A: Type 2 diabetes can exacerbate dry and cracking skin. This occurs because of the body’s response to high glucose levels in the blood. 

Dryness may also result from neuropathy, or nerve damage, which often accompanies unregulated type 2 diabetes. When nerves don’t function correctly, parts of the body (especially hands and feet) don’t get the message to sweat. That means skin doesn’t benefit from the oils pushed out through sweat and, as a result, it suffers dryness.

Moisturizing is critical. Remember the three-minute rule: Apply lotion within three minutes of towel drying to trap water into your skin. And if you know dryness flares up at certain times of year, take preventive steps. In addition to switching to a heavier moisturizer and setting up a humidifier in your bedroom, you may want to reassess your sock choices. Man-made fibers wick moisture away from feet. Although that’s beneficial in the case of athlete’s foot, it’s not helpful when skin is already dry.