Diabetic Wound Care

San Francisco Podiatrist – Diabetic Wound Care

Up to a quarter of all diabetics who develop a foot ulcer will eventually require amputation of the affected foot. Therefore, these open sores must be treated immediately and, whenever possible, prevented from developing. Particularly susceptible individuals include tobacco and alcohol users, diabetics with kidney, eye or heart disease and overweight diabetics. Trauma, irritation, lack of sensation, deformity and poor circulation are contributing factors of ulcer formation. Diabetics often have reduced feeling in their feet because of poor circulation and neuropathy (nerve death.) This results in decreased awareness of minor injuries that can lead to ulcers.

When treating a foot ulcer, the immediate goal is warding off infection. Physicians recommend medications, daily washing, clean bandages, rest, removal of dry or dead tissues and appropriate blood glucose management. If infection becomes apparent the next step is antibiotics and potentially hospitalization. Removing all unnecessary pressure from the area accelerates healing, so splints, crutches or wheelchairs are often used to assist mobility while the condition is still fragile. Keeping the ulcer clean, covered, moist and rested are the priority factors for healing. Should these methods fail, surgery may be necessary to removed the affected area. Diabetics should monitor their feet daily for cuts, bruises, discoloration, blistering, cracks and any other signs of potential ulceration.