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Good Skin Care Essential if You Have Diabetes

Content provided by: Better Medicine from Healthgrades

As your body's largest organ, your skin is a master multitasker. It keeps fluids in, preventing dehydration. It regulates body temperature. It senses external stimuli, such as pain. It produces vitamin D from sunlight. And perhaps its most important task: It protects the body from infection. No doubt, keeping your skin healthy is important, especially if you have diabetes.

Skin problems and diabetes

People with diabetes are more likely to develop skin problems. In fact, one out of three people with the disease will eventually have a skin disorder.

Why do skin problems touch more people with diabetes? When you have diabetes, your skin may not perform up to par. Diabetic nerve damage-a loss of feeling-can hinder your body's ability to secrete sweat. High blood sugar levels can also lower the amount of fluid in your body. The result: dry, cracked skin. Not only is it itchy, but skin in such a state allows germs to more easily invade the body.

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Indications and Usage for Lantus® (insulin glargine [rDNA origin] injection)

Prescription Lantus® is a long-acting insulin used to treat adults with type 2 diabetes and adults and children (6 years and older) with type 1 diabetes for the control of high blood sugar. It should be taken once a day at the same time each day to lower blood glucose.

Do not use Lantus® to treat diabetic ketoacidosis.

Important Safety Information for Lantus® (insulin glargine [rDNA origin] injection)

Do not take Lantus® if you are allergic to insulin or any of the inactive ingredients in Lantus®.

You must test your blood sugar levels while using insulin, such as Lantus®. Do not make any changes to your dose or type of insulin without talking to your healthcare provider. Any change of insulin should be made cautiously and only under medical supervision.

Do NOT dilute or mix Lantus® with any other insulin or solution. It will not work as intended and you may lose blood sugar control, which could be serious. Lantus® must only be used if the solution is clear and colorless with no particles visible. Do not share needles, insulin pens or syringes with others.

The most common side effect of insulin, including Lantus®, is low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), which may be serious. Some people may experience symptoms such as shaking, sweating, fast heartbeat, and blurred vision. Severe hypoglycemia may be serious and life threatening. It may cause harm to your heart or brain. Other possible side effects may include injection site reactions, including changes in fat tissue at the injection site, and allergic reactions, including itching and rash. In rare cases, some allergic reactions may be life threatening.

Tell your doctor about other medicines and supplements you are taking because they can change the way insulin works. Before starting Lantus®, tell your doctor about all your medical conditions including if you have liver or kidney problems, are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding or planning to breast-feed.

Lantus® SoloSTAR® is a disposable prefilled insulin pen. Please talk to your healthcare provider about proper injection technique and follow instructions in the Instruction Leaflet that accompanies the pen.

Please click here or the link below for the full prescribing information for Lantus®

US.GLA.13.04.228 © 2014 sanofi-aventis U.S. LLC, A SANOFI COMPANY

Infections on your feet are of particular concern. Nerve damage can limit how well you notice pain from blisters, corns, or calluses. So, too, can poor blood flow caused by diabetes. You may not realize you have a wound until it is infected. Infections in your feet can be slow to heal, and in worst cases, can lead to amputation.

Besides infections, people with diabetes are more prone to certain skin disorders. These include yellowing nails, skin tags, thickening of the skin, and diabetic dermopathy-scaly patches of brown skin caused by small blood vessel changes. People with diabetes can also experience allergic skin reactions to medications, such as insulin.

Skin-saving tips

Keeping your blood sugar levels under control can prevent many skin problems, including infections. Practicing good skin care helps, too. Below are some skin-saving tips:

  • Keep your skin clean. Wash with mild soap and dry your skin well. Pay special attention to hard-to-dry areas, such as between your toes and under your arms.

  • Apply moisturizer after bathing to curtail drying and cracking. But don't rub lotion between your toes, where fungus can easily grow.

  • Stay hydrated. Drink lots of water and other fluids.

  • Check your skin-especially your feet-every day for any cuts, sores, or other skin problems.

  • Don't let minor wounds fester. Use soap and water to clean them; cover them with a bandage. For major wounds, see a doctor right away.

  • Keep your feet covered-indoors and out. Wearing shoes and socks can help prevent wounds. Choose shoes that fit well.

  • Lather on sunscreen before you go outside. Too much unprotected sun-time can damage your skin. Choose a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or 45. Apply it evenly and frequently.

Always talk with your health care provider to find out more information.

Medical Reviewer: Foster, Sara, RN, MPH Last Annual Review Date: May 13, 2013 Copyright: © 2000-2013 Krames StayWell, 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

Reference: Diabetes section on Better Medicine

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