From Mill Creek, Indiana, USA:
My husband has type 2 diabetes, and he is under a very competent doctor's care. However, my mother who is 79 years old was diagnosed with diabetes about a month ago. She has had dry, itchy skin for years and has been to see a dermatologist. All he does is prescribe the same ointment each time, and says it should help because you can't use it very often. My mother has used it for over a year now, and he finally changed it to another prescription for an ointment. She scratches so hard that she bleeds all the time, sometimes excessively. My sister and I have been putting large non-adhesive pads on the sores and wrapping her feet with gauze after applying the ointment. My poor mother has ruined a lot of her clothing with this bleeding. She scratches her her whole body until she tears the skin off. Her poor feet look as if they had been burned. My sister is in charge of her medical care so I can only suggest things to her. Is there something else we should be doing? I'm afraid that Mom will get a serious infection.
I will not be able to provide you with a specific diagnosis without looking at her. However, several issues come to mind. First, does she have the correct diagnosis? Second, could the lotion be causing the irritation? I am thinking this could be neuropathy from her diabetes which causes her to scratch. I would want to know if she has some other fungal or parasitic infection which are more common in people with diabetes. I would want to do something to project her skin from a secondary infection. However, this relies on a correct diagnosis of the problem. In this situation, more direct contact with her provider might be helpful. If not, another opinion would seem reasonable.
[Editor's comment: Make sure you let your mother's dermatologist know about the diagnosis of diabetes. He might look at things differently. Also, a consultation with an allergist might help. SS]
Original posting 6 Nov 2000
Posted to Complications
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:16
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