Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 5th 2016 Contents A26 body & soul
guardian.co.tt Monday, December 5, 2016
YOUR DAILY HEALTH
News and advice
Skin care for diabetics
When you're diabetic and it comes to your skin
care, it just can't be business as usual. Why?
Because you are now prone to developing skin
complications that if not handled appropriately,
can lead to serious infections.
Health providers and those specialising in skincare
for diabetics say as many as one third of people with
diabetes will have a skin disorder caused or affected
by diabetes at some time in their lives.
So despite this fact, can you maintain healthy skin
as a diabetic? And if so, how? Internationally trained
cosmetologist Racquel Andrews-Mensah said this
can be achieved without a doubt. She is a skin care
professional specialising in skin care for diabetics, who
owns Divine Beauty Supplies & Training Institute.
"If you follow your diet, use the right skin care
products, and be careful of who you receive treat-
ment from (because that person has to be trained in
caring for the skin of a diabetic), then of course you
can look like Halle Berry or Tom Hanks, who are both
celebrity diabetics," she said.
Andrews-Mensah said diabetics are very vulner-
able: their skin is thinner and more sensitive, which
means they will experience heat or cold much faster.
"In addition, because of their vulnerabilities, it's
very easy for a diabetic to get burned, cut or bruised,
especially during beauty services, which can lead to
the development of ulcers," Andrews-Mensah said.
Andrews-Mensah outlined some important dos
and don'ts for diabetics when visiting the spa.
SPA SOAKING: "A diabetic shouldn't soak during
a pedicure, as the water can burn the skin. However,
exceptions can be made, as people will still like to
enjoy the full spa relaxing and pampering experience,
especially if they are young, type two and relatively
Where a diabetic is allowed to soak, she said the
temperature shouldn't be above body temperature
(37 degrees) and they shouldn't soak for more than
five minutes. Sharp tools such as nippers, steel cu-
ticle pushers, abrasive files and foot paddlers are an
absolute no, and no foot shavers should be used on a
diabetic. Even foot scrubs are a no-no, because they
have abrasive granules that can create minor scrapes
and bruises to diabetics.
WAXING: Paraffin treatments should not be used
because the heat of the wax can burn skin.
"Waxing is the use of a heated wax that can burn
anyone if done incorrectly and a diabetic is at higher
risk because their skin is thinner. What makes wax-
ing even more dangerous is the fact that waxing is a
form of skin exfoliation. This means that superficial
layers of the epidermis are being removed during the
process, which can also contribute to bruising," said
She said a wonderful alternative to waxing was
body sugaring---a form of hair removal using a sugar
paste. It is very natural and it is not heated beyond
body temperature; sometimes no heat is used at all,
making it very safe.
FOOT CARE: For diabetic pedicures or manicures,
spa workers can use an electric file with different di-
amond bits specially designed for cuticle/callus re-
moval and shaping. Diamond bits don't really get hot,
and are not sharp. Other tools, said Andrews-Mensah,
include the toenail clipper specially designed for di-
abetics. And plastic, rubber-ended cuticle pushers
or orange/birch wood sticks are safer for diabetic
For dry, scaly feet, she suggested foot masks, which
have ten per cent urea. The technician can rub the
recommended amount onto the affected area, and
place each foot in a plastic bag to allow the product
to do its work.
SKIN: Andrews-Mensah said diabetics often have
very dry or dehydrated, and sometimes scaly, flaky
skin making it more susceptible to environmental free
Gentle foot masks are better for diabetic foot care.
radicals. "Their body tends to produce
very little urea, which is a major mois-
tening factor for the skin."
She suggested using a light sloughing
lotion instead of a conventional granu-
lar scrub. She also did not recommend
using occlusive products such as pet-
rolatum, waxes, oils and silicones for
diabetics or the elderly.
She instead recommended products
that include humectants, like urea
and glycerin. She also recommended
products with a low level of chemical
exfoliant such as alpha hydroxy acid
HOME CARE TIPS
A person living with diabetes is at risk
for diabetic neuropathy, peripheral vascu-
lar disease, athlete's foot, fungal infection of
nails, calluses, corns, blister, bunions, dry skin,
foot ulcers, hammertoes, ingrown toenails,
and plantar warts. • Do daily checks under
feet and between toes • Use caution when
shaving • Bathe with moisturising soaps •
Dry between toes • Keep skin moisturised
• Avoid creaming between toes as this can
create moisture and create a breathing
ground for fungus • Monitor all cuts. If it’s
taking too long to heal, seek medical help •
Avoid smoking as it affects blood circulation
• Avoid walking in bare feet and wearing
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