If you live with diabetes, you know how serious a wound can be. While a stubbed toe might not be a big deal to most people, for you it's an issue to watch. Here's why:
- Many people who have diabetes may also experience a certain amount of nerve damage. This means they may not feel a blister or cut before it gets worse and becomes infected.
- Diabetics may have compromised immune systems, which means wounds can get infected more easily.
- People with diabetes often have narrowed arteries in their legs. This means less blood can get to wounds to help them heal.
Here are some guidelines to follow for wound care when you have diabetes.
- Pay attention. If you get even a minor cut, don't ignore it. Treat it right away. Clean the wound with water and use an antiseptic ointment; then cover it with a sterile bandage. Avoid using soap, iodine, or hydrogen peroxide, which may irritate the injury.
- See your doctor. Even after you have treated your wound, follow up with a physician. He or she can assess your injury and treat it further, before it becomes serious.
- Take it easy. Try to protect the wound from contact or pressure. If it is on your foot or ankle, try your best to stay off your feet and rest until the issue has healed.
Of course, if you suffer a serious cut or injury, don't hesitate to get medical attention right away. When it comes to your health, don't take any chances.
Do you have questions? Join us on Thursday, May 24, for Diabetes and Wounds–Caring for Foot and Skin Sores. Doug Moss, DPM, will discuss prevention and early treatment of sores. This informative lecture will begin at noon at the Brentwood Senior Living Center, 6280 Central Avenue in St. Petersburg. Just call 1-888-741-5122 for more information or to register.
If you have a wound that is slow to heal, the Wound Care Center at St. Petersburg General Hospital can help. We treat diabetic ulcers, as well as burns, surgical wounds, skin irritations and other chronic slow-healing wounds. To learn more, visit us online or call Consult-A-Nurse at 1-888-741-5122 for a physician referral.
Top Tips for Managing Your Diabetes