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Additional information on foot problems

Additional information on foot problems

Skin is a barrier

The main function of the skin is to act as a barrier. It helps retain moisture and keep out undesired substances, microorganisms and protects against external influences. The way it accomplishes this is with fats. There is a natural layer of grease on the skin: the sebum. In order to provide a relatively water tight seal, the skin synthesizes and releases fats and cholesterol at the surface which function as a sealant and a water repellent. Without the sebum, the moisture in the skin would evaporate and any liquids that came into contact with the skin would be absorbed.

Skin condition and diabetes

Diabetes mellitus is a group of metabolic diseases which causes high blood sugar, either because the body does not produce enough insulin, or because cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced. If the blood glucose (sugar) level is high, the body loses fluid, causing the skin to become dry. This occurs, because the body wants to lose the excess of glucose and does so by extra urinating, thereby depleting the body of water. The skin can also get dry if the nerves, especially those in the legs and feet, do not get the message to sweat (because of diabetic neuropathy). Sweating helps to keep skin soft and moist. A dry skin can become red and sore and can crack and peel. Germs can enter the skin through the cracks and cause a bacterial overgrowth. In addition, dry skin is usually itchy and scratching can also lead to skin damage and infection.

People with diabetes are prone to a vulnerable skin condition and skin problems are therefore very common in people with diabetes. Blood glucose provides an excellent breeding ground for bacteria and fungi and can reduce the body’s ability to heal itself. In fact, as many as a third of people with diabetes will have a skin disorder related to their disease at some time in their lives. Fortunately, most skin conditions can be prevented and successfully treated if caught early. But if not cared for properly, minor skin damage can turn into a serious problem with potentially severe consequences. Good skin care is a first step to reduce the risk of infections.

Foot problems in diabetes

Diabetic foot problems are a common complication of diabetes mellitus. Foot problems occur in 50% of people with diabetes. Diabetic foot disease is a result of three main pathologies, which can occur separately or in combination. The three main pathologies are: peripheral neuropathy (nerve problems), peripheral arterial disease (problems with the blood vessels) and infection. A foot ulcer, which is a severe foot problem, presents a serious health problem which affects a large number (about 15%) of people with diabetes.

Preventive foot care is therefore extremely important for people with diabetes. The feet should be washed twice a day (morning and evening), using a mild soap (DiaClin BodyWash) and lukewarm water, and should be dried thoroughly, especially between the toes. On a daily basis, the feet should also be carefully inspected for cuts, bruises, sores, or changes to the toenails. When wounds are discovered, one should immediately see a doctor or diabetes specialist.

Bacterial infections

There are different kinds of bacterial problems, commonly affecting the skin of people with diabetes. In particular, skin infections with the bacteria known as Staphylococcus are more common and more serious in people with diabetes. When diabetes  is not well controlled, complications will even be more severe.

The skin’s micro flora is an important component of its defense system and a balanced and stable micro flora is of vital importance for an optimal functioning of the skin and consequently for the health of man. People with diabetes often suffer from a disturbed bacterial flora and a low resistance. A disturbed flora may cause problems of the (foot) skin, oral tissues and eye tissues.

The 2QR-complex optimizes the natural flora by neutralizing harmful bacteria and by supporting the growth of useful ones. The 2QR-complex hence also eliminates the discomforts of irritated tissue and supports the natural healing process. In addition the balancing of the skin flora reduces smelly feet.

Fungal infections

The culprit in fungal infections of people with diabetes is often Candida Albicans. This yeast-like fungus can cause itchy rash and moist, red areas surrounded by tiny blisters and scales. These infections often occur in warm, moist folds of the skin. DiaClin products effectively improve the skin’s condition and its barrier function in combination with the optimization of the skin’s flora to prevent fungal infections.

Itching

Localized itching is often suffered by diabetic patients. It can be caused by a disturbed skin flora, a yeast infection, a dry skin or poor circulation. Medication, particularly cholesterol-lowering drugs, also contribute to a dry skin and the related itching.

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