Even the tiniest wound shouldn't be ignored if you have diabetes. Whether it's a small blister from wearing tight shoe or a cut on your chin from shaving, you need to seek immediate medical treatment to speed up healing and avoid infection.
Difficulty in Healing Wounds
Diabetes, a chronic medical condition characterized by the inability of the body to use sugar or glucose the way it's supposed to, can bring about a number of complications. One of these is the difficulty in healing wounds.
When you have diabetes, you are prone to nerve damage or neuropathy. You won't feel any pain from a cut or blister until it has become infected. Diabetes also weakens the immune system that even the smallest wounds can become infected.
Moreover, diabetics have narrower arteries. When you have clogged arteries in the legs, you're more likely to develop wounds and have serious infections. Because of the clog in the arteries, the blood isn't able to reach the wound and promote healing.
To avoid infection, the following steps must be accomplished
- Care For the Wound Right Away
Remember, even minor wounds can easily become infected since the weakened immune system would find it hard to combat the bacteria that would build up after the injury.
- Clean the Wound Under Running Water
This is to remove the dirt and debris. But don't use anything that can cause irritation like soap, iodine or hydrogen peroxide. Instead, apply antibiotic ointment after washing. Wrap the wound with a sterile bandage. Don't use any cloth. A sterile bandage should be used and should be changed every day. Before changing the bandage every day, clean the skin around the wound with soap. Inspect it every day to see if there is any sign of infection.
- Take Care Of the Affected Area
If the wound is on the bottom of your foot, as this is the most common place for those with diabetes to get cuts or blisters, keep pressure off it to have better chances of healing.
- See Your Doctor
Whether the wound seems to be doing great or not, it's a must that you visit your doctor right away. Don't wait for the wound to become infected or grow worse before you do this.
To prevent wound problems, see to it that you follow these tips:
- Inspect Your Feet Daily
Most diabetics have problem with their vision so it's possible that they won't see a small cut or blister until it grows large and becomes infected. If possible, use a magnifying glass to inspect your feet for blisters, redness, calluses and chafing. This is the best way to prevent diabetic foot problems.
- Check Your Skin
Look for any signs of wounds or infections in the skin. Even minor problems like infected follicles or skin rashes should be brought to the attention of the doctor right away.
- Manage Your Diabetes Well
Monitor your blood sugar along with your blood pressure and cholesterol levels by eating healthy and exercising regularly.