OBJECTIVE

Diabetes devices that deliver insulin and measure blood glucose levels are cornerstones in modern treatment of type 1 diabetes. However, their use is frequently associated with the development of skin problems, particularly eczema and wounds. Proper skin care may prevent skin problems, yet evidence-based information from interventional studies is missing. Providing this information is the aim of this study.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS

This cluster-controlled intervention study tested the efficacy of a basic skin care program (including use of lipid cream, removal, and avoidance of disinfection). A total of 170 children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes were included and assigned either to the intervention group (n = 112) or the control group (n = 58). Participants were seen quarterly the first year after device initiation, with clinical assessment and interview in an unblinded setting.

RESULTS

Eczema or wounds were observed in 33.6% of the intervention group compared with 46.6% of control participants (absolute difference, 12.9% [95% CI −28.7%, 2.9%]; P = 0.10). The adjusted odds of wound development were decreased by 71% in the intervention compared with control group (for wounds, odds ratio 0.29 [95% CI 0.12, 0.68]; P = 0.005). In total, only eight infections were seen, without a higher frequency in the intervention group, despite advice to omit disinfection.

CONCLUSIONS

These data indicate our basic skin care program partially prevented diabetes device–induced skin reactions. However, more preventive strategies with other adhesives, patches, and/or types of lotions are needed for optimized prevention.

Clinical trial reg. no. NCT04258904, clinicaltrials.gov

This article contains supplementary material online at https://doi.org/10.2337/figshare.23639022.

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