|Many who suffer from diabetes, also suffer from incontinence.|
Many who suffer from diabetes also suffer from incontinence, and the two combine to ill effect on the skin. Diabetics may find themselves suffering from a variety of skin conditions including:
- Thinning, reddening skin subject to ulcers.
- Atherosclerosis: Thinning, translucent skin and narrowing of blood vessels, which can lead to pressure sores and ulcers.
- Calluses or Digital Sclerosis: Skin becomes thick, waxy and tight
What are some ways that those with diabetes can take care of and promote healthy skin?
1. Clean the skin. Urine and feces, and dead skin are all going to promote rapid bacterial growth. Cleaning the skin regularly, with every change, and any time it is needed is very important. However, you have to be careful to not cause other or further problems when cleaning the skin. For example, regular bar soap and water can leave the skin too dry, which can lead to cracking, and infection. Instead, choose a cleanser that is specifically designed for diabetic skin care management, that is pH balanced, and that does not need to be rinse off.
2. Moisturize the skin. This will help to prevent cracking and bleeding. Many who suffer from conditions such as diabetes, and those who are aging, may find themselves not producing as much sebum, a lipid-based coating on the skin that helps keep it moist, while also protecting it from water. Choose a moisturizer that helps to maintain moisture in the skin, and clear up any reddening or other potential problems.
3. Protect. It is important to protect the integrity of the skin. Thinning, ulcer prone skin can be protected with an ointment designed to act as a moisture barrier, as well as create an environment that promotes rapid healing.
Lantiseptic offers a line of products that are great for diabetic skin care management. Learn more about these great products.
4. Avoid too hot of baths and showers. This can lead to excess perspiration, the drying out of skin, and the encouragement of fungal growth.
5. Avoid scratching skin. If skin becomes dry and itchy, it may be tempting to scratch it, but it is important to avoid doing so, as this can open it up and allow infection to set in. Instead, moisturize it to prevent chapping, and dryness.
6. Treat cuts, abrasions, and damage to skin right away. Use gentle cleansers, and allow the area to dry completely before bandaging it. Keep an eye on it, and see a doctor if infection sets in.
7. During the colder months keep the home humid and bathe less to help keep skin moist.
8. Check your skin daily, especially your feet, checking for sores and cuts. Wear shoes that fit well, and provide support.
9. Wear the right incontinence products, and change them frequently. When the skin has prolonged exposure to wetness, it becomes more susceptible to breakdown. Choosing the right products, the wick moisture away from the skin, and fit properly to avoid friction and irritation is very important. Use The Incontinence Product Finder to help you sort through the options and find the right products for you.
10. See a dermatologist or physician if your skin problems are not resolving. Do not ignore unhealthy skin. If you are taking steps to keep skin healthy, prevent breakdown, and treat existing damage, and you are not seeing results, consult a physician.
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About The CareGiver Partnership. The CareGiver Partnership helps caregivers and their loved ones with answers to their caregiving questions, including information about home health care products and supplies, from our Wisconsin-based team of Product Specialists who are all current or former caregivers. The company’s Web site provides the largest online library of resources on subjects most important to caregivers — from arthritis to assisted living, and Parkinson’s to prostate cancer — as well as access to more than 3,000 home care products for incontinence, skin care, mobility, home safety and daily living aids. The CareGiver Partnership was founded in 2004 by Lynn Wilson of Neenah, Wisc. Visithttp://www.caregiverpartnership.com to learn more or call 1-800-985-1353.