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Diabetics at Greater Risk of Developing Dry Skin, Infection

Thursday, October 29, 2009 General News J E 4
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The American Diabetes Association's Stop Diabetes(SM) movement shines light on proper skin care this November during American Diabetes Month(R)

MAPLE GROVE, Minn., Oct. 29 -- As American Diabetes Month approaches, leading experts like Dr. Jacqueline Sutera, DPM, stress the importance of foot care, especially for those with diabetes. People with diabetes are at a greater risk of developing dry skin due to nerve damage.(1,2)

In the United States 23.6 million people have diabetes.(3) While the disease may present many challenges, most skin conditions associated with diabetes can be prevented, or if detected early, easily treated.(4)

Diabetes may damage the nerves in the skin, which can impair the body's ability to sweat. Without this function, skin that is normally well hydrated becomes dry, and then cracks. When blood glucose is high, the body loses fluid. With less fluid, the skin can become dry and itch, causing one to scratch their skin and make the dry skin sore.(1,2) If left untreated, cracked, dry skin can open the door to very serious complications such as bacterial and fungal infections.(5)

"There are many preventive steps people with diabetes should take to reduce the likelihood of complications from dry skin on the feet," said Sutera. "Regular visits with a podiatrist, who can examine your feet, along with meticulous daily foot care, are vital to helping feet stay healthy."

One of every three people with diabetes will experience some type of skin disorder.(4) You can help to maintain healthy skin with a few lifestyle adjustments:

  • Keep your glucose levels well managed to decrease likelihood of dry skin.
  • Keep skin clean and dry by using talcum powder in areas where skin touches skin, such as armpits and groin.
  • Avoid using very hot water when bathing, limiting bath and shower time to between 5 and 10 minutes, and use a mild or moisturizing soap/shampoo/conditioner.
  • Apply a moisturizing lotion or cream immediately after bathing – while the skin is still moist – to help retain water in the skin and to prevent chapping.
  • Check feet every day for sores and cuts. After bathing or showering, dry feet thoroughly and apply a moisturizer, except between toes. Careful, too much moisture there can increase the risk of infection.(5)

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends lactic acid-based moisturizers as an option to help heal severely dry skin.(8)  "By using a thin coat of foot lotion like AmLactin® Foot Cream Therapy, a lactic acid-based product to help keep the skin moisturized, diabetics will be taking a positive step forward to healthy feet," explained Sutera.

Lactic acid, an extremely effective humectant, is a naturally occurring substance that attracts water molecules to the skin to keep it hydrated. No prescription is needed for AmLactin® products, but patients should see their doctor regularly to make sure their foot care needs are met.  

AmLactin® Foot Cream Therapy has been awarded the American Podiatric Medical Association's Seal of Approval for its superior hydration formula and AmLactin® remains the No.1 recommended moisturizer by podiatrists.(7)

About the AmLactin® Family of Moisturizers

All AmLactin® products are available at fine retailers nationwide. Ask your pharmacist or visit: Target, CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Costco or Wal-Mart. The AmLactin® family of moisturizers can also be ordered online at drugstore.com, amazon.com, hocks.com and medichest.com. These include: AmLactin®, which is available as a Moisturizing Body Lotion and Cream, AmLactin XL® Moisturizing Lotion, and AmLactin® Foot Cream Therapy.  For complete directions and cautions, please refer to individual product labels. AmLactin® is the No.1 dermatologist and podiatrist recommended moisturizer.(6,7) For more information, call 1-800-654-2299 or visit www.amlactin.com.

Upsher-Smith Laboratories, Inc.

Upsher-Smith Laboratories, Inc. is a rapidly growing pharmaceutical company that manufactures and markets both prescription and consumer products. Privately held since 1919, the company strives to recognize the unmet healthcare needs of its customers. Upsher-Smith prides itself in providing safe, effective and economical therapies to the ever-challenged healthcare environment. For additional information about Upsher-Smith, visit www.upsher-smith.com.

(1.) National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health. Prevent diabetes problems: keep your feet and skin healthy. http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/DM/pubs/complications_feet/. (2.) The Cleveland Clinic. Foot and skin related complications of diabetes. http://my.clevelandclinic.org/disorders/diabetes_mellitus/hic_foot_and_skin_related_complications_of_diabetes.aspx Accessed May 20, 2009. (3.) American Diabetes Association. All about diabetes. http://www.diabetes.org/about-diabetes.jsp. Accessed May 20, 2009. (4.) American Diabetes Association. Your body's well being: skin care. http://www.diabetes.org/type-2-diabetes/skin-care.jsp. Accessed May 20, 2009. (5.) Upsher-Smith Patient Brochure: Caring for diabetes and your skin. 2009. (6.) Most recommended moisturizing product for rough, dry skin. Omnibus Study. Dermatology Times. May, 2009. (7.) Kloos Donoghue S. Podiatry Management Annual Practice Survey. Podiatry Management. February 2009. (8.) American Academy of Dermatology. Dry Skin and Keratosis Pilaris. http://www.aad.org/public/publications/pamphlets/skin_dry.html.

SOURCE Upsher-Smith Laboratories, Inc.

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