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Diabetes and Foot Care: Treating Wounds

Marc Kaplan


According to a recent study by the New England Journal of Medicine, in the U.S, nearly 3.5 million people have developed a diabetic foot ulcer.

Though nobody likes to talk about them, foot ulcers are a distressing life fact for most people living with diabetes.

These complications develop due to the breaking of the skin tissue and exposing the underneath tissue.

It can start as a minor blister with irritation and later turn into severe diabetic wound if not treated properly.

Diabetic foot ulcers treatment varies depending on their causes. With good foot care, however, you can easily prevent developing a diabetic wound.

Here’s everything you need to understand about the diabetic wound and the importance of foot care:

Causes of Diabetic Wound Treatment

Some of the main causes of diabetic ulcers include:

  • poor blood circulation
  • Increased blood sugar levels also known as hyperglycemia
  • nerve damage
  • wounded or irritated feet

Poor circulation of blood comes as a result of blood not flowing to your feet properly. This further makes the healing of ulcers almost impossible.

A high sugar level in the blood has been found to slow the healing process of a foot ulcer.

Thus, it’s crucial to keep blood sugar at the optimum levels. Most foot ulcers cases are reported by type 2 diabetes patients.

Though it’s a long term effect, nerve damage reduces your foot’s sensitivity to pain and leads to painless wounds that develop into ulcers.

Patients that suffer from diabetes mostly experience dry skin. Their feet are more susceptible to cracking, resulting in corns and then infected bleeding wounds.

Developing a foot ulcer can lead to severe implications for a person who has diabetes

Foot ulcers can impact their quality of life, mobility, and physical health. Such factors make early treatment of a foot ulcer a vital part of the healing process.

Diabetic patients can reduce their chances of developing a foot ulcer by observing proper foot care and treatment.

Symptoms

Diabetic foot ulcers usually develop on the soles of the feet, where the skin experiences constant direct pressure.

For diabetic patients, the ulcer gradually forms underneath calluses and becomes difficult to feel due to diabetic neuropathy. Some of the notable foot ulcer symptoms include:

  • Swelling, discoloration, and warmth around the wound
  • bad-smelling discharge coming from the wound
  • firmness and pain on touching the wound
  • Callused skin around the ulcer
  • chills and fever in severe foot ulcers

Opt for Preventive Measures

The ideal way to prevent foot ulcers and maintain healthy feet is by observing proper foot care, which includes:

Regular checking of your feet daily

Make sure that you often check your feet bottom for any injuries or if you've sensitivity in your feet.

Wash your feet well

Ensure that you wash your feet thoroughly with soap and some warm water. Then dry them fully even between the toes and apply some cream or lotion to keep the skin from cracking.

Dress padded and comfy footwear

You also should make sure that you put on a pair of soft socks and a comfortable shoe to keep your feet well-cushioned. For proper padding, you should opt for nice footwear such as sneakers and avoid high heels because they can harm your feet.

Trim your toenails

Diabetic patients should see a podiatrist for their toenails to get cut and prevent injury. This should be necessary particularly for people who’ve suffered foot ulcers before or those with neuropathy.

Treatment

There are different types of foot ulcer treatment available such as antibiotics, other prescription medications, and natural remedies.

Read on for how these diabetic foot wound care may help you combat foot ulcers.

Wound Assessment

There are three categories of diabetic wounds, including neuroischemic, neuropathic, and ischemic.

Understanding the different categories is necessary for identifying the ulcer progression, infection, and healing.

Without proper identification of the type of wound, could result in an ineffective diabetic ulcer treatment, which may cause severe complications or even amputation.

Tissue Debridement

Wound debridement includes the removal of necrotic tissue, foreign bodies and peri-wound callus from a wound.

Doing this helps to reduce pressure, allow proper inspection of underneath tissue, and effective wound dressing.

Most clinicians recommend using sharp debridement by scissors or scalpel. Other recommended medical devices for tissue-removal treatments include autolytic, larval, and ultrasonic.

Proper wound debridement is important as it reduces the risk of getting an infection, and minimizes pressure on the wound, which can inhibit the healing process.

You can get quality medical equipment from a reputable medical supplier near you.

Infection Control

 Infections control is crucial to the diabetic wound treatment plan. Clinicians recommend oral and topical antibiotics for all diabetic foot ulcer infections.

Topical antimicrobials can eliminate bacteria, prevent further contamination and infection penetration deeper into the wound.

Patients are advised to use wound dressings infused with antimicrobials to help combat infection.  

Some of the commonly prescribed advanced wound care dressings include polyhexamethylene biguanide, silver, medical-grade honey, or iodine. These dressings are designed to enhance healing by maintaining your wound moist.

Moisture Balance

Selecting the ideal dressing for a diabetic foot ulcer is necessary for successful healing.

Getting the right wound dressing ensures that an optimum moisture environment is maintained and facilitates proper wound drainage and healing.

The location of the wound is another factor to consider while choosing the type of wound dressing to use.

Some common dressings for diabetic foot ulcers include films, hydrocolloids, and alginates.

Pressure Offloading

Pressure offloading plays a vital role in the prevention of further complications and enhancing the healing process.

Most clinicians prefer to use removable cast walkers, healing sandals or scotchcast boots as they allow easy wound inspection, changing of the dressings, and early detection of infections.

Non-removable contact casts are mostly used on wounds that aren’t infected and helps redistribute pressure and significantly reduce the healing times.

The main problem with removable devices, however, is that some patients don’t wear them properly, resulting in delayed healing.

Wedge shoes or postoperative shoes can as well be used, but they should be large enough for bulky dressings.

Get the Best Foot Care Treatment

Diabetes wound patients should seek medical attention to establish underlying problems and reduce risk factors, causing the wound to develop.

Though challenging, diabetes management is essential to enhancing the diabetic wound healing process.

You can achieve this by maintaining optimum blood sugar levels, optimal blood pressure, smoking cessation, and observing proper nutrition.

Other factors to consider include wearing proper footwear and ensuring there’s sufficient blood flow to extremities.

Contact us today and enjoy great deals on quality foot ulcers treatment products.