If you have Type 2 Diabetes
If unfortunately you do suffer with Type 2 diabetes, it is important to learn about an important but rarely discussed complication of the disease: foot ulcers. Foot ulcers are one of the most common complications in diabetes sufferers. A diabetic foot ulcer is a wound or open sore on the foot, heel or toe. Ulcers can form as a result of poor circulation, nerve damage and skin irritation. Diabetic foot ulcers are often painless, so it’s important to be aware of the symptoms. Often, there is little or no feeling in the feet or the ulcer itself, and the skin is normal or warm to the touch. The skin on the legs and feet may be dry and flaky. Diabetic foot ulcers can be difficult to heal. More than half will become infected and, in some cases, may even require amputation. For that reason, prevention and treatment of all diabetic foot ulcers is very important. Therefore, prevention is key. Ways to help you prevent and treat diabetic foot ulcers are: • Maintaining good blood sugar control • Always inspect your feet daily • Avoid over-the-counter products to treat your feet • Avoid cutting ulcers or callouses yourself • Always dress your ulcer as prescribed by your physician • Wear shoes that protect your ulcer and do not cause rubbing or pressure Always inspect your feet daily and seek medical attention if a lower extremity wound has increased pain, redness or swelling, foul odour or the foot shows any other significant changes. It’s common knowledge that those with Diabetes need to take care of their feet. Diabetics, who often suffer with poor circulation, must pay a great deal of attention to their feet. Therefore, moisturizing your feet regularly can help keep your skin from cracking and drying. Here are some moisturizing suggestions: Gently dry your feet after your bath or shower, then apply a small amount of hand cream or petroleum jelly.Avoid rubbing creams or oils between the toes. This increases a person’s risk of fungal infection.Avoid soaking your feet, which ultimately can dry the skin. First aid for diabetic wounds Individuals who have diabetes must emphasize the importance of proper wound care since even minor wounds can become severe which is often due to a weakened immune system linked with the condition. Take note that diabetes can lead to a compromised sensation of pain and inability to fight off infection, treating diabetic wounds would require special care and monitoring to ensure proper healing. Majority of diabetics suffer from neuropathy in which they have nerve damage that keeps them from feeling scrapes, cuts or blisters until they become infected. These diabetic wounds can become infected due to the compromised immune system. In addition, individuals who have diabetes have constricted arteries in the legs, making the flow of blood difficult. If there is no adequate blood flow to an injury, it cannot heal properly. Even a simple wound can become badly infected and will not heal normally. Increased risk for diabetic ulcer A skin ulcer is basically an area in the skin that has broken down in which the underlying tissues can be seen. Majority of skin ulcers occur on the feet or lower legs. The skin typically heals quickly if it is cut. Nevertheless, in some individuals with diabetes, the skin on the feet does not heal properly if there are wounds and they are prone to developing an ulcer. Even though foot ulcers due to wounds on the feet can be treated, they can become worse and take a long a time to heal among those who have diabetes. In severe cases, it can even lead to gangrene. How to deal with diabetic wounds When it comes to diabetic wounds, they must be treated as a major injury with appropriate first aid measures even if it is a small scrape or cut. The wound must be thoroughly cleaned right away and checked for swelling and pus that are indications of an infection. For severe cases of diabetes, wounds must be examined by a doctor to ensure that proper care is given. Diabetic wounds Diabetic wounds must be covered to promote proper healing. Wounds must be treated with antibiotic ointments and closely monitored to ensure that they heal. For small wounds, they must be covered with a clean bandage that is changed regularly to promote proper healing. As for major wounds, it must be handled by the healthcare professionals since it can be life-threatening for diabetics. It is important to keep pressure off the wound as it starts to heal. Always make sure that the skin surrounding the wound is clean all the time while the bandages are changed on a daily basis. Do not forget to check if there are blisters and calluses that cannot be felt on the feet and provide the appropriate measures for wounds if there are any. In case of infection or wounds that do not heal, it is best to consult your GP.