From the summer months when we are outdoors in wind and sun, to wintertime when indoor heating and frigid temperatures result in overly dry air, we’ve all experienced flaky skin and dry patches. Finding the right products to nourish dry skin is key to keeping your outermost layer happy and healthy. Keep the following points in mind as you consider skin moisturizers:
- If you’ve never had severely dry skin in the past and develop it suddenly, talk to your doctor about this. Overly dry skin can signal other health issues such as hormone imbalances or an underactive thyroid gland, which require medical attention.
- Many people confuse rosacea, a chronic condition involving facial skin inflammation, which can appear as redness, broken blood vessels, or acne-like skin eruptions, with true acne. Rosacea may look like acne that needs to be dried out with acne products, but a moisturizing rosacea-specialty product is a better option.
- If you’re pregnant, avoid moisturizing products that contain vitamin A–derived substances, such as retinol, retinal, or retinoids. These are not safe for use during pregnancy, and prescription vitamin A versions may even cause birth defects.
What they are: Facial moisturizers are designed specifically for use on delicate facial skin. Some may be designed for specific areas of the face, such as around the eyes or mouth.
Why to buy: Facial moisturizers are the right option to properly hydrate facial skin and keep it supple. Hand creams and other body moisturizing products tend to be too heavy; resist the temptation to use these instead of face-specific products.
Things to consider: Pay attention to labels and use only as directed. For example, many products are not designed for use on eyelids or close to the eyes, and will sting if applied to these areas. Pick products to meet your needs. Facial moisturizers range from items to treat very dry faces to light moisturizers for acne-prone skin. Expensive may not be better. Ask your doctor or friends and family members for suggestions.
What they are: Body moisturizers come in lotions and thick creams and tend to be heavier than facial products and lighter than hand and foot moisturizers. They often contain humectants—substances to seal moisture into skin, and come with or without fragrance.
Why to buy: Body moisturizers provide the right weight to keep you feeling soft and velvety all over. Many like to keep a good body moisturizer around so it’s always there to use when needed. Some people use them year round, while others only need them during specific dry seasons.
Things to consider: Fragrances in lotions and creams are the most common culprit for allergic reactions. If you’ve had problems with moisturizers in the past, try a product formulated for sensitive skin or that is fragrance-free.
What they are: Moisturizers for hands and feet tend to be the heaviest, most moisturizing products available. Skin on hands and feet is thicker, tougher, and may be more exposed than other areas; these body parts may need a heartier product.
Why to buy: These products are reasonably priced and can address serious dryness, such as cracked heels and chapped, irritated hands. They provide the deepest moisturizing for the areas that need it.
Things to consider: These products are best for thicker, tougher skin, so avoid using on the face or other sensitive body areas where they may clog pores.
What they are: Specialty moisturizers for dry patches are formulated to address a specific concern, such as dry elbows or knees. These products may contain substances that speed up cell turnover in the skin, so the outer layers of dead skin are shed more quickly. This allows the moisturizer to penetrate to where it is most needed.
Why to buy: If you have a very dry body area, especially elbows, knees, heels, or hands, a specialty product can help get the problem under control.
Things to consider: As with hand and feet moisturizers, these products are formulated for very tough, dry skin. They often do not work well on delicate facial skin.
Whether you’re dealing with diaper rash or treating a cut or scrape, there’s an ointment or cream formulated to help. Topical remedies create a barrier on the skin that prevents moisture loss, but whether you are better off using an ointment or a cream depends on the condition. What’s the difference?
- An ointment generally consists of 80% oils and 20% water, and allows for slower delivery of active ingredients since there is less evaporation. Active ingredients may include medications or herbal infusions.
- A cream is closer to 50% oils and 50% water. They are more often used to soften and smooth skin, but may also include medications.
- Some natural products are labeled as a salve (short for “salvations”), which just means an ointment or cream with calming, healing effects that’s applied to wounds or sores.
Keep the following points in mind when selecting and using ointments and creams:
- Make sure you read labels carefully and follow instructions.
- Self-treatment is only for minor conditions. For more serious injuries or illnesses, get to the doctor, urgent care clinic, or emergency room as soon as possible.
- Do not exceed recommended dosage amounts.
- Regularly check expiration dates on the creams and ointments and restock your medicine cabinet as needed.
What they are: Antibiotic and pain-relieving ointments and creams are a combination of antibiotics and analgesics, or pain-relieving ingredients, easily applied to the skin.
Why to buy: To prevent infection and provide immediate topical pain relief for minor cuts, scrapes, and abrasions, antibiotic and pain-relieving ointments and creams are a good choice.
Things to consider: Use caution when applying ointments to skin that is close to clothing as they may stain, or find formulas that claim to be greaseless and non-staining. If over-the-counter aids don’t help and you suspect an infection, talk with your doctor. Many cuts, scrapes, mild sprains, and strains can be treated at home, but puncture wounds are a different story. These injuries introduce bacteria deep into body tissues and require professional medical care to avoid serious complications. Treat animal bites first at home, but follow up with your doctor, even if the bite seems minor. Animals in general, and cats in particular, may have dangerous bacteria and viruses in their mouths, which can lead to serious, and even life-threatening infections.
What they are: Anti-inflammatory ointments and creams are low doses of anti-inflammatory medications, such as aspirin, trolamine salicylate, and menthol, which can be easily applied to the skin. Some also contain Aloe vera for added soothing.
Why to buy: Anti-inflammatory ointments and creams may reduce swelling and inflammation, offering relief from arthritis pain and minor muscle aches.
Things to consider: If you’re sensitive to smells, choose unscented ointments and creams. Do not use aspirin-containing ointments on children or teens with a fever, due to risk of Reye’s syndrome. Any injury that results in major swelling, misshapen joints or bones, or severe bruising requires medical attention.
What they are: Ointments for dry, cracked or irritated skin contain petrolatum and other soothing ingredients to help restore smooth, healthy skin and temporarily protect minor cuts, scrapes, and burns.
Why to buy: These ointments offer effective healing, soothing, and moisturizing for eczema, chapped lips, and severely dry, cracked skin. They can also protect skin from the harsh, drying effects of wind and cold weather.
Things to consider: Talk with your doctor if conditions worsen or symptoms last more than a week, or clear up and occur again within a few days. Do not use on deep or puncture wounds, animal bites, or serious burns. For sensitive skin, look for fragrance-free options.
What they are: Eye ointments are sterile lubricating ointments that soothe and moisturize dry, irritated eyes, and relieve the burning, itching, and discomfort associated with a sty. For optimal results, most ointments are applied to the inside of the lower eyelid before bedtime and contain mineral oil and white petrolatum as active ingredients.
Why to buy: If you suffer from severe dry eyes, applying lubricating ointments at bedtime may soothe and moisturize. For relief from corneal edema—inflammation of the cornea due to infection, ocular diseases, surgery, or prolonged use of contact lenses—try sodium chloride hypertonicity ophthalmic ointments, available in various strengths.
Things to consider: Over-the-counter eye ointments are designed to treat symptoms and are not a cure for infection. If you think you have an eye infection, see your doctor.
What they are: Diaper creams and ointments offer gentle, easy-to apply treatments for painful diaper rash and other minor skin irritations. Most contain zinc oxide and dimethicone, proven skin protectants. Some also contain petrolatum, lanolin, plus soothing ingredients like Aloe vera, lavender, and chamomile.
Why to buy: Diaper ointments and creams soothe and heal your baby’s delicate skin. Diaper rash ointments protect the skin from chafing and minor irritations, plus they seal out wetness to help prevent diaper rash.
Things to consider: If your baby has sensitive skin, look for fragrance-free creams. Many diaper rash ointments may also be used on other parts of the body, including chafed, chapped, or cracked skin and lips.
What they are: Antifungal ointments and creams contain a variety of medicated treatments for athlete’s foot and other fungal infections of the skin. Active ingredients include tolnaftate, undecylenic acid, and zinc undecylenate.
Why to buy: Antifungals can fight the fungus that causes athlete’s foot, ring worm, and jock itch and provide immediate relief for itchy, scaly skin. Daily use of the appropriate ointment or cream may also prevent recurrence of athlete's foot.
Things to consider: If you don’t see improvement in a few weeks with over-the-counter medications, call your doctor. As part of treating and preventing athlete's foot, clean and dry your feet thoroughly and wear clean socks every day. Unless specified, these products are not effective on the scalp or nails. Do not use on children under two years of age unless directed by a doctor.
Heart rate monitors vary in size and function, but most are easy to use and provide valuable insights that support your exercise goals. For example, a heart rate monitor may help you stay in your target heart rate zone while exercising so you can safely focus on burning fat or improving your cardiovascular fitness. People with certain health conditions may use heart rate monitors to track their heart rate throughout the day and catch issues early. Heart rate monitors may also help keep exercise safe for people who, due to health conditions, should not exceed specific levels.
Remember to always consult a doctor before starting any exercise routine, particularly if you are overweight or managing health conditions.
What they are: Many heart rate monitors look and function similarly to a wristwatch. Simple heart rate monitors measure your pulse in beats per minute while advanced models keep a history of readings and track data like irregular heartbeats and average and maximum heart rates. Some monitors even offer display text in multiple languages including English, German, French, and Spanish.
Why to buy: Measuring your heart rate is important for getting the most out of your workouts, and can be especially important if you have heart health concerns. Most monitors save results by date and time, some for more than one user, and many have averaging functions so you get a feel for how your heart is doing over time.
Things to consider: Many heart rate monitors include a chest strap that sends a wireless signal to the monitor on your wrist. Other heart rate monitors attach to your wrist or finger where your pulse rate may be counted through the skin. While comfort is one consideration, keep in mind that some experts believe chest straps are most accurate. Check which types of batteries the monitor takes and make sure you can replace them yourself. Look for features such as power-saving modes and low-battery indicators.
What they are: Usually worn on your wrist or arm, all-in-one digital devices may measure heart rate, calories burned, number of steps taken, and more. Look for those that combine a heart rate monitor with other interesting tools, like GPS sports watches and mp3 players. Some monitors even interface with exercise equipment or computer software to give you more detail and allow the sharing of results with your doctor or personal trainer.
Why to buy: Multipurpose monitors provide a better overall picture of your health by tracking multiple factors in one place and cutting down on the number of different gadgets you need. Combining music with your workout makes it a lot more fun.
Things to consider: Make sure the monitor is easy for you to use—pay attention to the size of the screen and buttons, how easy it is to switch between operating modes, how long the battery lasts, and so forth. When using a device for multiple purposes, you may use power more quickly and have to replace or recharge batteries more often. Online user reviews can be helpful when choosing a device combined with a heart rate monitor.
What they are: Heart rate monitors are sometimes designed to meet other needs, such as water-resistant and waterproof models. There are even heart rate monitors for cyclists to attach to their bikes, which can record data such as bike speed, pedal rpms, and elevation as well.
Why to buy: If you’re going to wear your heart rate monitor outdoors in rain, snow, or other wet weather, look for ones rated as water resistant. If there’s a possibility your heart rate monitor will get submerged in water, even for a short time period, you’ll need one that’s waterproof.
Things to consider: There are varying degrees of “water resistant” depending on how much moisture exposure the device can handle, so read labels carefully and err on the side of caution.
What they are: Fingertip heart rate monitors—which measure your heart rate through the skin in a few short seconds—are rapidly growing in popularity.
Why to buy: They’re a portable, easy-to-use version of a heart rate monitor that you can carry in your pocket or purse and use on the go.
Things to consider: Some experts believe fingertip heart rate monitors are not as accurate as the chest strap versions. Many fingertip monitors are small, so make sure you can easily read the display screen and operate any buttons.
Blood pressure is an important marker of health and a home blood pressure monitor is a wonderful tool for ensuring your numbers stay in the healthy range. A home monitor may lead to savings in health care costs, because you may need fewer visits to the doctor’s office, and it has the advantage of eliminating “white coat hypertension,” the falsely high blood pressure readings that can occur due to the stress of being in the doctor’s office.
All blood pressure monitors have three key parts: the cuff, the gauge, and the stethoscope. On many models, the stethoscope is a built in sensor. Use this buying guide to find the right monitor to fit your health needs, lifestyle, and budget. As you choose a blood pressure monitor, keep the following in mind:
- If you have an abnormal heartbeat, home readings can be inaccurate. Talk to your doctor about whether this is a concern for you.
- Your health insurance may partially or fully cover the cost of a home blood pressure monitor. Call to find out before you purchase one.
- If your arm is smaller or larger than average, you may need a smaller or larger cuff. If you are unsure whether an arm cuff will fit, ask the pharmacist if you can try before buying.
What they are: With manual monitors, the user inflates the cuff around the arm and listens for the pulse through a stethoscope to determine blood pressure as the cuff deflates.
Why to buy: Once you master their use, manual monitors are accurate and less expensive than most automated models.
Things to consider: Manual monitors are more difficult to use than automated models, requiring more practice to learn or even another person to operate it.
What they are: These devices have built-in stethoscopes with readings displayed on a digital screen. With semi-automatic monitors, the user inflates the cuff, while fully automatic monitors inflate the cuff for you.
Why to buy: These monitors typically are more expensive than manual options, but may vary in price depending on features. If you are looking for the most accurate and easiest way to store and track blood pressure readings over time, these models are a good option.
Things to consider: If you’re more concerned about cost than ease of use, manual options may be a better choice.
What they are: These newer devices allow a smaller cuff to be placed on the wrist or on a finger, instead of on the upper arm.
Why to buy: Putting on and taking off these monitors is easier than manipulating an arm cuff.
Things to consider: Although they tend to fall in the same cost range as automatic arm monitors, these monitors tend to be less accurate and lead to more errors than arm cuff monitors.
What they are: Depending on your budget and health tracking needs, you may want to consider spending extra dollars to purchase a digital monitor with more advanced features, including memory to store readings over time and computer software to track and graph your readings on a computer or mobile device.
Why to buy: Advanced features allow you to track blood pressure over time. Along with a few observations and notes, this can help you uncover connections between your behaviors, such as what you’ve eaten or how much you’ve exercised, and your blood pressure readings. Understanding these connections can help you take positive, effective actions to improve your health.
Things to consider: Advanced features cost more and may take more time to learn how to use. Many come with good instructions but if you’re uncomfortable with computers you may find these features take significant effort to learn and use.
Testing blood sugar or glucose levels is an important and regular part of managing diabetes and your overall health. A variety of tools and products on the market can help you know when your blood sugar is too high, too low, or just right!
Glucose testing requires some basic tools: test strips, glucose monitors, lancets, and a lancing device. Glucose monitors often come with a lancing device, making a separate purchase unnecessary. When purchasing separately, be sure to choose test strips and a monitor that are compatible with each other.
What they are: Blood glucose monitors, or meters, are devices the size of a cell phone or smaller used to monitor your blood glucose levels. They are typically used with lancets, for drawing blood, and test strips, on which you place the blood sample to get a reading.
Why to buy: Keeping track of your blood sugar is essential for staying healthy and avoiding diabetes complications. Look for kits that can hold your monitor, test strips, and lancets all in one place for easy access. Some glucose monitors provide more information than just your blood glucose level. The more advanced meters offer graphs and the ability to save results, and some allow you to download results to your computer.
Things to consider: Some meters allow you to use blood from places other than your fingertip (often called "alternate site testing"), and some have a large display screen or spoken instructions for people with visual impairments. Some meters require smaller amounts of blood to achieve an accurate reading, resulting in a less painful finger prick. Look at the manufacturer instructions to determine whether the blood glucose meter needs regular cleaning or other maintenance. Also note the type of batteries required and their cost. Testing supplies are sometimes covered by third party payers—make sure to see which brands your insurance covers.
What they are: Glucose test strips contain chemicals that react with glucose to read your blood sugar levels. Typically, after inserting a test strip into the monitor, you apply a drop of blood and get results in a few seconds. Newer glucose meters and corresponding test strips require just a small amount of blood—ranging from 0.3 to 1.5 microliters.
Why to buy: Test strips are a quick and easy way to check your blood sugar levels at home or on the go. Some glucose meters allow you to insert multiple test strips at one time and dispense as needed, while others require a new test strip each time. Make sure your glucose monitor is set up for the test strips you’re using so you get accurate results (“self-coding” glucose meters ensure accuracy by reading the code from the test strip each time).
Things to consider: Keep plenty of strips on hand since each test strip is used only once and then discarded. Make sure you check expiration dates since expired test strips are not reliable. Test strips are often the most expensive part of monitoring blood sugar, so keep in mind the cost of compatible strips when choosing your glucose monitor.
What they are: Lancets are disposable pins used to prick the finger in order to draw blood samples for use with glucose test strips. The gauge of the lancet refers to the width of the metal point. And while it may seem backwards, the higher the number, the smaller the lancet. For safety and accuracy, lancets should be applied with a lancing device (sometimes called a pen), which is a reusable instrument with a spring mechanism to help the lancet quickly and painlessly puncture the finger (or alternative site) for the blood sample.
Why to buy: Lancing devices allow you to adjust how deep the lancet penetrates, depending on the sensitivity and thickness of your skin. For safety, most lancing devices conceal the needle before and after use. Some make the lancet inoperable once it has been used, which is an extra safety feature to prevent painful reuse of the lancet, or accidental use by a child.
Things to consider: Usually a higher-gauge lancet is less painful to use, but keep in mind it may be harder to get an adequate blood sample. It is imperative for health and safety reasons that lancets be used only once. Remember that lancets are an ongoing expense, so be sure to stock up.
What they are: Glucose tablets dissolve quickly to supply the body with fast-acting carbohydrates (glucose) and help recover from a blood sugar low. Glucose tablets come in an assortment of flavors and many taste similar to a Sweet Tart or Smartie.
Why to buy: Nearly every person who is taking medication for diabetes sometimes experiences drops in blood sugar that need to be treated immediately. Glucose tablets are one of the quickest, easiest ways to raise blood sugar levels when they are too low. And compared with candy or juice, you’ll feel better almost instantly because glucose raises your blood sugar faster than fructose or table sugar (sucrose).
Things to consider: Read the package label to see how many grams of carbohydrates are in each glucose tablet, so you know exactly what you’re getting. The average is 4 to 5 grams of glucose per tablet; experts recommend 15 to 20 grams to help correct a blood sugar low. Keep some on hand in your purse, bag, car, and desk so they’re easily accessible when you need them.
- Some medical activities require equipment that punctures the skin or containers of chemicals that can be hazardous when not administered properly, such as syringes, lancets, blades, and contaminated glass, referred to collectively as "sharps." Sharps containers are designed for convenient and safe disposal—and often required by law. They are usually red, although some are yellow or white, and are imprinted with the biohazard symbol on the front.
What they are:Well-made sharps containers will be durable, puncture-resistant, and leak-resistant, as well as extremely difficult to open once sealed.
What to buy:Determine the size you need based on how many times a day you check your blood sugar and take insulin—make sure it’s large enough to accommodate both the size and quantity of needles you’re using.
Things to consider:Pay attention to where and how you insert lancets and needles so it’s easy for you to use. Some sharps containers have temporary lids; some cannot be reopened once closed. If you have children in your house you should choose a container that cannot be opened.
For ease of disposal, choose a sharps container that includes returns via the US Postal Service. The cost of mailing and destruction of the medical waste are included in the purchase price, making disposal convenient and affordable. If you choose a sharps container that does not include disposal, check on the local laws regarding medical waste disposal before putting sharps in your regular garbage.
Walking is a fun and relatively easy way to get heart-healthy cardio while burning fat and calories. To maintain a healthy weight and stay active, try walking about 10,000 steps each day (approximately five miles). Do you want to lose a few extra pounds? Just step up the amount of walking each day. Whatever your goals, a pedometer is an easy way to keep track of your steps on the road to success.
Remember to check with your doctor before starting any exercise program, especially if you are overweight or managing a health condition.
What they are:A pedometer is a small device, usually worn on your belt or clipped to a pocket, which counts how many steps you take in a day. There are two types:
- Pendulum: Placement of a pendulum pedometer is vital for accuracy and they must remain in a vertical position on the hip or waist band.
- Piezoelectric accelerometers: These can be placed anywhere on the front of the body, and some can even be kept in a pocket or on a neck lanyard and still provide accurate step counts.
Most pedometers weigh only a few ounces and include a security strap to attach to clothing to prevent you from losing it.
Why to buy: Pedometers are an easy way to track your daily exercise and overall health. Beyond counting steps, many pedometers track the distance in miles, amount of time you’ve been active, and total calories burned.
Things to consider: When choosing a pedometer, consider the size of the display screen and the ease of reading results. Pendulum-style pedometers are generally less expensive than accelerometers, but the counting of incidental steps can be frustrating. Advantages of accelerometer pedometers are there are no moving parts and they remain silent as they record every step you take. Remember you’ll need to set your average step length or stride length in order for the pedometer to be accurate. Read the instructions on your pedometer carefully; most ask for the step length and explain how to measure it properly. Also note that some pedometers reset at midnight so you’re ready to go each morning, while others require you to manually reset them. Look at whether you need to change the batteries regularly or if it’s rechargeable through a USB connection to your computer.
What they are: Monitors that help you measure steps plus other tracking, such as heart rate, calories burned, and so on.
Why to buy: Pedometers with features that track heart rate and so on are handy for keeping an eye on your cardiovascular health, too. More advanced models include a memory function to save your accomplishments and some can upload data to a website, so you can easily track your results online and share with your doctors and friends.
Things to consider: When investing in tools to support your health goals, sometimes simplest is best, but other times it can be helpful to combine goals and look for a device that will give you other helpful information, such as heart rate or trackable online information.
Many people track body weight to ensure they stay in a healthy range, and for the millions of people who go on a weight-loss diet each year, a good-quality scale is an essential tool. As you choose a scale, keep the following in mind.
- Health insurance may cover the cost of a home scale, or you may be able to use a health savings account to pay for one. Call your insurance provider to find out before making your purchase.
- Place the scale on a flat, hard surface for the most accurate readings.
- Heavier weight that makes it difficult for scales to shift around can be an indication of higher quality.
- Before purchasing, weigh yourself five times in a row. If you get the same number all five times, the scale has good precision.
- To check accuracy, compare weight from your home scale against weight on an upright scale at a doctor’s office. These numbers should be the same or very close to one another.
- Many things cause short-term weight fluctuations, including how much and what you’ve eaten, whether you’ve exercised recently, whether you’re properly hydrated, what you’re wearing, and time of day. Weigh yourself once per week or less if you’re trying to lose weight; daily fluctuations can lead to dieting frustration.
What they are: Mechanical, or analog, scales have a dial readout displaying weight in pounds and kilograms.
Why to buy: Mechanical scales tend to be less expensive, don’t require a battery, may come with extra large numbers for ease of use, and are the simplest to use.
Things to consider: Over time, mechanical scales may consistently add or subtract a few pounds. Most come with a tension knob to adjust the scale as required
What they are: These scales give a digital (and sometimes audio) readout of weight.
Why to buy: Digital scales may have features to allow storing and tracking weight over time, may have the ability to switch between pounds and kilograms, and may provide voice readouts of weight. If several family members are using one scale, consider a model with a multiple-user memory function.
Things to consider: If you’re concerned about cost and ease of use, a mechanical scale may be a better choice. Digital scales require batteries, which need to be replaced when they wear out, so consider buying a rechargeable set for best value.
What they are: Digital scales with full features can measure and track body weight, body mass index, percent body fat and lean body mass, hydration status, and bone mass.
Why to buy: These models are a good choice for those who want the most information about weight and related measures. Tracking fat and lean body mass can motivate some people to more consistently follow a healthy diet and exercise plan.
Things to consider: Extra features often mean higher cost. These models provide an idea of fat and lean mass, bone mass, and hydration, but are not always completely accurate. You should not rely on results from these scales to make important medical decisions. Digital scales require batteries, which need to be replaced when they wear out, so consider buying a rechargeable set for best value.
Why is wearing a diabetes medical ID important? It may help save your life!
If your blood sugar drops, you may become confused or pass out. If you're sick and your blood sugar skyrockets, you may become confused. If you're in an accident, you may become unconscious or suffer from shock. In all these cases, you won’t be able to communicate your condition.
Medical identification provides important information for first responders. It may prevent confusion on the part of a paramedic or police officer as to whether your confused state is related to a medical condition rather than intoxication and help you get appropriate treatment.
What they are: Medical identification is usually an engraved bracelet or necklace that presents a concise overview of your conditions, allergies and medicines. It will alert a doctor or paramedic before starting treatment. Informing medical personnel about your unique medical conditions and needs greatly aids prehospital care and helps ensure accurate and appropriate treatment.
Why to buy: In an emergency, when you might not be able to speak for yourself, a medical identification bracelet or necklace speaks for you. Symptoms of common ailments can easily be misdiagnosed. Medical IDs help ensure prompt diagnosis, which is critical to effective treatment.
Things to consider: Medical identification should be visible and recognizable. Don’t get something that will be easily confused with other jewelry. It should say you have diabetes and (if you are on insulin) that you take insulin. In addition, carry an identification card that includes your name, emergency contact phone number, phone number of your doctor, and the diabetes medications and doses you're taking. If you wear a pump, include "insulin pump" on the medical identification. Consider including the brand. First responders may not look in your personal belongings for an identification card with your medical information, so wearing a visible identification is more likely to protect you than only carrying a card.