Diabetes is a very serious condition, which influences the whole body, complex problem which is not just up to a diet. Having diabetic customers is a big responsibility for every beautician as improper treatment might cause health problems for a customer. For that reason as a customer you have right to ask about qualifications of your beautician, insurance, advice or even visit your GP and get a letter confirming which treatments you can have. Diabetes can cause some serious complications, including foot and skin problems, as well as heart disease, kidney problems, stroke, eye damage, and other problems.
Complications which influence skin and feet:
Diabetic angiopathy is a collection of changes in all blood vessels caused by changing sugar level, blood vessel damage cause poor blood flow in arms and legs called peripheral vascular disease. Without good blood flow, it takes longer for a sore or cut to heal. Atherosclerosis is the narrowing of blood vessels caused by thickening of the vessel walls, it can affect blood vessels throughout the body, including those that supply the skin causing changes due to a lack of oxygen. Symptoms are: loss of hair, thinning and shiny skin, thickened or discoloured toenails. Diabetic neuropathy is an influence of diabetes on the nervous system causing numbness, pain or tingling in feet and increasing the risk of skin damage and infections due to different than normal levels of sensation.Diabetic neuropathy and vascular disease in the legs contributes to risk of diabetes related foot problems like diabetic foot uclers which can be difficult to treat and sometimes lead to amputation. Bacterial infections — There are different kinds of bacterial infections affecting the skin. These include boils, which are infections of the hair follicles; styes, which are infections of the glands of the eyelids; and carbuncles, which are deep infections of the skin and the underlying tissue. There also are bacterial infections that affect the nails. With a bacterial infection, the areas involved generally are hot, swollen, red, and sometimes painful. Most bacterial infections require treatment with antibiotics. Bullosis diabeticorum (diabetic blisters) — In rare cases, people with diabetes develop blisters that look like burn blisters on fingers, hands, toes, feet, legs, or forearms. Diabetic blisters usually are painless and heal on their own. They often occur in people who have diabetic neuropathy. Diabetic dermopathy —appears as scaly patches that are red or brown, often on legs. There is no pain or discomfort involved. Digital sclerosis — word “digital” refers to fingers or toes, and “sclerosis” means hardening ,a condition in which the skin on your toes, fingers and hands become thick, waxy and tight, can also cause stiffness of the finger joints. Eruptive xanthomatosis —This condition appears as firm, yellow, pea-like bumps on the skin, surrounded by red halos and are itchy—usually are found on the feet, arms, legs and backs of the hands. Fungal infections — An yeast-like fungus called Candida albicans is responsible for many of the fungal infections affecting people with diabetes. This fungus creates itchy red rashes, often surrounded by small blisters or scales. These infections (for example athlete’s foot) usually occur in warm, moist folds of the skin (for example between toes). Necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum — (NLD) is caused by changes in the blood vessels and usually affects the lower legs, skin becomes raised, yellow and waxy, often with a purple border. Sometimes, it can be itchy and painful.
Rules for treatments:
1. All diabetic customers should visit GP to make sure that treatments are safe for them. Also when in a beauty salon you should make your beautician aware of your condition.
2. When having a pedicure done you need to make sure you don’t have any cuts or ulcerations on your feet The reason for this is because diabetics suffer from low or impaired immune systems meaning they take longer to overcome illnesses.
3. All tools and equipment should be sanitised again prior the treatment -because of the disease you are more likely to get infection.
4. Therapist need to take care when cutting your cuticles, metal tools should be used very carefully during treatments because any bleeding will be very difficult to stop. You should also not have excess skin, corns and calluses removed with blades in beauty salon as this treatment should be performed by your doctor or therapist, who is trained in medical pedicure otherwise it might cause foot infections called cellulitis.
5. Waxing is not recommended for persons suffering from diabetes as they are more susceptible to infection.
6. You can wear nail varnish on your toenails. However if you wear it all the time you might not see a nail infection. So, take off and reapply your nail varnish regularly so that you can check your nails.
7. Many people with diabetes can also use foot spas with care. Check the temperature of the water to make sure it’s not too hot before you put your feet in. However, if you have been told by your podiatrist, nurse or doctor that you have nerve damage to your feet then don’t use foot spas at all.
8. In all treatments involving heat: pedicure, massages or paraffin treatment extra care should be taken to make sure that temperature is not too high.
9. Having a tattoo on your feet are potentially very harmful, because tattoos will damage your skin which can lead to an infection.
10 If cut to the skin occurs during the treatment it should never be ignored, but sanitised and customer need to visit a doctor to make sure it will not lead to complications.
Skin care products and advice for diabetic customers:
- You should always use products for sensitive and dry skin.
- Make sure you carefully and thoroughly dry your skin after washing. Never rub your skin with towel too much as this can cause micro-injury to your skin and result in infections, use talc on feet.
- Use products containing anti-bacterial and anti-fungus ingredients like natural honey.
- Ingredients like: shea butter, macadamia, jojoba oil, mango butter will calm your skin, stop the itching, soften and moisturise it very well –it’s very important as flexible, strong skin will protect you from infections.
Your goal is to protect yourself and as your skin is the biggest organ in your body, you need to take care of it well, if you want to stay healthy.
By Dominika Jastrzebska BTS