Diabetes wound care has become a very important subject in the health care industry over the past several decades. Almost 5 million Americans have some type of wound or chronic open sore, and out of that number over 10% of these Americans are diabetic. It is not uncommon for chronic wounds to become infected, develop gangrene and eventually cause the limb to become amputated. This is even more critical for diabetics because the disease causes slow blood circulation, numbness and vascular disease. The most common types of diabetic wounds are foot ulcers that can lead to amputation if not properly cared for.
What Is A Diabetic Foot Ulcer?
An ulcer on the foot is a wound that develops on the top, bottom or side of the foot. As previously stated, diabetics are more susceptible to these types of wounds because of slow circulation and other medical issues that arise because of the health condition. They can be difficult to treat; however, effective diabetes wound care can help prevent amputation.
Who Is More At Risk Of Developing A Foot Ulcer?
Although anyone who has diabetes can get a foot ulcer, statistics have shown that there are several groups of people who have a higher risk of getting a diabetic ulcer. Some of these groups are:
- Native Americans
- African American
- Elderly men
Those who are diabetic and are overweight, smoke, have heart disease and use alcohol also have an increased risk in developing diabetic foot ulcers.
Diabetes Wound Care
There are several treatments that are used to care for wounds and ulcers on the feet. When a wound is starting to develop, a physician may recommend downtime for the patient. This can be anything from using a wheelchair to take pressure off of the foot or total bed rest. This type of treatment can take up to 4 months to completely heal the wound.
If the wound has progressed, the physician will remove the dead skin and surrounding tissue. This is called debridement, and this is a typical treatment in a diabetes wound care. Debridement can be accomplished by several methods including topical medication, dressings and even surgery.
Diabetes wound care is effective when proper protocol is followed by both patient and physician. However, diabetics can reduce their chances of developing foot ulcers by ensuring shoes fit properly, never walk barefoot, and visit a podiatrist to learn how to best care for their feet.
Contact us to learn how our compassionate caregivers can help with your diabetes wound care.