Importance of wound care
If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes then your doctor has probably told you that impact that this condition can have on many systems and parts of the body, particularly your feet. Diabetic feet require special care and attention to prevent ulcers and open wounds that can lead to serious and potentially dangerous infections. This is why it’s important to add a podiatrist to your team that you can turn to for regular preventive care, as well as for wound care and other immediate treatments.
Around 15 percent of people with diabetes will develop an open sore or wound during their lifetime. Since something as simple as an ulcer in those who are diabetic can leave them hospitalized, it is our goal to provide you with the care you need to reduce complications related to diabetes.
What are the symptoms?
Many people with diabetes also have a loss of feeling in their feet, which means that they could be walking around with an open sore or wound on the bottom of their feet and never even know it. That’s why it’s so important to examine your feet everyday on our own, checking between the toes and well as the soles and heels of your feet.
Look for everything from redness and swelling to drainage, sores and cuts. Any changes or problems with your feet should be addressed by a podiatrist right away. More severe ulcers may develop a foul odor.
When should I see a podiatrist?
Any changes in your feet, especially an ulcer, require immediate wound care from a qualified foot doctor. Since open wounds and ulcers can lead to infection, time is of the essence. By turning to a podiatrist right away you can prevent these complications and get the treatment you need to heal fully and efficiently.
How are ulcers treated?
The goal is to prevent an infection within an ulcer. There are certain treatments such as off-loading or debridement (removal of dead tissue and skin) that your podiatrist may perform to reduce your risk for infection. Your doctor may also bandage the ulcer and provide you with medication to prevent infection. It’s also important that you are properly controlling your blood sugar levels with medication and a healthy lifestyle.
If there is an infection present we will clean and dress the ulcer, which will also need to be cleaned every day and redressed. While the ulcer heals it’s important to rest as much as possible and to always wear shoes (do not walk barefoot, even around the house).
If you are living with diabetes, it’s important that you have a podiatrist that specializes in providing wound care and other immediate diabetic foot treatment.
To learn about how Emerald Coast Podiatry can help, call (850) 862-4119 for a consultation.