I am a 25 year old female and have had diabetes for 16 years. I have developed several skin discolorations known as Necrobiosis Lipoidica Diabeticorum. I have had cortisone injections, but I would really like to find Homeopathic or Naturopathic cures/treatments. My blood sugars are stable, and I utilize an Insulin Pump. I would greatly appreciate any information that anyone can share regarding NLD.
Necrobiosis lipoidica is usually a minor skin complication of diabetes and one that is linked rather tenuously to the level of control, which in your case sounds very good. Sometimes, and especially with lesions on the legs, there is a significant cosmetic problem and very rarely the skin will ulcerate and even need surgical excision and grafting. There have been a few reports of successful treatment with oral steroids, but generally this is undesirable with someone who is diabetic. Injection of steroids into the skin around the lesion was popular for a time; but the results as in your own case were disappointing.
There have been at least two reports of resolution of the skin lesions using a drug called pentoxifylline [brand name: Trental]. This seems to act primarily by increasing vascularization in the skin: its main use has been in peripheral vascular diseases.
Personally, I don't hold much brief for naturopathic or homeopathic remedies for this problem; but you might like to discuss the use of large doses of nicotinamide with your doctor. About ten years ago a report appeared in the British Dermatology literature describing good results using 500 mg of nicotinamide twice a day for Necrobiosis. At that time we were interested in using nicotinamide to prolong the honeymoon period in New Onset Diabetics and had a large supply of a long acting form of the vitamin on hand. Rather to our surprise it seemed to work well in the five or six instances that we tried it in. It needs to be given for at least three months. Large dose tablets are hard to find in the supermarket; but they can be obtained from Innovite, in Tigard, Oregon. If you try this make absolutely sure that you get 'nicotinamide' and not 'nicotinic acid' (both are available over the counter).
Original posting 10 Mar 97
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:54
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