Saving Your Soles
Anyone familiar with diabetes already knows how much the condition can affect your life. It puts your whole body at risk for serious, potentially life-threatening issues. Your feet are no exception. Even small problems can quickly deteriorate into serious damage. This is why diabetic wound care is absolutely necessary to protect your lower limbs.
Diabetic ulcers, also called wounds, are slow-healing, open sores that develop on your feet or ankles. They grow out of small injuries, like minor cuts or small blisters. Diabetes impairs your immune and nervous systems, so your lower limbs may not feel damage or be able to heal it quickly enough. Over time, continuous or repeated pressure on the small problem causes the wound to break down and worsen, creating an ulcer. This opens your feet to serious infections, which could require a limb amputation to prevent worse complications if not addressed quickly enough.
Diabetic wound care is vital for protecting your lower limbs from serious, permanent damage. It not only works to heal sores that exist, but to prevent future problems as well. The key is catching potential issues before they degenerate too far. Wounds are a visible problem, though they typically develop on the soles or other places subject to a lot of pressure that may be hard to see. You may or may not experience pain with the problem. Typically there is inflammation and swelling around the sore. You may notice pus or other discharge in your footwear. If you also develop a fever or chills, you may already have a potentially life-threatening infection and need immediate care.
You will need to have our team of highly-trained staff examine the sore carefully. That way we can manage the condition and treat an infection if one exists. This will also help us identify what may have caused the wound and how to prevent one in the future.
We begin your diabetic wound care by cleaning the sore and bandaging it to promote healing. You will have to avoid putting pressure on that foot while it recovers, which will mean restricting your activities. The dressing will need to be changed and the wound monitored to make sure it continues to heal. You may need medication to combat infections. You will also need to manage your blood sugar levels, so your immune system is better able to repair the damage.
Once the ulcer has recovered, you will need to take preventative measures to avoid recurring problems. This may mean making changes to your shoes to reduce the pressure and friction on your lower limbs. Orthotics and prescription footwear may help protect your feet from biomechanical issues that could lead to sores. Avoid going barefoot at all times, so that your limbs stay protected. Make sure you invest in daily foot washing and inspections as well, to catch potential problems early.
Diabetic wound care is a vital part of protecting your lower limbs. Diabetes can cause severe damage and shouldn’t be underestimated. If you notice any injuries or changes to your lower limbs, don’t wait to seek help. Contact Dr. Gerald Mauriello in Belvidere and Hackettstown, NJ, for an appointment right away. Call (908) 475-8750 to reach us quickly.