Diabetes can affect all areas of the body and diabetic nerve damage may turn a normal scrape, cut or burn into a severe issue. If a wound does develop, immediate therapy and healing is extremely important. Quicker healing provides less opportunity for an infection or other ailments.
Your treatment team may include your primary care physician, podiatrist, nurse, or endocrinologist, vascular surgeon, orthopedic surgeon, physician, infectious disease expert, physical therapist, or other people.
Treatment may include:
- Taking pressure off the Region, especially when the wound is on the foot
- removing dead skin and tissue
- using drugs or dressings to the wound
- treatment to improve blood circulation
- skin graft or skin replacements
- managing blood sugar and other health problems
Controlling your blood sugar may help with wound healing. In addition, it is important to prevent all nicotine and tobacco products because they interfere with wound healing.
The sooner a wound is found; the best treatment results are. A wound may be apparent following a cut, scrape, burn, or operation, but occasionally a wound is less obvious. This is especially a concern for those who have diabetic nerve damage affecting their feet. If you discover an open sore on the skin of the foot, go to your doctor right away. Don’t wait for pain, fever, pus, or discoloration to develop. At each of your visits with your diabetes doctor, remove your socks and shoes. The nurse or doctor is able to search for wounds and check for risk factors for skin sores. With proper measures, you can decrease your chance of a diabetic foot wound.
You’re able to help stop wounds from developing by knowing your risk factors and making lifestyle changes. You’re at greater risk for a diabetic foot ulcer in case you’ve:
- bad blood circulation
- a foot deformity (such as a bunion or a hammer toe)
- unsuitable shoes
- uncontrolled blood sugar
- or some history of a foot ulcer previously
Lifestyle habits that can help minimize the growth of foot ulcers and other wounds include:
- Picking healthy eating customs
- managing your weight
- being physically energetic
- wearing proper footwear
- preventing tobacco
- and after your doctor’s advice about particular medicines
Dr. Jeffrey S. Kerr is a board-certified endocrinologist and member of Cone Health Medical Staff. Dr. Kerr is a 2000 graduate of Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. He also completed his residency in Internal Medicine in Cone Health and finished his fellowship in Endocrinology in Southern Illinois School of Medicine.