Diabetic Wound Care

Stay a step ahead of diabetic foot injury


iStock-481565959Diabetes gradually damages nerves in the body. This is a condition called diabetic neuropathy. It decreases the sense of feeling; most commonly in feet. Often those with this condition may be less likely to notice pain, resulting in unnoticed cuts or wound. It is important to inspect your feet daily. 

People with diabetes, who are at greater risk of developing peripheral artery disease, have to be particularly careful to avoid foot injuries, which can lead to diabetic foot ulcers.

What should I be inspecting for?

Look for cracks, red spots, blisters, calluses, and other changes in your feet. Look for drainage or blood on your socks, shoes, or floor. You might find it helpful to use a mirror to see the bottoms of your feet.

High blood sugar levels can also lead to poor circulation. Not having enough blood flow can also make it hard to feel things in feet. It also makes it harder for cuts, scrapes, and other sores to mend increasing the changes or infection. Learn more about diabetic wound care in this video.

Taking proper care of your wound will help it heal. Your healthcare provider may show you how to clean and dress the wound. He or she will also explain how to tell if the wound is healing normally. If you are unsure of how to take care of the wound, be sure to clarify what dressing to use and how often you should change the bandages.

Diabetic Foot Ulcer

Foot ulcers are a serious complication of diabetes and commonly occur on the bottom of the foot. Several factors can contribute to the development of these ulcers, including diabetic skin complications and trauma (such as from ill fitting shoes or an incorrect gait). Often, neuropathy worsens a problem because you cannot feel certain symptoms due to damage to the nerves in your skin.

Be sure to check your feet daily for any changes in the skin’s appearance.

  • Never walk barefoot, and never remove calluses, blisters, or ingrown toenails yourself.
  • Do not soak your feet without the approval of your health care provider. Ask what temperature and length of time is appropriate. You can easily burn your feet and not know it. 
  • Wear shoes and slippers designed for diabetics that can help protect your feet from pressure points and trauma. Your provider may send you to a foot specialist that can help you find the style of shoes that are right for you. Off-loading the wound with specialty boots or casting is often used for healing.
  • Wear white socks designed for diabetics that pull moisture from the body, are free of dyes, and pressure points like seams or tight bands. 
  • Inspect your shoes and socks for holes, damage, and replace as needed on a regular basis. Feel inside your shoes and socks daily to be sure no foreign objects are present.