Diabetic Wound Care and Treatment
Immediate wound care treatment is extremely important for people with diabetes, because an infection can lead to serious health problems. Always discuss any concerns you may have with your doctor and /or podiatrist, even for the care of minor wounds and skin cracks. Treat even small wounds as an emergency if you have diabetes. Here are some general guidelines for wound treatment:
- Treat wounds promptly with our recommended signature "Clean, Treat, Protect" process below:
Proper cleansing helps prevents infection and promotes the best possible healing.
- Wash your hands thoroughly before touching a wound.
- If you are caring for a wound that is not yours, make sure to use gloves to protect against disease transmission.
- Stop bleeding by applying pressure to a cut or scrape.
- Clean cuts and scrapes with mild soap & water. Pat dry with a sterile gauze pad.
Antibiotic ointments can help prevent bacterial infection in minor cuts, scrapes, and burns. Follow the instructions of your doctor and/or podiatrist, and the directions on packaging when applying any antibiotic ointment.
Keep an eye out for signs of bacterial infection until a cut, scrape, burn or ulcer is completely healed. These signs include:
- Swollen glands
- Swelling around the wound
- Red streaks leading from the wound
If any of these signs appear, call your doctor immediately.
People with diabetes are also more prone to develop fungal infections. These infections can occur between toes but also in other warm and moist folds of the skin. Signs of fungal infection include:
- Small blisters and scales surrounding the redness.
If you think you have a fungal infection, call your doctor and/or podiatrist for treatment options for fungal infection.
For more serious wounds, your doctor and/or podiatrist can prescribe advanced healing products that may help to further improve the healing process. Talk to your doctor and/or podiatrist about these options.
Inspect the wound every time you change your dressing, and speak to your doctor and/or podiatrist if it does not heal.
Follow these steps for properly protecting a wound:
Identify wound type and size, and select the appropriate primary cover. The dressing should be large enough to fully cover the area that needs to heal. Leave ½ inch of the cover extending beyond the wound to make sure the wound is covered properly. Please check product label and warning before applying a cover. Some covers might not be appropriate for you if you have diabetes.
Select a tape or wrap that fits your needs for gentleness. The right kind of tape comfortably holds your dressing in place without damaging your skin upon removal. Hurt-Free tapes and self-adhering wraps provide the most gentle solutions.
Keep the wound covered at all times to protect it from dirt and germs. Change bandages as directed by your doctor and/or podiatrist.
- If you get a blister, clean it with soap and water, and then protect it with a cover and tape/wrap. Do not break the blister. If the blister breaks, leave the loose skin as a covering over the wound until it heals.
- Do not use over-the-counter corn and callus removers. Talk to your doctor and/or podiatrist about having corns and calluses treated by a podiatrist. Complete healing of even small wounds can take quite some time. Follow your treatment plan exactly as prescribed.
- Do not ignore redness, swelling, non-healing wounds, ingrown toenails, and other foot or wound problems. Bring these problems to the attention of your doctor and/or podiatrist as soon as possible. Early treatment is the best way to prevent further problems.
Following these guidelines and continued adherence to a treatment plan from your doctor and/or podiatrist will help promote proper wound healing.