Wound Care

Slow-healing wounds on the feet are a frequent complication of diabetes and always warrant prompt medical attention. Left untreated, these wounds can develop into diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs), greatly increasing your risk of infection, tissue death, and amputation. But how do these wounds form in the first place, and what can be done to prevent them?

Diabetics are often afflicted with two other co-occurring conditions, peripheral neuropathy and poor circulation. Peripheral neuropathy causes nerve damage and often affects the nerves of the lower limbs, leading to tingling, numbness, and a loss of sensation in the feet. A lack of sensation can leave you unable to physically feel pain if you cut, scrape, puncture, or otherwise injure your feet. This can be a serious problem, as pain is typically the first indication that something is wrong. When you don’t feel it happen, an injury on your foot can go undetected and untreated, progressively worsening until it forms a serious wound. These wounds usually heal slowly because of another complication of diabetes, poor circulation. When the blood supply to your feet is not adequate, this area of your body does not get the oxygen and nutrients that it needs to perform its usual processes, including wound healing. Poor circulation results in wounds that heal slowly or don’t heal at all. 

Fortunately, there are measures that you can take to prevent diabetic foot wounds from occurring or worsening. Maintain good foot hygiene by washing and thoroughly drying your feet each day and performing a daily foot check. Using a mirror or with help from a caregiver, examine your feet each day for any abnormalities, such as sores, cuts, scrapes, bruises, blisters, discoloration, swelling, and ingrown toenails. If you notice any foot problems, it is recommended that you see a chiropodist who can treat these issues and offer you more information about managing your foot health. 

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