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Diabetes has a significant impact on the skin of the feet and lower legs making regular pedicures a necessity.
Diabetic skin becomes more susceptible to infections, particularly bacterial and fungal infections, due to lack of oxygen and inadequate nutrition to the cells. This is caused by poor circulation in the feet related to diabetes. Fluctuating and uncontrolled blood sugar levels leave the person particularly susceptible to infection. Left untreated, cuts, cracks and blisters can become serious infections and take much longer than usual to heal, sometimes even requiring amputation. In addition, with poor circulation, the sebaceous and sweat glands no longer work properly, causing the skin to become very dry, thin, shiny and sometimes itchy. Callus formation is common, sometimes leading to cracking, thus leaving the foot prone to fungal infections. Toenails are also more susceptible to fungal infections, called onychomycosis.
Decreased or absent sensation in the feet, called Diabetic Neuropathy, is another complication of diabetes resulting from nerve damage. Along with poor circulation, the risk of various complications, particularly infection is increased. Unfortunately, we still see amputations when the feet are not properly cared for, particularly when what can appear to be a minor injury, such as a small cut or blister, is left untreated.
Because of the changes in the skin on diabetics and the possibility of injury or infection, it is imperative that the diabetic has regular monthly pedicures performed by a technician who has knowledge of the disease itself, modifications to the pedicure and use of diabetic-friendly products. Footlogix Pediceuticals® are specifically formulated to be safe for people of all ages and particularly people who have diabetes.
Here are some of the skin conditions associated with diabetes and the best foot care products you can have recommended by your technician. It is also important to note that these conditions can become worse when blood sugar levels are high:
Dry skin is caused by decreased sweat production which is more prevalent when blood sugar levels are high. It can also be caused by other conditions associated with diabetes e.g. fatty liver (Type 2) or kidney disease (Types 1 and 2). Itching, or pruritis, is often associated with dry skin on the legs and feet.
Dry Skin Remedies: Keep the skin clean and well moisturized. Footlogix Foot Soak can be used at home. DD Cream Mousse or Very Dry Skin Formula should be used twice a day.
Atherosclerosis is a buildup of plaque causing narrowing and thickening of the blood vessel walls. It is usually associated with arteries in the heart and large vessels in the torso; however, it can also affect smaller blood vessels that supply the skin. This causes a lack of oxygen to the cells. On the feet and lower legs, atherosclerosis can cause loss of leg hair, thin, shiny skin, thickened and discolored toenails and cold skin. Because blood carries the white blood cells that help fight infection, legs and feet of people who have atherosclerosis heal slowly when they are injured or develop a fungal or bacterial infection.
Effective skincare for those with circulatory issues: Keep the skin clean and well moisturized. Footlogix moisturizing products, particularly DD Cream Mousse that helps with cellular regeneration, should be used twice a day.
This usually occurs between the toes and gives the person itchy, red, moist skin, which can be worse when blood sugar levels are high.
Best Solution for Athelete's Foot: Prevent the occurrence by keeping skin dry, particularly between the toes. Footlogix Peeling Skin Formula, Sweaty Feet Formula, foot and Shoe Deodorant are great at-home products for this particular condition.
Calluses usually develop tiny cracks which are very susceptible to a tinea infection which is often not recognized. Larger cracks can also occur and can lead to more serious problems such as bacterial infection.
Solution for Callused Skin: Keep calluses filed with regular pedicures and moisturize daily. Suggested homecare products are Footlogix Rough Skin Formula, DD Cream Mousse and Cracked Heel Formula.
The nail is usually thickened, yellow and lifted from the nail bed. This can be related to trauma or decreased circulation such as in diabetes
Best Toenail Fungus Treatment: Keep the nail clean and dry. It is also preferable not to use nail polish while managing the condition. Nail Tincture Spray.
Cracks in the skin can lead to staphylococcal infection. This can occur under the toes, in deep cracks, in calluses or with any nick or cut. This is why regular monthly pedicures with proper callus filing is so important for diabetics. Bacterial infection on the feet is extremely dangerous and can result in amputation if not properly managed. If you see any evidence of bacterial infection e.g. pus, redness, swelling, heat, you must seek attention from a medical doctor.
Are you a nail technician looking for tips to provide a superior pedicure to your client? Learn more about a professional pedicure that is safe for diabetics and optimal care for diabetic feet. Click here.
Also read: Do's and don'ts while pedicuring a diabetic client.