There are many important foot and ankle care services we provide at Dr. DeCato and Associates. We help our patients overcome heel pain and recover from sports injuries, and we perform successful surgical procedures (when necessary). Of course, some of the most important services we offer are related to diabetic wound care.
Diabetes affects the body in many different, serious ways, which means it is easy to overlook how the disease can place feet at risk for complications. This is a big mistake, because diabetes significantly raises the risk for limb amputations. In these cases, it only takes a small wound or issue to snowball into a major problem!
Diabetic Wounds Explained
In the context of a diabetic condition, the word “wound” may refer to any cuts, blisters, bruises, bumps, burns, and calluses. Essentially, anything out of the ordinary—including injuries, conditions, and other abnormalities—could potentially lead to serious medical complication and should be investigated by any of our medical experts.
There are two general categories in which we can place diabetic wounds – those of internal and external origin. Internally-originating wounds include blisters, calluses, corns, and anything else produced by the body. External wounds, conversely, are those which happen to the body and include cuts, scrapes, and things of that nature. Both internal and external wounds can potentially result in tissue breakdown (ulceration), which puts you at risk for serious infections.
Calluses may not seem like a major concern, but certain forces can cause the layers of callused skin to separate and fill with fluid. When the fluid becomes contaminated and infected, the result is a foot ulcer.
Diabetic Wound Prevention & Treatment
Put simply, the best treatment for diabetic wounds is to prevent them from developing in the first place, which is why we place such an emphasis on preventative measures. To prevent issues like wounds from happening and becoming dangerous foot ulcers, take the following steps:
- Inspect your feet every day. A daily foot check is the best way to catch issues at their earliest, most treatable stages. The best practice is to develop a routine by inspecting your feet at the same time every day. For many patients, at night (before going to bed) works quite well. Carefully inspect all foot surfaces, including the areas between your toes. If you discover anything out of the ordinary, see us as soon as possible.
- Always wear footwear. Walking barefoot could put you at risk for stepping on something and possibly cutting or scraping your foot. If nerve damage leaves you unaware of this, the wound can break down in time and become an ulcer.
- Make sure your footwear fits. Protecting your feet from other threats doesn’t make much sense if your shoes do not fit well and cause friction that can lead to lesions. If you have questions about a proper fit, contact our office and we can help.
- Check your socks and shoes. Before putting on your footwear, check them first to see if there is anything inside that could potentially cause damage (like tiny rocks, for example).
Put In the event you become aware of a fresh wound, you need to take measures immediately to address the situation. This means starting by flushing out the wound with clean, running water. It might seem as though using soap, hydrogen peroxide, or an antibiotic ointment would make sense to help reduce risk of infection, but these products can cause irritation. Instead, protect the wound with a clean bandage after rinsing it out with clean water, and then come see as soon as you possibly can.
If you live with diabetes and do not already have a diabetic foot care plan in place, contact our team at Dr. DeCato and Associates to request the earliest possible appointment that will work for you. This is a serious matter, but we can help you create a plan to stay safe and reduce your risk of serious medical issues. As part of your plan, you will need to set up regular appointments with our podiatrists so we can monitor your feet and ensure that problems are addressed at the earliest possible stage.
Call us at (440) 992-4477 for additional information or assistance with scheduling an appointment with our Ohio podiatric offices. If you’d prefer, you can also use our online form to request your appointment right now.