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Wound Care: Diabetes & The Specialty Linked To It In Your Doctor’s Words
The Menace Of Diabetes: Medically speaking, the term diabetes that generally pertains to a certain condition is fully termed as diabetes mellitus. When effectively controlled this condition proves to be virtually harmless, but it may well spiral out of control owing to abnormally high blood glucose levels. This in turn leads to serious complications and often severe consequences if neglected and left untreated for prolonged periods.
Adaptability To Wounds: Living under hyperglycemic conditions for a substantial period may have dire repercussions on the lower extremities of an individual. In some isolated cases the subject fails to adapt their altered lifestyle necessary to manage the disease well. One of the severest complications arising out of an uncontrolled and unmanaged diabetes mellitus is the unknowing occurrence of wounds and infections along with their complete control and elimination. These wounds and the associated infection may well lead to the most invasive type of surgery, i.e. amputation of the affected region(s).
Wound Care: Causes Leading To Podiatric Wounds
The primary cause of the occurrence of podiatric diabetic wounds is the loss of sensation within the affected region, termed as neuropathy. Owing to this, minor cuts, bruises or abrasions might well go unnoticed and, thus, unattended that progress to a more serious stage of contacting bacterial infection.
Also, one of the severe consequences of diabetes is the restricted blood circulation to the most distal parts of the body. Due to this checked blood supply, the process of healing fails to catch up timely. Since diabetic wounds follow a natural healing process, its rate cannot be increased to a satisfactory level without taking up certain special measures.
Poor circulation to the lower as well as upper extremities means lesser amounts of oxygen and nutrients are available to the body tissues, nerves and other structures at cellular level. This deprivation results in an undue lag in the normal, natural healing process which otherwise requires an adequate provision of both the essential nutrients as well as the oxygen. Owing to diminished blood supply the nerves may be damaged with their functionality dropped down considerably so that the sensations of touch, pain, pressure or temperature are depleted, making the person vulnerable to podiatric wounds and injuries; in which case a wound care specialist has to intervene and come to aid.
Wound Care: Types Of Diabetic Wounds
Diabetes in itself is a highly degenerative disease that casts serious ill-effects if left unattended or untreated. Thus, even under controlled conditions diabetic people need to exercise special care as each and every wound or injury becomes a health concern requiring prompt attention and action. Histo-pathologically, diabetic wounds are broadly categorized into 2 major types as discussed below:
- Wounds Of External Origin arise out of peripheral neuropathy, such as skin cuts, bruises, abrasions, bumps or burns which may often go unnoticed causing delayed treatment, leading to further complications and trouble.
- Wounds Of Internal Origin such as ingrown toenails, skin ulcers or calluses often lead to the rupture and breakdown of the skin and its surrounding tissue, elevating the risk of bacterial entry and subsequent invasion.
Wound Care: Signs & Symptoms
Diabetic wounds are generally represented by the following conditions:
- Signs Of Inflammation (Swelling, Redness, Heat, Pain)
- Chronic Pain Or Completely Painless Condition
- Signs Of Bacterial Infection (Pus Drainage, Debris Discharge, Bad Odor And Dead Tissue)
- Fever And/Or Chills (Signs Of Progressively Worsening Infection That Can Be Limb-Threatening Or Even Life-Threatening)
- Numbness And Dullness (Signs Of Nerve Damage) Owing To Neuropathy
Wound Care: Treatment & Management Of Diabetic Wounds
The best treatment under diabetic anomaly is prevention, since medical treatment for diabetic wounds provides limited help. If a wound does occur, treatment can follow the under-mentioned course:
- Keep all wounds clean and properly covered through
- Use antibiotics for infected wounds or as a preventive measure for wounds at risk of infection.
- Opt for debridement surgery for removal of dead or infected tissue to allow the healthy tissue heal and regenerate.
- Refer to a wound care specialist or a wound care clinic for patients with calluses, corns, hammertoes, bunions, toenail problems or chronic non-healing ulcers.
- Go for Limb amputation as the final measure to save as much of a limb as possible in case of a severe infection.
Wound Care: Preventive Measures To Be Adopted
A diabetic patient is always recommended to exercise special preventive and safety factors to maintain a normal, healthy lifestyle. Avoiding or neglecting such measures can be disabling or even life-threatening in extreme cases. Besides controlling the regular diet and intake of other edibles in accordance with your wound care doctor, quitting of smoking, regular physical workout and regular monitoring of blood glucose levels are imperative to an active living.
Regular Inspection Of The Feet:
- Both Feet Are To Be Carefully Examined On Daily Basis.
- Look Out For Bruises, Cuts, Scratches, Wounds, Blisters, Ulcers, Warmth, Redness, Pressure Zones & Nail Problems.
- Inspection For Skin Rupture Or Damage Is The Most Crucial Aspect.
- Finding Swelling In One Of The Feet Is An Indication Of Charcot Foot.
- Carefully Examine The Lower Part Of Your Feet From Heel To Toes.
Selection Of Footwear:
- Select The Best Fit While Measuring Your Shoe Size On Every Purchase.
- Select Shoes With Deep, Spacious Toe Boxes, Avoiding High Heels & Narrow-toe Designs.
- Avoid Prolonged Footwear Usage & Daily Repetition.
- Shoes Should Be Laced Or Buckled Neither Too Tight Nor Loose.
- Avoid Prolonged, Continuous Walks Without Inspecting The Feet For Soreness, Redness Or Ulceration.