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5 Wound Care Tips for Patients with Diabetes

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Diabetes can trigger a host of conditions and side effects that make it harder for wounds to heal properly, including weakened immunities and narrower and more restrictive arteries. As a result, wounds that might not bother others can become infected more easily, leading to major infections and other long term health issues. So it’s important, if you have diabetes, to be diligent and attentive in treating cuts, scrapes, burns and blisters.

Wound Care Tips for Diabetes Sufferers

Here’s how:

1. Assess your wound ASAP
Don’t let wounds linger and don’t commit to checking things out “later.” Instead, immediately assess your injury to see if medical intervention is needed. If not, begin self-care right away – every minute you go without treating your wound leaves you susceptible to infection.

2. Clean your wound carefully
Use warm water to carefully clean your cut. Use a mild cleanser and water – be sure to check with your doctor before using any antibacterial topical ointments. While in most cases they’re entirely safe, depending on your medical history your doctor may recommend an alternative course of action. Once clean, apply a sterile gauze or bandage to the area.

3. Know the signs of infection
Be sure to check your wound daily for any signs of infection, such as redness, pus, pain, stiffness or a wound that’s warm to the touch. If you see any indication that a wound is infected, contact your doctor immediately.

4. Stay off of injuries
Many people with diabetes wind up with wounds on the bottoms of their feet, which can cause serious problems. Because you walk so frequently throughout the day, this area is constantly experiencing intense pressure and friction, which can make it tough for wounds to heal.

If you have cuts or blisters on your feet or any area that gets a lot of use, be sure to take a break. Relax and give your body time to heal whenever possible.

5. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize
Moisturize every part of your body except between your toes (where fungus can form). Keeping skin soft and moisturized may prevent chafing, cracking and dryness which can lead to cuts and irritation.

Above all, the best way to keep wounds in check is by managing your diabetes. Work with your doctor to create a plan that meets your needs and lifestyle, then stick to it. By staying healthy you’ll help keep your skin and body on track, preventing infections now and in the future.

This information is for general background purposes and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific conditions. Seek prompt medical attention for health care questions you have.

All third-party references and links provided in this article are for educational purposes only. No sponsorship or endorsement is implied. Information was used from the American Diabetes Association, the National Institutes of Health and the American Podiatric Medical Association.

© Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. 2016

 

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