People with diabetes are at risk of developing complications from wounds and infections. It is especially common for diabetic patients to develop sores on the feet and ankles. Unfortunately, many diabetic patients are hospitalized for such sores and, without proper care, serious cases can even lead to amputation. This, of course, can be avoided with proper attention and care. Let’s have a look at some of the ways to care for diabetic wounds and avoid serious complications.
It is a common misconception that wounds should be allowed to air out or dry for faster healing. Especially with diabetic wounds, it is important that the affected area be kept clean, moist, and covered. In other words, the wound should have a moist layer underneath the bandage.
Saline is one of the best options for cleaning the wound. After saline has been applied, a gel such as antibacterial ointment should be applied before the bandage is wrapped around the outside.
The care for diabetic wounds should also include the reduction of pressure on the affected area. Since it is common for diabetic wounds to occur on the feet, care should be taken to avoid putting unnecessary weight or pressure on the foot while walking. It has been proven that when pressure is avoided, the wound will heal more quickly and efficiently.
As most diabetics know, it is extremely important to monitor blood sugar levels. It is especially dangerous when blood sugar levels spike while a wound is in the middle of the healing process. There are several reasons that blood sugar spikes can make it very difficult for wounds to heal. The main reason is that with high glucose levels, vessels become smaller and thus circulation is decreased. Without proper circulation, there are not enough white blood cells to do their job.
The most effective way to prevent diabetic wound problems is to prevent small wounds in the first place. Be sure to check daily for problems such as ingrown toenails, cuts, calluses, blisters or scratches. Since it is harder for wounds to heal when circulation is poor, these small wounds can lead to bigger issues in a hurry. If it is difficult for you to inspect your own feet regularly, you can use a mirror to do it or ask for help.
It is also extremely important to practice good hygiene and thoroughly clean your feet every day. First, focus on removing all dirt and debris. After this, thoroughly scrub with an antibacterial soap. When washing, be sure that you address all surfaces, including the bottom of your foot and in between your toes.
Diabetic wounds can be dangerous if left unattended. If you have a diabetic wound that is worsening or that you feel needs professional attention, you must seek help from a medical professional. Extra care such as antibiotic treatment is sometimes necessary.
It is also important that you practice the aftercare that is prescribed by your doctor. Wound care for diabetics can be a bit more challenging than caring for wounds in people who do not have diabetes. Care of a diabetic wound is very important since the circulation is likely poor in the affected area.
The main thing to remember is that you should not wait to treat or care for your diabetic wound.
At Diablo Foot and Ankle, our medical specialists have extensive experience with diabetic wound care. Whether you need a routine checkup or need diabetic care assistance, we can help. Reach out to us!