About 15% of people with diabetes will develop a foot ulcer due to aspects of the disease. Diabetes can damage nerves (neuropathy) and is often associated with poor blood circulation in the lower legs. These may make a person with diabetes more susceptible to wounds, infection and delayed wound healing.
Loss of sensation
Because you have less sensation in your feet due to neuropathy, you are less likely to feel an injury or infection. For example, you may walk on hot sand and burn the soles of your feet, or step on a nail and not feel it. It is important that you wear proper shoes and check your feet at least twice daily, because if you don’t notice an injury, it will get worse.
Poor circulation means that injured skin heals more slowly and is prone to infection. If your foot is pale and cool you may have compromised blood circulation. Remember to always seek professional help if you have diabetes and foot problems.
Consulting a healthcare provider
If you are diabetic and have a new wound on your foot, then you should seek medical attention right away. While you are caring for your wound at home per your provider’s instructions and the wound gets worse or persists or if there are signs of infection such as redness, swelling, fever, pain or burning, increased drainage, becomes warm to the touch, then consult a health care provider.
Products for Foot ulcers
Nurse and Patient Preferred Brand Mepilex® Border is an easy to use, all-in-one, hospital quality dressing featuring Safetac® technology.
Mepilex Border Flex (Oval)
Nurse and Patient Preferred Brand Mepilex® Border Flex (Oval) is an easy to use, all-in-one, hospital quality dressing featuring Safetac® technology.
Mepilex Border Lite
Nurse and Patient Preferred Brand Mepilex® Border Lite is a hospital grade, all-in-one dressing featuring Safetac® technology.
Other Wound Types
Abrasions (or gazes) are superficial wounds, where generally, only the outermost layer of the skin (the epidermis) is rubbed away. Sometimes abrasions go deeper into the skin layers (dermis).
Many burns affect only the skin, and are superficial (like a sunburn). Burns that affect deeper tissue are classed as partial-thickness (wet, painful, pink or red) or full-thickness (dry, no pain, grey/brownish, may look like normal skin but without sensation) depending on the depth. All burns may be painful, and it is often the superficial and partial-thickness ones that are the most painful.
A skin tear usually occurs in the elderly or those with fragile skin, as a result of a bumping into something, dressing changes with inappropriate dressings, or vigorous washing and drying of the skin.
Leg ulcers are breaks in the skin (generally below the knee) that can take a long time to heal due to underlying disease. You may hear them described as ‘chronic wounds’.
A pressure injury, often known as a pressure ulcer, pressure sore or bed sore, is an injury to the skin and underlying tissue caused when too much pressure is placed on the affected area.
Some patients who have radiotherapy or radiation treatments may experience skin reddening and breakdown in the area. These are called radiotherapy or radiation skin reactions.
Scars are a natural part of the skin’s healing process, following a wound or injury. Scars are formed when the dermis – the deep, thick layer of skin – is damaged.
Surgical Wounds or Incisions result when you have an operation, or if you get a cut accidentally. The incision, wound or cut is closed using stitches (sutures), clips glue or tape, depending on the site and depth of the cut.
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