Glycaemic Control and its Relation to Foot Skin Ph in People Living with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
Aim: To determine whether different HbA1c levels, especially poor glycaemic impacts foot skin pH. Research Design and Method: Two hundred and forty-one participants (n=241) were recruited for this study; 180 living with type 2 diabetes mellitus and 61 healthy participants (Group1). Participants living with type 2 diabetes were categorised into three different groups according to their HbA1c levels: HbA1c levels between 2.5-5.9% (Group 2), 6-8% (Group 3) and > 8% (Group 4). Skin pH at predefined sites (plantar, interdigital and dorsal areas of each foot), were measured utilizing a skin pH meter (Apera PH60F™). Results: Mean foot skin pH in all three regions of interest (ROI) between the four groups of participants was found to be significantly different with p-value being lower than 0.05. Group 2 (good HbA1c) presented with the lowest foot skin pH in all ROI, followed by group 1 (healthy), group 3 (fair HbA1c) whilst group 4 (poor HbA1c) presenting with the highest skin pH values. The mean interdigital foot skin pH was also found higher (less acidic in nature), when compared to the other sites for both the left and right foot across all groups. Conclusions: This study concludes that a low skin pH (below 5.7), is associated with optimum skin function and health. Results obtained showed that the higher the HbA1c score, the higher (less acidic) the mean foot skin pH was observed in all ROI, thus possibly contributing to various dermatological conditions.