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Skin conditions and how our creams and lotions can help

Dry Skin and Diabetes

Many patients with diabetes develop extremely dry, cracking skin which makes it much more susceptible to infection. In fact, approximately 70% of surgical amputations done in Canada are performed on diabetes patients who have developed infections through cracks or breaks in extremely dry skin.

Why is diabetes associated with poor skin health?

1. Diabetes is linked to thickening of the skin.

2. Diabetes leads to reduced blood circulation to the skin (microangiopathy).

3. Increased frequency of urination reduces the moisture available for the skin.

4. Researchers believe that the body may actually “rob” the skin of moisture to compensate for high blood glucose.

The first symptoms of compromised skin health are often dry, scaly skin that can appear anywhere on the body but is most common at the extremities including: legs, feet, knees, elbows and hands. This is a common condition among patients with diabetes and results in less supple skin that can crack easily.

Be aware of skin cracks and infection

Skin cracks open the door for bacteria, viruses and fungi to enter our bodies, often leading to open sores and infections.

Reduced or delayed healing

Not only is the skin more susceptible to infection, it is generally slower to heal. So patients with diabetes face the compounding problems of being more prone to infection and being much slower to heal once infection has occurred. Four factors contribute to the slower healing rate: reduced blood flow to the skin, higher blood glucose which supports bacterial growth, slower metabolic rate and thicker skin.

Thick Skin

Intact normal skin is the best barrier to infection. Thickened skin common to diabetics makes skin more susceptible to infection. A useful analogy might be to compare the water restraining ability of clay with pebbles.

How healthy is your skin?

Take this healthy skin test. There are six warning signs that your skin’s ability to resist infection has weakened.

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Has your skin grown noticeably thicker?

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Has your skin become more yellow in colour?

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Is your skin noticeably drier?

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Is your skin becoming scaly?

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Is your skin cracking?

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Do you notice that minor wounds take longer to heal?

If you answered yes to any of these questions you should make improved skin care an immediate priority.

 

Aging and Skin Moisturisers

Time magazine has reported that there may be some solid science behind claims that skin creams help keep your skin looking young, but there is no solid scientific evidence that non-prescription skin creams help to prevent thinning and wrinkling.

Some of the creams that are advertised to help prevent wrinkling may actually cause it. Many Alpha hydroxy, estrogen and Retin-A creams rely on exfoliation to reverse or counter the ageing process. These creams actually peel off the outer layer of skin to make the skin appear more shiny. Many women who use them get a peel and redness that is not flattering.  Evidently constant application of creams may strip off the protective keratin layer that covers the skin, increase fluid loss and actually  increase wrinkling.

Eleven separate studies have shown that estrogen creams thicken the skin and help to prevent wrinkling, but you can get estrogen cream only by prescription. The data shows that the best ways to prevent wrinkles are avoidance of sunlight, smoking, harsh winds and  non-prescription, exfoliating facial creams. 

 

Psoriasis

Psoriasis means that you make too much skin because your immune system is overactive. We do not know if an infection is the trigger of the overactive immunity. 

New skin cell is laid down at its innermost part. Then another cell is laid down underneath that. As each successive new cell is laid down underneath it, the cell over it moves outward, until it is shed as dander or dandruff 28 days later. Psoriasis means that the skin turns over 7 times as fast as normal so cells are shed after only four days, instead of the usual 28. This causes thick plaques to form on top of the skin, particularly at the elbows and knees, the face and scalp develop thick scales, and the nails thicken and grow very fast. So, all treatments for psoriasis are aimed at slowing skin turnover rate to normal.

The most common treatment includes cortisone-type ointments, but continued use can cause irreversible thinning. Doctors prescribe light treatments and drugs that sensitize the skin to sunlight, but they can cause skin cancer, even the deadly melanoma, many years later. For severe psoriasis, doctors use drugs which must be carefully monitored, such as methotrexate, but sulfasalazine is far safer, even though it is not as effective.

Our creams and lotions smoothe and soften through the combined moisturising action of both urea and alpha-hydroxy acid (lactic acid). This effective lotion helps moisturise skin that has not been successfully treated by other products.   

 

Atopic Dermatitis Eczema and Allergies

Atopic dermatitis is a terribly itchy skin condition that affects people who come from families with hay fever and asthma. It is characterized by thickened itchy skin on the front of the elbows, back of the knees and on the cheeks, but the rash can occur anywhere on the skin. The most likely cause is an overactive immune system. 

In atopic dermatitis, the body keeps on making antibodies that end up in the skin to cause terrible itching. Antibodies are produced in response to infections/ and allergies, such as to pollen from ragweeds, trees, grasses and foods. The most common treatment for atopic dermatitis is oral or injectable cortisone-type drugs, such as prednisone. 

Cortisones can cause serious side effects such as osteoporosis, obesity and stomach ulcers. Cortisone creams help to relieve itching a little bit, but with continued use, they can cause severe thinning of the skin. Antihistamines are of little benefit. Allergy injections often make the skin condition worse. Elimination diets to find and eliminate an offending food can help to get rid of problem foods that trigger attacks of itching, but they never clear the rash.

Our moisturisers smooth and soften through the combined moisturising action of urea and alpha-hydroxy acid (lactic acid). These effective lotions help moisturise skin that has not been successfully treated by other products.