Diabetes is a serious disease that affects the body both internally and externally. People with type I diabetes or type II diabetes either cannot produce enough insulin or properly respond to insulin. Insulin is an important hormone that fuels the body by turning glucose into energy. Diabetes affects blood sugar levels internally and impacts the body’s ability to heal itself externally.
For diabetic patients, it is important to learn about proper diabetic wound care because wounds have the potential to lead to more serious conditions and complications. People with diabetes are more likely to develop sores on their feet and on their ankles. If the wounds are not cared for properly, these sores can lead to ulcers, infections, limb amputations, or even death. Learning about proper wound care for diabetics can make daily tasks more comfortable and even save a life.
How to Prevent Diabetic Wounds?
Prevention is the best way to ensure that you are not at risk for wound infection. The best way to prevent a wound is by being cautious and checking your body daily for any changes. Daily self-checks will help you recognize a wound early and take the proper precaution to ensure that the issue does not get worse. When you are doing your daily self-checks, be sure to inspect your ankles and feet. There could be wounds underneath the feet or between the toes. Scratches, blisters, and ingrown toenails can also turn into a serious wound if left untreated, so it is important to look for everything.
If inspecting your feet on your own becomes an issue, you can always use a mirror or have a close friend or family member help you look at the areas that you cannot see. Although you may not want to ask for help, it is important to be aware of what is going on with your body. If you notice a change on your body or an unexplained wound, it is best to speak to a doctor to be sure the issue is not more serious.
How to Care for Diabetic Wounds?
If you do notice a diabetic wound, do not panic. Although these wounds can eventually become a problem, there are tips that can help the wound heal normally. Be sure to have the proper first aid material available at all times and you can use some of the tips listed below to ensure a steady recovery.
- Cover the wound: You may have heard that it can help a wound heal if you allow it to breathe. In some cases, that is true, but when it comes to diabetic wounds, it is best to keep them covered and keep a layer of moisture between the wound and the bandage. Covering the wound decreases the chances of the wound becoming infected.
- Remove any pressure on or around the affected area: Wounds heal quicker when there is no added pressure on them. Many diabetic wounds are on the feet and ankles so it is important to avoid added weight by excessive activity on your feet.
- Change the dressing regularly: A dirty bandage can lead to an unnecessary wound infection. Pay attention to your wound and how it is healing. Be sure to change the dressing often.
- Remove dead skin: The body often produces dead skin when a wound occurs. To ensure that your wound is healing correctly, remove the dead skin when you inspect the wound. If you do not feel comfortable removing the excess skin, a medical professional can help.
- Keep an eye on your blood sugar: If your blood sugar spikes when you are recovering from a diabetic wound, it can be a dangerous sign. Monitor your blood sugar and remain aware of what is happening with your body.
For more information or to learn more about wound care from a professional, visit us at our website, Diablo Foot & Ankle, or call us at (925) 464-1982. We are here to help you with your foot and ankle needs.
Common Podiatry Questions
What is a Podiatrist?
A podiatrist is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the foot and ankle.
What does a Podiatrist treat?
A podiatrist is a doctor who specializes in the medical and surgical care of the feet. They can treat conditions such as ingrown toenails, fungal toenails, bunions, hammertoes, and plantar fasciitis.
What’s the difference between a Podiatrist and Orthopedist?
A Podiatrist and Orthopedist are very similar to each other in many ways. They use most of the same tools and treat a lot of the same conditions. The main difference between the two is their medical training. Podiatrists are trained exclusively on the foot and ankle, whereas the Orthopedic is trained on the whole body with an additional year of training on the foot and ankle.