If you have diabetes, you already know that you have to do things a bit differently than those who aren’t inflicted with this disease. You need to monitor your glucose levels, pay close attention to your diet, and check your feet daily. Having diabetes also means that your wound care is going to be different from others as well.
Why Diabetic Wound Care is So Important
Diabetes wound care is centered on the prevention and early treatment of skin sores and conditions that could pose a major threat to your body. If you take away any trauma-related reasons, diabetes then becomes the leading cause of lower-body extremity amputations. As a result, it is essential that you seek immediate help as soon as you discover a wound, before it becomes an ulcer.
Foot ulcers are a major cause of complications for anyone living with this disease. These open sores form as a result of several factors, including poor circulation, trauma, friction or pressure, and lack of feeling. Called neuropathy, this loss of sensation is a major culprit in the development of foot ulcers, as wounds, deformities, and even dry skin can go unnoticed and result in a sore that does not heal.
Knowing the Signs
Due to the neuropathy that often comes with diabetes, you cannot count on pain to be an indicator that something is wrong. Instead, look for drainage in your socks or a redness and swelling in the affected area. Odor might be present and this typically means that the wound has progressed significantly. Call us right away!
Quick Treatment to Prevent Infection
The key for diabetes wound care is to promote healing as soon as possible and decrease the risk for an infection. If you become aware of a foot wound, put triple antibiotic cream on the sore immediately and then cover with a light gauze and make sure there is no pressure on it. Then schedule the earliest appointment with Shenandoah Podiatry as possible.
Once you come in to see us, we will continue to take steps to prevent infection, remove dead skin and tissue, and apply the appropriate medication and dressings. Important components of the healing process include reducing pressure and irritation to the area, keeping the wound covered and moist, and boosting circulation levels as much as possible. Controlling your glucose levels is vital as it will enhance healing and reduce complications.
What to Do to Keep Wounds at Bay
The most important prevention measure that you can take is to check your feet daily. Every night, inspect them for any sign of abnormality, cracks, blisters, cuts, and ulcers. Take special care and be sure to inspect your soles and between your toes, since these areas are not as obvious as the topside of your feet. If you observe anything out of the ordinary, schedule an appointment with Shenandoah Podiatry as soon as you can. It is vital that problems be addressed promptly.
Other prevention measures include wearing comfortable shoes or sandals at all times in order to prevent a cut or scrape from anything sharp that could potentially lead to infection. It is important to ensure that your shoes are comfortable and do not cause friction or pressure on your feet. Lifestyle choices, such as adhering to a healthy diet and regular exercise plan, can help your body with regard to preventing and treating a foot ulcer. Smoking and excessive alcohol use should be avoided as well.
If you need wound care performed on a diabetic foot, or want help in establishing a plan to prevent issues in the first place, come in and see Dr. Jennifer Keller or Dr. Marshal Gwyn at either of our Roanoke or Blacksburg, VA, offices. Call our Roanoke office at (540) 904-1458 or our Blacksburg office at (540) 808-4343 and schedule an appointment today.