As diabetics we all know how important it is to stay on top of our heath, especially when it comes to keeping an eye on our skin. Things such as cracks, blisters, and rashes can very easily escalate into troublesome situation.
I fielded a question the other day about a condition called Necrobiosis Lipoidica Diabeticorum (NLD) which is a skin condition that can effect both type 1 and type 2 diabetics. Never hearing about this particular skin condition before, I thought it would be a great topic to discuss, so lets take a closer look!
What Is NLD (Necrobiosis Lipoidica Diabeticorum):
Necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum is a rash that typically occurs on the lower legs. It happens to be more common in women, and upon examination, there are usually several spots. They are slightly raised shiny red-brown patches and the centers are often yellowish and may develop open sores that are slow to heal.
NLD typically develops when when collagen breaks down, deposits of fat build up and the blood vessel walls thicken. As a chronic condition, NLD might progress slowly and might sometimes scar the skin. The condition might not bother you for a while, while at other times, might flare up.
Causes Of NLD:
The underlying cause of NLD is unknown, but the latest understanding tends to focus on microangiopathy – which occurs when blood vessels become damaged. As diabetics, we know this is a risk factor that occurs with high blood sugar readings, and usually associated with poor glycemic control. Improved management of blood glucose levels can improve or prevent the disorder all together so this is another factor in a very long list of reasons why its so important for us to maintain proper control.
Research has also been conducted investigating the effects of smoking in relation to Necrobiosis Lipoidica Diabeticorum, researches have discovered that smoking was prevalent in diabetic patients with NLD. This was also the case for diabetic retinopathy and nephropathy. Other possible theories for causes of Necrobiosis Lipoidica Diabeticorum include trauma and inflammatory and metabolic changes.
Treatment Of Necrobiosis Lipoidica Diabeticorum:
As long as the lesions of the rash do not break open, NLD typically does not usually require treatment. There are things that your doctor will ask you to do, such as resting your legs occasionally as well as protect them with elastic support stockings. Taking a baby aspirin each day may be something else that they encourage you to do.
Treating Necrobiosis Lipoidica Diabeticorum can be a little tricky. During a flare up, some people find relief using a topical cream that contains cortisone and covering the area with a sterile dressing. Others find that cortisone injections can help and other researchers have found that treating the area with ultraviolet light can control NLD during flare-ups. In some cases, doctors might prescribe steroids such as prednisone.
If your looking for a great alternative to these medications (which I always encourage, when applicable), I suggest you take a look certified organic lavender essential oil.
Lavender is fantastic for fighting inflammation and treating all sorts of different skin flair ups. You can also find bar soaps that are infused with lavender as well as oatmeal, tea tree and aloe vera that are great for treating skin conditions and may help with a flair up. I’ve use several of these types of soap, they work fantastic and honestly a much safer, healthier alternative as well.
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