Just found a diabetic complication - anhydrosis caused by Diabetic autonomic neuropathy (DAN)

Sweat glands are controlled by the autonomic nerve system. DAN is a different condition than peripheral neuropathy that causes loss of sensation and pain. Diabetes peripheral neuropathy can cause us to not notice wounds, but DAN leads to skin drying and cracking that can be a more direct cause of wounds and ulcerations.

What got me looking into this is flaky skin especially on my heels. I ended up with a crack that was painful.I treaded that successfully with triple antibiotic ointment and a bandaid. It goes without saying that I was concerned. I found this paper on a study treating diabetic feet with 2 strengths of urea creams.
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The best results for skin healing were from the 25% urea. I personally want to avoid using creams with salicylic acid or mechanical abrasives. In my opinion those things could easily lead to damaging already compromised skin.

Anybody here had good results with urea containing ointments?

Edit to add - yeah I noticed sometime ago that my feet don’t perspire much.


Wow. Thanks for sharing the article. Sorry to hear about you suffering through this - sounds painful!!


I was actually glad for the pain because the crack was on the outside of my foot above the heel on my right side. I have trouble getting a good look there, old man is lacking flexibility. I remember seeing a mirror topped scale for diabetics- weigh yourself and inspect your feet.

I think I will order one of these telescopic lighted inspection mirrors.


A cloud to every silver lining…


I have been told by my Podiatrist to use cream with urea, but my feet respond better to what I currently use: the " Pedi Perfect Pro Rechargeable Foot File" and nightly application of Aquaphor. When they have been really bad, I’ve also used Bio oil on them, but anything I use, I use after a bath/foot soak (ideally) and only before bed, followed by big socks so that if I get up and walk around, I don’t slip (I’ve had that happen because of the Bio oil getting on the floor, not fun).

I’m going to ask my Podiatrist about this, because my feet and hands are chronically cracking even with my attention to the problem. They are better when I stay on top of my care regime, but never perfect.


When all else fails, Aquaphor is the ‘go to’ - amazing stuff and just about as pure as it gets. My brother-in-law, a pediatrician, recommends nothing else for his infant patients. My 30 year old son, who gets bad eczema in the winters, has been using it regularly for virtually his entire life.

@CarlosLuis if you want to give the aquaphor route a go, I have had good luck with these crazy pedicure socks (bought them for my non-D daughters, too, who thought they were fun). I load up with aquaphor on my heels at night and wear the socks over the whole situation to bed. Do this for a few nights in a row and it’s helpful. Honestly, regular pedicures are helpful, too.

I also bought my kids (stocking stuffers last year) “foot masks” (foot peels), which are pretty gross, but do the trick after a few days (soak your feet in the tub for a good 20 mins before using one for maximum efficacy). Of course, only do these treatments once your skin is healed. Hoping you get healing and relief soon – keep us posted! xo Jessica

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Here’s a shameless plug for an upgrade to this mirror- Habit Camera™
This was developed by researchers I work with. Telescoping gooseneck camera that gives you an HD view on your phone & you can save videos or images that you can share with your clinician via email or text.

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