Diabetes causes dry, itchy skin and vulnerability to fungal infections.
Many people with diabetes suffer from arthritis, and muscle aches and pains which affect both their mood and their mobility. Blood circulation to the legs and feet can be reduced in diabetes and maintaining the circulation is a priority. People with Diabetes need to take extra care of their skin to prevent infection which can have serious complications including foot ulcers and sepsis.
Keeping skin soothed and moisturised reduces itching and scratching, protecting against bacterial infections and improving quality of life. Regular foot hygiene maintains soft, smooth supple skin which can resist painful cracking and hard skin build up and also help to form a barrier to fungal infections.
Massage has been shown to relieve arthritis and muscle pain, lift mood and promote both mobility and circulation of blood and also the lymphatic system which removes toxic substances from the tissues.
Marble Hill has produced a Diabetes Care Pack which addresses these issues.
How Marble Hill helps keep skin smooth, supple and conditioned:
1 Use a gentle moisturising bar soap such as Neem oil soap, made with only the finest plant oils including Neem oil, a long-time staple of skincare in India. Unlike other bar soaps and liquids our Neem soap’s high Shea butter and vitamin E content actually moisturises the skin as it washes and we use only water from our own well to blend the premium ingredients so you can be assured of purity. Regular washing with Neem oil soap builds up the skin’s suppleness and improves condition, reducing the dryness that leads to itching.
2. Applying a body oil to dryness prone skin helps seal in moisture and supports the natural moisturising factors in the outer epidermis. In this way the body retains its integrity and can help resist drying out when the room humidity falls as central heating is switched on and room temperatures rise.
Q24 oil has been developed with oils particularly selected for their anti itching qualities, including camellia, peach and apricot kernel oils. Every oil in Q24 has been specially picked to improve the skin and to provide a barrier to water loss. We recommend that Q24 is used after bathing or showering, while skin is still slightly damp and most receptive to application of soothing oils.
Vogue UK describes Q24 as a “skin saviour” – particularly for dry centrally heated environments
- Foot care is absolutely vital for people with diabetes. Every week foot neglect leads to amputations of toes, feet and legs. A regular foot hygiene regime is easy and straightforward and can be readily incorporated into everyday routines. PediSalve is our all natural hypoallergenic total foot care cream and is the top natural foot care choice on Amazon.co.uk.
- Arthritis is a problem for 50% of people with diabetes and we recommend CannaFlex Hemp Massage Oil for the alleviation of joint and muscle pain. Developed with a senior Orthopaedic Surgeon, CannaFlex is a blend of soothing oils which combine excellent massage properties with the aromatherapy benefits of Lavender and `peppermint oils, which are respectively, relaxing and pain relieving with the unique Omega/super PUFA content of Hempseed ( Cannabis Sativa) oil. Hemp seed oil has the highest content of complex heart and skin healthy oils of any natural plant oil. CannaFlex offers research based massage for relief of arthritis, fibromyalgia, muscles and after-sports recovery. Circulation, mobility and psychological improvement have all been clinically proven as a result of massage and it is recommended by arthritis support charities in the USA and UK.
5. Fungal skin infections are common in skin folds and can be itchy, smelly and have a real impact on self esteem. It is important to develop good personal hygiene habits , regular baths or showers, drying skin thoroughly and wearing fabrics that are less likely to cause excessive sweating and if possible,wick away moisture from the skin surface.
Antibacterial soaps are no longer recommended as they actually promote skin problems and can cause bacterial resistance so we recommend Neem soap if skin fold problems occur as Neem oil is a natural antiviral and antibacterial which, because it is not a chemical disinfectant does not cause any resistance issues. Once the area has been washed and gently patted dry with a clean, dry towel it is important to apply a cream to soothe irritation, protect the delicate skin surface and prevent fungal and bacterial infections.
Marble Hill’s SheaSalve is organically grown and unrefined Shea butter in which neither germs nor the fungal spores that cause thrush (Candida), jock itch or other fungal infections can grow. Solid at room temperature, SheaSalve quickly melts in the hand to an easily applied oil which should be spread over the entire skin fold area, extending out beyond the edges.
SheaSalve is also excellent for any skin irritations, small burns or cuts and nappy rash,and is a perfect after sun cream as it helps heal and soothe.
Shea butter has been used for centuries to keep skin healthy and its high terpene content reduces inflammation and is anti ageing.
(At Marble Hill we describe the “Five Toes of Footcare “: see below for details.)
Toe number 1.
Inspect your footwear every day. A surprising amount of foot problems arise from poorly fitting shoes and slippers. Last year’s boots in winter, slippers with seams that rub can all cause injuries that can spiral into serious problems. Remember that foot shape changes with time and shoes that fitted perfectly last year can be too tight this year.
Toe number 2.
Inspect your actual feet, including each toe and the spaces between the toes, heels and nails. Any change in colour or signs of friction, rubbing and indentations must be taken very seriously and reported to your support team without delay as they can be the first signs of injury , poor circulation or infection.
Toe number 3.
Wash your feet daily in warm, not hot water. Don to add anything to the water and do not soak your feet. Use a simple detergent free soap, Neem soap is ideal as it does not contain any allergens and moisturises where other products dry out the skin.
Rinse thoroughly, leaving no lather behind.
Toe number 4.
DRY carefully. Damp skin encourages bacterial and fungal growth. Use a dry, clean towel and pat, do not rub. Diabetic skin is delicate and circulation can be poor making tissue damage more likely. Keeping skin safe and sound is a number one priority in diabetic skin care. Skin that is healthy, conditioned and smooth is far less likely to become infected. Because circulation is often increasingly poor, people with diabetes often have cold feet which promotes fungal growth. Ensuring the toenails and spaces between the toes are perfectly dry is exceptionally important and must not be overlooked. Talcum powder is not recommended for this purpose as it can clog and linger in damp clumps.
Toe number 5.
Moisturise. The importance of moisturiser to the diabetic foot cannot be overestimated. The diabetic foot is prone to dry hard skin which cracks easily becoming painful or worse, not painful, when nerve damage fails to alert the individual to problems. Dry skin cracks and thickened hard dry skin cracks deeply and is even more vulnerable to infection and poor healing.
Therefore after the foot has been checked out, washed and dried it must have a moisturising cream or lotion applied. Personal preference can dictate choice but it must be remembered that lotions which are water-based must not be applied between the toes as they provide an ideal environment for bacterial and fungal growth. Fragrances and urea are both potential causes of allergies and an itchy rash is undesirable on the diabetic foot.
We believe at Marble Hill that PediSalve is the ideal diabetic foot cream. Why?
It is water free and can be safely applied between the toes.
It is fragrance free.
It has only three all natural ingredients, Shea butter, Argan oil and Vitamin E, all highly prized premium ingredients. PediSalve is, in fact, so pure that it can be eaten.
It provides a barrier to fungal and bacterial infection since Shea butter and Argan oil do not support bacterial or fungal growth.
It melts to a pleasant oily consistency and can be used all over the foot and ankle as massage oil.
PediSalve is recommended by podiatrists, chiropodists, doctors and people with diabetes.
(NOTE ON FOOTWEAR: Frankly sandals should be ruled out if they do not completely enclose the foot and flip flops are a total no-no. Stubbed toes, wounds from grit and debris are all very likely when sandals are not chosen with care and we believe firmly that prevention is better than cure. Do not be fooled, the rubbing of the thongs on flip flops can ultimately be fatal.)