How to Heal Your Wound as a Diabetic
According to the American Diabetes Association, by the year 2030, it is estimated that more than 550 million people around the world will be diagnosed with diabetes. It is estimated that 25 percent of these people with diabetes will seek foot care, as diabetes can damage the nerves of your feet, and restrict blood flow to your feet.
Diabetics and Foot Care
Therefore, people with this disease are much more susceptible to developing foot ulcers, which often require advanced diabetic wound treatment to prevent complications. When you have diabetes, any wound can be a serious one, as high blood sugar levels (glucose) can cause a host of complications, and make healing for present wounds more difficult, which can quickly lead to infection.
Types of Diabtetic Wounds
A wound is defined as any cut or break in your skin’s tissue. Whether it’s deep or not, broken skin is still considered a wound. Diabetic wounds fall into three categories: neuropathic, ischemic, and neuroischemic. Knowing the distinct features of each wound category is essential to identifying why the wound has formed, and how to promote healing. Failure to properly identify the type of wound that exists can lead to an ineffective diabetic wound treatment plan, causing further long-term complications or worse, amputation.
Recognizing Diabetic Wounds
Failure to recognize these wounds right away happens because of neuropathy, which means you lose sensation in your foot area due to nerve damage or poor blood circulation. Even something like a small cut can produce serious consequences if left untreated. Nerve damage will often make it harder to heal an injury or be able to attack an infection. As mentioned before, a non-healing wound could put you at risk for amputation if not taken care of. Due to these issues, you may not see symptoms right away, which is all the more reason why going to a podiatrist can help you know how to properly care for your feet. To help achieve optimal healing and protect your feet from further wound development, there are healing techniques to follow in your diabetic foot care plan.
Healing Techniques for Diabetic Foot Care
1. Inspect your feet daily: Checking the tops and bottom of your feet daily is important. Check for dry and cracked skin, blisters, cuts, sores, redness, tenderness, ingrown toenails, corns, and calluses. If any of these problems persist immediately seek help from a specialist before it is too late.
2. Keep your feet clean: Keep your feet clean by using soap and lukewarm water. Keeping your feet clean will help protect you from infection, as well as giving you a moment to check on the visual health of your feet every day.
3. Cut nails carefully, and never deal with corns or calluses yourself: Cut your nails properly by doing it straight across, but not too short as it can lead to ingrown toenails. If you have concern, see the doctor. If you have any corns or calluses present, stop by your foot doctor’s office so that they can quickly remedy the problem.
4. Keep your feet warm and dry: Keep your feet warm and dry, but moisturized to avoid infection, and conditions such as athlete’s foot. Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that can lead to dry, cracked skin.
5. Take care of your diabetes: Keep your blood sugar levels under control and make sure to keep your doctor in the loop if there are any abnormalities. Always be consistent with your medication, and be mindful of any changes to how you feel.
6. Get foot exams: Seeing your podiatrist on a regular basis can help prevent foot complications due to diabetes. With reduced nerve sensation in the feet, you don’t want any wounds or conditions sneaking up on you.
Find a Foot Doctor in Central Maryland!
To learn more about how taking care of your feet can keep is an important part of diabetes care and maintenance, call the podiatrists at Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland at (410) 644-1880, or request an appointment online.