g. Skin and Foot Care. Breaks in the skin heal more slowly in diabetic patients;
therefore, skin and foot care is important to keep the patient's skin soft and supple with
a minimum of cracks. These general guidelines should be followed:
(1) Use proper first aid measures even for minor skin abrasions. If redness
occurs, consult a physician immediately. Ulcers or gangrene may develop from any
break in the skin.
(2) Do not use strong irritating antiseptics such as iodine on breaks in the
skin. After using a mild antiseptic, cover the area immediately with sterile gauze. Use
fine paper tape or cellulose tape (scotch tape) rather than adhesive tape. Adhesive
tape may tear the skin.
(3) Take good care of the feet in order to avoid dry cracked skin. Wash the
feet daily with mild soap and lukewarm water. Dry the feet thoroughly but do not rub
hard since the skin is delicate. Dry feet can be rubbed with vegetable oil to keep them
soft, prevent excess friction, remove scales, and prevent dryness. The patient should
wear low heeled shoes that fit comfortably and correctly to prevent shoes rubbing on the
feet and creating problems.
INSULIN REACTION (INSULIN SHOCK)
a. Definition. Insulin reaction, also called insulin shock, is defined as low blood
sugar. It may be caused by an overdose of insulin or of an oral agent. Increased
exercise or a delayed or missed meal may also cause an insulin reaction.
b. Signs/Symptoms. Included are the following:
Hypoglycemia. The sugar level in the blood is lower than normal.
Sweating and pale skin.
Palpitations and tachycardia (abnormally fast heart beat).