One in 20 of the UK population is being treated for diabetes according to Diabetes UK which also estimates 850,000 people have the condition and are un diagnosed.
The most common type, affecting 85%-95% of those with diabetes, is type 2 diabetes where cases have increased significantly in the UK. Experts attribute this rise to diet and obesity.
Diabetic wounds, especially on the feet need special care.
How to care for a diabetic wound is an important issue. No matter how small or superficial a wound is, you should not ignore it if you have diabetes or care for someone who does
Knowing how to treat minor wounds will help avoid infection and promote healing.
Diabetes is a long term condition where the body can’t use glucose, or sugar, correctly. It can cause a number of complications, including some that make it harder for wounds to heal. These include:
- Nerve damage (neuropathy). When you have neuropathy, you may not feel the pain of a cut or blister until it has grown worse or become infected.
- Weakened immune system. When the body’s natural defenses are down, even a minor wound may become infected.
- Narrow arteries. People with clogged arteries in their legs are more likely to develop wounds, have severe wound infections, and have problems healing. Narrowed arteries makes it harder for blood to get to the wound. Blood flow promotes healing, so anything that blocks it can make wounds more likely to become infected.
How to Treat a Diabetic Wound.
If you notice a wound, no matter how small, take the following steps to avoid infection and promote healing:
- Take care of the wound immediately. Even a minor wound can become infected if bacteria are allowed to build up after injury.
- Clean the wound. Rinse the wound under running water to remove dirt.
- Apply antibiotic ointment to prevent infection, and cover the wound with a sterile bandage.
- Ensure someone changes the bandage daily, and use soap to clean the skin around the wound.
- Make sure someone checks daily for any signs of infection.
- See your doctor. Don’t take any chances – get a doctor to check minor skin problems or areas of redness before they turn into larger problems. It is easier to treat a minor skin problem before it becomes serious.
- Keep off it as it heals. I it is on the bottom of the foot common place for diabetic people to develop calluses and blisters -stay off it as much as possible so it will have a better chance to heal.