With growing incidence of diabetes, skin problems related to it are also increasing in an alarming rate. The most common effect of diabetes on skin is itchiness and dryness. Very occasionally infections occur in scalp, feet, genital areas, leading to other generalized infections damaging the skin when the diabetes is not under control. Diabetes can cause blisters, patches and scaly skin which are very common and can occur on the fingers, hands, toes, feet, legs, or forearms.
The first thing that any dermatologist asks is whether the diabetes has been kept in check or not. Before starting off any treatment on the skin, diabetes needs to be well-controlled. Primarily, the dry skin treatment is done with moisturizers. The patient will be prescribed to apply moisturizers twice a day and asked to keep his/her skin hydrated all the time. In some cases coconut oil is prescribed which is extremely beneficial for dry skin and scalp. For infections, it has to be diagnosed first whether it is bacterial or fungal and then the correct treatment follows.
Of late, fungus resistance among patients has decreased due to frequent usage of over-the-counter products which are made of steroid and fungal creams. All the senior dermatologists across India agree that rampant usage of skin products has created a colossal fungal resistance issue among the people, especially women. For example: Topical steroid creams like Betnovate are often used by women to treat acne.
Previously, it was easy to treat common fungus infection, but now over the past few years new types of skin infections have emerged owing to prolonged application of over-the counter products. According to Dr. Sanjay Agarwal- Consultant Dermatologist at CK Birla Hospitals – CMRI, it has become very difficult to treat such patients as they don’t respond to available prescribed medications. Hence, Dr. Agarwal strongly recommends everyone to apply only those products which have been approved or prescribed by their dermatologist.
Addressing the persistent issue of skin problems, Dr. Agarwal states, “to drive awareness about skin problems, doctors, beauticians and health department of government should initiate a proper healthy dialogue where they can categorize the problems that should be treated by the doctors and the ones by the beauticians and cosmetologists. This is one way to reach a common ground and prevent the overlapping situation where the line of treatment often gets blurred due to confusion.” He further adds, “The dermatologist community across India including the Facebook page of Indian Dermatology Association, is spreading the message so as to make everyone conscious of the fungal resistance issue that is about to become an epidemic. The government, health-care givers and drug companies must sit together and chart out necessary programmes to handle this crisis.’’
Most skin problems arise out of modern lifestyle where the skin is not given required amount of replenishment. There is a lack of hygiene and moreover, pollution adds to this list of woes.
Things to keep in mind for avoiding skin issue
- Wash your skin properly everyday
- Do not exchange your clothing and towel
- Shield your skin against pollution by using umbrella, scarf
- Take care of your diet. Have green vegetables and proteins in right quantity
- Never use over-the-counter medicine. Always consult a dermatologist to counter any skin issue
- Limit products you use on your skin so as to reduce your chances of having a reaction.
- Keep your skin clean, dry and properly moisturized
About the author- Dr. Sanjay Agarwal- Consultant Dermatologist at CK Birla Hospitals – CMRI