Learning about diabetic wound treatments is important for diabetics and their caregivers. Proper treatment administered quickly can help prevent amputation, a risk for diabetics. Because diabetics are slow to heal, their risk for infection from even simple cuts and scrapes is much higher than for those who do not suffer from the disease.
The following are tips to help properly care for diabetic wounds, including preventative measures, which is a big part of the wound treatment process.
Foot ulcers appear as open wounds or sores on the feet. They usually appear on areas of the foot that bear weight, such as on the bottom. The risk for foot ulcers is high in diabetics, so several steps can be taken to help prevent and treat these diabetic wounds.
The first is to check your feet daily. The use of a mirror placed on the floor or propped up against a chair at an angle can be helpful to those with vision or mobility problems. Catching wounds early is an effective tool in the battle to heal them.
Keeping the feet clean and dry is the next step for preventing and treating foot ulcers. It is important to use warm water and avoid hot water when washing the feet. Avoid foot soaks, and remember that a thorough drying is important after each cleaning.
Treat wounds with soap and water washing. If the wounds do not begin to heal, see a physician immediately.
Keep the feet moisturized to help prevent foot ulcers. Even the small cracks caused by dry skin can lead to infection.
Consult a Doctor
While some wounds may be successfully treated at home, diabetic wounds need to be carefully monitored and treated by a doctor if they do not immediately show some improvement. Diabetic wounds that are left untreated can lead to serious health risks and complications such as cellulitis or amputation.
It is best to consult the doctor about any new wound that appears. Let your physician determine it the wound is minor and treatable at home so as not to risk the possible complications.
Clothing should fit comfortably without seams rubbing against skin. Any irritation caused by the clothing should be carefully examined and treated immediately if any type of wound appears.
Clothing that is made of rough fabrics such as denim should be treated with fabric softener when laundered so as to minimize the risk of abrasiveness against the skin.
Keep your body hydrated and moisturized. Drink sufficient water and use hydrating products, such as moisturizing body wash, shampoo and lotions, to help reduce the risk for dry skin cracks. If the skin becomes dry or dehydrated, closely examine it for damage. Treat any type of wound immediately.
Bed sores can appear on any part of the body that bears weight and remains stationery for too long, whether standing, sitting or lying down. These happen most often on immobilized patients or obese patients who spend a great deal of time in a chair or in bed. These should be monitored and treated the same way as foot ulcers, and should be taken very seriously. If these are left untreated, they can become infected and grow deeper, causing serious damage.
Diabetes Health Center. Diabetic Nerve Pain: Wound and Foot Care Tips. Camille Peri. WebMD feature. Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD, January 5, 2010. https://diabetes.webmd.com/features/wound-foot-care-diabetes
Diabetes. Amputation and Diabetes: How to Protect Your Feet. Mayo Clinic Staff. October 2, 2009. https://www.mayoclinic.com/health/amputation-and-diabetes/DA00140