Even a small wound on the foot can become a very serious problem if left unchecked. This is especially true if diabetes is affecting the health of your feet.
A diabetic wound on your foot can be like a small fire in your home. If it isn’t taken care of, it can gradually rage out of control and lead to a total loss. You surely wouldn’t wait until the fire reached such a point, and you shouldn’t wait to address any wounds as well!
Why Are Diabetic Wounds So Dangerous?
The greatest amount of risk posed by a diabetic wound comes when it goes unnoticed and is allowed to worsen. This is because diabetes can pose two distinct disadvantages.
First, diabetes can cause damage of nerves in the feet (peripheral neuropathy). Eventually, you may lose sensation so won’t feel cuts, sores, and other irritations.
Second, diabetes can also reduce circulation, providing less oxygen and nutrients that our cells need to conduct repairs and other needed functions. The feet tend to suffer the effects of reduced circulation first, and wounds that occur on the feet may be slower to heal, as compared to the rest of the body, or even not heal at all without proper attention.
When these two issues are combined, a small sore can develop on the foot and go unnoticed. Due to reduced healing capabilities, the sore can remain and become worse as one continues to walk on it, eventually creating a large, deep ulcer with a high risk of infection. To help prevent this, you should inspect your feet daily. If you notice anything, you should call for an appointment immediately.
Professional Diabetic Wound Care
If you have diabetes, you should never hesitate to report any injuries, sores, or other abnormalities you find to us; and you should be looking for them every day!
Immediate wound care includes cleaning, dressing the wound with any necessary medications or antibiotics, and bandaging the area securely.
However, more may need to be done to ensure the best opportunity for healing. This might involve taking excess pressure off the area by using an off-loading brace, cast, or orthotic insert. Sometimes advanced wound dressings may be needed. Consistent care will also be needed at home and during future appointments to ensure the wound remains properly clean and bandaged.
A tight management of blood sugar will also play a significant role in encouraging healing.
The Best Care is Prevention
Even better than putting out a fire before it takes down your home is preventing that fire from ever happening in the first place! With diligent attention and regular preventative care, you can keep diabetic wounds from becoming a major concern.
Northwood Foot and Ankle Center is happy to be a partner in your diabetic care. We serve patients from offices in Holland and St. Joseph and are always happy to talk with new and returning patients alike. Schedule an appointment by calling (616) 393-8886 or filling out our online contact form.
388 Garden Avenue, Suite 120
Holland, MI 49424
St. Joseph Office
1901 Niles Avenue, Suite 201
St. Joseph, MI 49085
Holland: Mon - Fri, 8am - 5pm
St. Joseph: By Appointment