for diabetics’ dry skin needs:

– Contains glycerin for extra moisturizing benefits as a humectant.

– Skin soothers like chamomile and aloe vera calm inflammation.

– Formulated with antioxidant vitamin E to help damaged skin heal.

– Gentle lather rinses clean without leaving residue.

– Unscented and dye-free to avoid irritating sensitive diabetic skin.

Gold Bond Ultimate Diabetics Skin Relief Body Wash

Trusted skin care brand Gold Bond also makes a specialized body wash including:

– 7 key moisturizers like glycerin and petrolatum to hydrate skin.

– Natural oatmeal, aloe vera and vitamin E to soothe and protect.

– Stabilized chlorine dioxide acts as an antimicrobial.

– Light, clean rinsing lather.

– Leaves a thin moisturizing layer behind after rinsing.

Tips for Using Body Wash on Diabetic Skin

When bathing with body wash, follow these tips to avoid irritating sensitive diabetic skin:

– Use lukewarm vs. hot water, which can dry skin out more.

– Limit showers to 5-10 minutes max. Long, hot showers deplete moisture from skin.

– Apply body wash to a soft washcloth then gently cleanse skin. Avoid scrubbing.

– Focus on cleansing trouble spots like armpits and feet where bacteria can build up.

– Rinse thoroughly leaving no residue that could further dry out or irritate skin.

– Pat dry with a soft towel. Avoid vigorous rubbing which can damage skin.

– Immediately apply a rich, fragrance-free moisturizing lotion after showering.

– Look for tear-free washes if using on face. Rinse eyes well after washing face.

– Read product labels carefully and patch test on small area before full use.

Are Special Diabetic Body Washes Really Necessary?

While body washes tailored for diabetics can be helpful, the most important factors are using an ultra-gentle, fragrance-free formula and practicing good skincare habits. Any product that avoids irritating ingredients and helps hydrate skin without stripping oils can potentially work. Talk to your dermatologist for personalized product recommendations based on your skin’s needs. Be sure to moisturize well, stay hydrated, and keep blood sugar controlled for optimal skin health. With some trial and error, you can find an effective body wash that helps manage your diabetic skin conditions.


Caring for skin impacted by diabetes requires special attention and products designed for sensitive, dryness-prone skin. Body washes with added humectants, emollients and ceramides can attract moisture, soothe inflammation and reinforce the skin’s barrier against dehydration. When selecting a body wash, look for fragrance-free formulas with glycerin, plant oils and oatmeal. Brands like CeraVe, Aveeno, Vanicream and Neutrogena make well-reviewed washes for diabetics. Combine a gentle body wash with lukewarm water, thorough moisturizing and other healthy skin care habits. With the right approach, you can achieve clean, hydrated and healthy diabetic skin.

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