Diabetic Wound Care

Diabetic Wound Care

Subang Ortho Clinic

No matter how small or superficial a wound it is, the patient should not ignore it if the patient has diabetes. Knowing how to treat minor wounds will help you avoid infection and speed the healing process

Why Diabetic Wounds Can Cause Problems

Diabetes is a chronic disease where your body can't use glucose, or sugar, the way it should. It can cause a number of complications, including some that make it harder for wounds to heal. These include:

Narrow arteries.

People with clogged arteries in their legs are more likely to develop wounds, have severe wound infections, and have problems healing. Narrowed arteries makes it harder for blood to get to the wound. Blood flow promotes healing, so anything that blocks it can make wounds more likely to become infected.

Nerve damage (neuropathy)

Diabetic neuropathy most often damages nerves in your legs and to lesser degree nerves in the hands. Diabetic neuropathy is caused by high blood sugar levels sustained over a long period of time. It leads to numbness or loss of sensation and sometimes pain in both feet and hands. When you have neuropathy, you may not feel the pain of a cut or blister until it has grown worse or become infected. When the body's natural defences are down, even a minor wound may become infected.

How to Treat a Diabetic Wound?

If you have a wound, no matter how small it is, do not take the risk if you have diabetes. Take the following steps to avoid infection and promote healing:

Take care of the wound immediately when spotted.

Even a minor wound can become infected if bacteria are allowed to build up after injury.

Clean the wound when it gets wet.

Rinse the wound under running water to remove dirt. Don't use soap, hydrogen peroxide, or iodine, which can irritate the injury. Then apply antibiotic ointment to prevent infection, and cover the wound with a sterile bandage. The bandage should be changed on a daily basis, and use soap to clean the skin around the wound. Inspect your wound daily for any signs of infection.

See your doctor immediately.

Have your doctor check minor skin problems or areas of redness before they turn into larger problems. Err on the side of caution. It's far easier to treat a minor skin problem before it becomes serious.

Keep pressure off the wound until it heals.

For example, if your wound is on the bottom of the foot -- a common place for diabetic people to develop calluses and blisters -- stay off weight in this region as much as possible so it will have a better chance to heal.