For those with diabetes, a foot wound as mild as a blister can turn into something very serious. How? Diabetes causes complications in the body that increase the risk of infection and delay healing of mild wounds like cuts, scrapes, blisters, or callouses. It is crucial for diabetics to be aware of the risks of foot wounds and effective diabetic wound care.
A foot wound that doesn’t heal can become an open wound, or sore. Complications with foot wounds can occur easily in diabetics as a result of neuropathy, or nerve damage (in which patients cannot feel the wound and aren’t aware of it), narrowing of the blood vessels which restricts blood flow to the feet, or a weakened immune system. An open wound that is not healing properly can become infected. Once a wound is detected, it is vital that proper diabetic wound care is undertaken, as serious infections in diabetics can lead to hospitalization, and in worst-case scenarios, even amputation.
To care for a foot wound, clean it with water, and after drying it completely, apply antibacterial ointment and cover it with a bandage or dressing recommended by your doctor. Iodine, soap, or other disinfecting agents may irritate the wound. The wound must be cleaned, changed, and monitored daily for signs of infection. It’s vital to see a doctor immediately if the wound shows redness or swelling or if you suspect it’s infected. To further promote healing and lower risk of infection, patients should keep weight off of the affected foot and monitor their blood glucose levels closely. If an infection is detected, you may be prescribed antibiotics. Diabetic wound care should be started as soon as possible to prevent infection and promote healing.
In some cases, foot wound infections may become more severe, or simply won’t heal. In these cases, surgical treatment may be necessary. Some patients choose preventative surgery that relieves pressure and thus lowers the risk of wound infections. Other surgical methods may be necessary once an infection is detected. Click here to learn more about an effective method known as ultrasonic debridement in which dead tissue is selectively removed from wounds.
Proper diabetic wound care is vital for diabetics. It is important to check your feet daily, and to initiate care as soon as possible. Additionally, early medical attention greatly improves the chance of healing and recovery. If you have diabetes and are suffering with a foot wound, or are concerned about being at risk, Sound Footcare can help. Don’t hesitate to contact us today for expert care from our experienced team.