Author: American Diabetes Wholesale
Date: October 25, 2007
Topic: Managing Diabetes
Care of the skin is one of the most important aspects of routine diabetes maintenance. Without proper precautionary measures, minor cuts or injuries can quickly turn into serious problems. Diabetics often heal more slowly than normal because of reduced blood flow to affected areas. Diabetics also may not notice injuries right away if they suffer from diabetic neuropathy, nerve damage which can numb sensations and pain.
Diabetics need to take extra care when they develop a wound. Here are a few guidelines to follow for wound care and prevention.
- For uninfected wounds or minor burns, diabetics may apply antibiotic ointments to prevent infection. If signs of infection occur, such as redness, pain, or inflammation, seek the help of your medical advisor.
- Wounds and ulcers should be cleaned daily with mild soap and covered with dressings or bandages, as wounds heal best when covered and moist.i Moist dressings do not need to be changed as frequently as moist-to-dry dressings, so they are convenient to the patient. Moreover, moist dressings usually lessen pain and reduce the number of re-injuries compared to dressings that allow the wound to dry out.ii
- For serious wounds, especially infected ones, consult with a doctor for treatment recommendations immediately. Skin infections in diabetics usually require prescription medications, such as antibiotics or ointments specially formulated for diabetics.
- During routine skin care, diabetics should avoid using any implement that abrases the skin, such as pumice stones and callus or corn removers. These products can potentially do damage to delicate or injured skin.
- Keep skin hydrated by using moisturizing lotions to prevent cracking, which can lead to infection.
- Monitor your blood glucose levels carefully to help wounds heal more quickly.
- Foot wounds are especially prevalent in diabetics. Avoid walking barefoot to prevent foot injuries. To promote healing of foot wounds or ulcers, diabetics should alleviate the pressure to the area as much as possible. Application of medicines and dressings is also important to speed healing. You may wish to wear therapeutic shoes or socks that are designed to address the needs of diabetics.
Proper care and prevention of wounds can help diabetics avoid serious complications. Be sure to inspect your feet and body every day for signs of cuts or injury, and to treat each problem right away.
i http://www.podiatrists.org/visitors/foothealth/general/diabwound/ii http://www.orthopedictechreview.com/issues/junjul99/pg51.htm