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Caring for a Diabetic Wound: Why Is the Healing Process Slow?

Dr. Eman Elmi
February 1, 2022
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According to World Health Organization (WHO), “Diabetes is a chronic, metabolic disease characterized by elevated levels of blood glucose (or blood sugar), which leads over time to serious damage to the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves.”

This type of disease can risk the formation of a diabetic wound, such as a foot ulcer or sore, in patients. It is essential to understand the biological processes that associate with the wound to treat it. In addition, knowing the type of bodily reactions can improve wound care for diabetics and prevent future injury cases.

Diabetic Wound Conditions

The type of foot ulcers that could form as a result of diabetes are neuropathic ulcers. This type of condition results from diabetic peripheral neuropathy, a situation in the body where the sensory nerves of the foot and the body’s ability to fight infection are affected. The result is the risk of a neuropathic ulcer forming in the foot.

Ischemic ulcers are the second type of wound resulting from peripheral neuropathy, where the body cannot transfer important nutrients through the blood. Nutrients, such as oxygen and glucose, sustain the health and productivity of the body. The restriction of the arteries, thus, poses the risk of ischemic ulcers forming at the bottom of the foot.

Thirdly, neuroischemic ulcers also pose a risk to diabetic patients. This kind of condition is, uniquely, a result of symptoms from diabetic peripheral neuropathy and peripheral neuropathy being present in the body. The patient’s sensory nerves are badly affected while they suffer from a condition that restricts blood flowing through their body.

Risks for Slower Recovery

Many risks decrease the rate of recovery in diabetic wound care. To improve the quality of recovery for diabetic patients, the first thing to note is that a wound’s exposure to air can slow this process. It causes more harm to the patient’s foot than good when the injury is not adequately covered.

When treating a diabetic wound, it is critical to note that “wounds and ulcers heal faster and have a lower risk of infection if they are kept covered and moist, using dressings and topically-applied medications.” In other words, patients should keep the wound protected and damp with effective remedies, such as saline, ulcer dressings, or skin substitutes. This ensures that each injury is healing at the best possible rate it can.

Patients should also keep in mind that the less pressure applied to the sore or ulcer, the better the recovery. Any force applied to the wound can exacerbate its conditions and reduce the speed of the foot healing. It is essential to take caution when going about day-to-day activities to prevent this from happening.

How to Prevent Infection

The best way to keep you and your loved ones safe from foot ulcers or sores is to take care of your feet every day. It is also highly encouraged that diabetic patients practice using antibacterial soap for their feet. Doing this can protect against the maturation of any foot conditions listed above.

Other methods to preserve your health from these types of wounds are to avoid unhealthy habits, as listed in the UCSF Center for Limb Preservation & Wound Care. These include smoking abstinence, managing high cholesterol, and several other self-care treatments. Practicing these methods is essential for the management of any diabetic wounds.

At Diablo Foot & Ankle, we care about your health and provide the best care for your needs. For more information on who we are and our services, please visit our website. We look forward to meeting you!

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