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Safe Spa Stress Relief

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A day at the spa can be rejuvenating for both the mind and body. Nothing melts away stress like a day of pampering. But because diabetes puts you at a higher risk of infection and foot and skin problems, it’s important to make sure that you go to a spa that takes your health seriously. You also need to choose spa treatments wisely.

Choose Wisely
There are certain treatments that people with diabetes should never have. This includes facials involving microdermabrasion or chemical peels, as the risk for injury to your skin is just too great. And if you have any cuts or abrasions, avoid any skin treatments at all until you are completely healed. If you have peripheral neuropathy, heat treatments are not advised as you could burn yourself without knowing.

While pedicures are often not recommended for people with diabetes, many women choose to indulge in them. Please have a discussion with your doctor and/or podiatrist about your specific risk. Often, if your blood sugar is well controlled and you have no skin or foot problems, you can partake in pedicures as long as you follow certain safety precautions.

Ask Questions
Ask questions about standard hygiene practices before booking your spa appointment. Poorly cleaned instruments can cause fungal nail infections and worse. As a matter of course, a good spa will sterilize nail and skin tools and foot baths between customers. Some people choose to bring their own nail and skin tools to prevent cross-contamination; if you choose to do this make sure you sterilize them at home.

Talk to the Staff
Let the spa staff know you have diabetes. There may be modified treatments available that cater to people with diabetes and other health problems. For example, a “light” pedicure with simple moisturizing, light nail filing, and polish. If you are getting a massage, let your masseuse know if there are trouble spots to skip or focus on. They should also be aware of the signs of a blood sugar low.

Pamper Yourself
Research has shown that massage therapy can lower stress and improve circulation, two key health benefits for anyone living with diabetes.  Reflexology, a type of massage that focuses on pressure points in the feet and hands, has also been shown to have some benefit in lessening pain symptoms in people with peripheral neuropathy. So spoil yourself with an hour of massage, and lower your stress levels and your blood sugar in the process.

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