A Skin Care Program to Prevent Skin Problems due to Diabetes Devices in Children and Adolescents: A Cluster-Controlled Intervention Study

Diabetes Care. 2023 Oct 1;46(10):1770-1777. doi: 10.2337/dc23-0462.


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.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1* / therapy
  • Eczema* / drug therapy
  • Eczema* / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Insulin / therapeutic use
  • Research Design
  • Skin Care


  • Insulin