When you have diabetes, sustaining a wound on your foot – no matter how small – can result in serious consequences. Because the disease compromises your immune system, in addition to inhibiting circulation and thus the healing process, even a tiny scratch can snowball into an infected ulceration. This is why diabetic wound care is of the upmost importance! Caring for wounds at the onset will allow you to avoid dangerous complications, including amputation, and live a full and active life despite living with diabetes.
Watch Out for Wounds
One of the main aspects of caring for diabetic feet is to be on the lookout for any type of wound that may occur. It’s vital that you check your feet every day for signs of trouble – scratches, cuts, blisters, or anything else out of the ordinary. That’s because nerve damage often associated with diabetes can allow an injury to happen without you even feeling or realizing it. Unnoticed and untreated, the wound can worsen and wreak havoc on your foot and overall health. Daily inspections are a must to catch problems early and get the prompt treatment you need!
Helping Ulcers Heal
When you come in with a wound on your foot, the first order of business is to clean the ulceration to protect against infection. This process is called debridement and entails flushing the wound with warm water and carefully removing any dead skin or debris. Medication is then applied to the ulcer, and a sterile dressing will be used to cover it. This dressing will need to stay clean and dry and will have to be changed regularly.
In addition, you will need to “off-load,” or in other words, avoid putting any weight or pressure on the wound. This can be accomplished by propping your foot up on some pillows, using a scooter or crutches, or possibly wearing a special boot.
Advanced Techniques and Treatments
There may be times when advanced treatments are necessary, but rest assured, we can provide the expert wound care you need! Our Chandler Wound Healing Center offers a wide range of healing techniques, from dressings and compression wraps to skin substitutes and grafts. We even offer hyperbaric oxygen therapy, which immerses the wound in a 100% oxygen, high-pressure environment to speed the healing process.
Prevention Tips to Keep Feet Safe
As we mentioned above, one of the best habits you can have with diabetes is performing a daily self- foot check. However, there are other things you can do to protect your feet from harm:
Manage your glucose levels with healthy lifestyle choices.
Never go barefoot – protect feet with diabetic shoes and socks at all times, even at home (and make sure footwear fits properly)!
Check shoes before slipping your feet inside, to make sure there are no obstructions or irritating seams.
Don’t try to cut away corns and calluses at home – let us help you remove them safely. We’ll even trim your nails if you prefer to avoid any possible problems.
If you spot even the very beginnings of a tiny wound, call us right away before it has time to get worse!
If you need help, you can contact our Chandler or Gilbert office for an appointment by dialing (480) 963-9000. We’ll get you in as soon as possible and help keep your feet happy, healthy, and safe!