Blisters, scratches, bumps, and cuts are a fact of life. And for the most part, applying a Band-Aid or antibiotic ointment does the trick. But if you suffer from diabetes, even the tiniest scratch can quickly escalate into a serious situation if you’re not careful. Today, Dr. Joel Segalman and Dr. Stephen Lazaroff at Performance Foot & Ankle Specialists, LLC are sharing some dos and don’ts when it comes to diabetic wound care.
Do: Examine your feet daily.
When doing so, look for blisters, red spots, cuts, or swelling. This is particularly important if you experience any loss of feeling in your legs or feet as a result of diabetic neuropathy. Over 80 percent of amputations start with a foot ulcer, so make foot checks as part of your daily routine. If you see redness that is spreading or a cut that doesn’t seem to be healing, call your podiatrist as soon as possible.
Don’t: Perform your own “bathroom surgery.”
Please leave that to the experts. There are different kinds of wounds, and some require the removal of dead tissue. This helps with healing and drainage and allows for closer examination. As tempting as it may be to cut or pick off dead skin yourself, don’t, because you can easily damage a blood vessel and worsen the problem.
Do: Take off some of the pressure.
If you have a wound on your foot, you may need to practice “pressure off-loading,” which simply means staying off your feet. To help, your podiatrist may recommend a total contact cast to redistribute pressure evenly throughout the leg. Other safe alternatives include a wearing a cast-walker, a boot or a healing sandal. If you don’t wear a prescribed device, it can significantly slow down the healing of the wound, so follow your podiatrist’s orders!
Don’t: Fail to change bandages or dressings regularly.
The correct dressing is vital for proper wound healing because it can sustain the required level of moisture, allowing the wound to drain while healing. When you don’t change your dressings often enough, it can affect the moisture balance and interrupt healing.
Don’t: Ignore other things that can help you heal faster.
Handling a wound can be challenging, but there are other steps that you can take to speed up the process. Focus on keeping your blood sugars where they belong, because if they’re high, it will slow down the healing process. Stick to a healthy diet that contains enough protein, calories, and vitamins and minerals that are key for wound healing. And don’t smoke - it can weaken your immune system and stop oxygen from reaching the wound to help it heal.
If you need help regarding your diabetic foot care, call in the experts. Dr. Joel Segalman and Dr. Stephen Lazaroff at Performance Foot & Ankle Specialists, LLC can help get - and keep - your feet healthy. Call our office today to schedule a consultation; you can reach our Waterbury office at (203) 755-0489 or our Newtown location at (203) 270-6724.