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How to Properly Clean a Diabetic Foot Wound 

How to Properly Clean a Diabetic Foot Wound 

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder where the body doesn’t use insulin properly or doesn't make enough of it to control your blood sugar. High blood sugar levels cause various problems, from nerve damage to slow-healing wounds.

Foot wounds from uncontrolled diabetes are serious and may lead to severe infections or permanent damage, so it’s essential to clean them properly. 

If you’re living with diabetes and need help caring for foot wounds, Dr. David Ball and the Spine and Orthopedic Center of New Mexico team have the knowledge and tools to help.

Dr. Ball is our board-certified podiatrist, offering specialized care for foot problems and wounds to patients in Roswell, New Mexico.

Understanding diabetic foot wounds

Diabetic foot wounds are often slow-healing and chronic due to high blood sugar-related tissue and nerve damage. Diabetes also leads to decreased circulation, especially in the legs and feet.

The skin requires good blood flow to get the nutrients and blood cells it needs to repair damage from a wound. Diabetes damages blood vessels, resulting in less blood flow to the wound, preventing it from healing properly.

Nerve damage also plays a role in diabetic foot wounds. High blood sugar damages the nerves, making it difficult to feel pain or discomfort associated with injuries.

Foot ulcers form when injuries don’t heal properly. The main risk associated with diabetic wounds is infection and other complications that may be severe.

Cleaning a foot wound at home

If you happen to notice a cut or wound on your foot and you have diabetes, there are some home care steps to take. Cleaning a diabetic wound well is essential to preventing infections and other complications.

There are a few essential steps you should take to clean a diabetic wound correctly, and they include:

Following these wound-cleaning guidelines is crucial to allow the wound to heal and prevent infection. Keeping the wound clean, dry, and covered is the best option for optimal healing.

You shouldn’t ever soak an open wound in a tub or water; it increases the risk of infection and slow healing. It’s also essential to wear appropriate shoes while walking, even around the house, to prevent damage to the healing wound.

Some wounds require professional care, including debridement, which allows us to remove dead skin cells from the wound to promote healing.

When to get professional care

Some diabetic foot wounds may be too severe to treat on your own. You must inspect your feet daily to prevent wounds from getting to this point.

However, if you have a foot wound you can't care for alone, Dr. Ball can help. At your appointment, Dr. Ball carefully assesses the foot wound to determine the next steps in treatment.

The main reason to seek professional wound care is when you see signs of an infection. Contact Dr. Ball right away if you notice any of the following signs:

An infection may also cause the skin around the wound to become firm to the touch. Allowing the wound to go without treatment increases the risk of severe infections and possible IV antibiotics or amputation.

The best way to avoid diabetic wound complications is to keep your blood sugar under control and check your feet daily for problems. Avoid walking barefoot, which puts you at risk for cuts and scrapes that can turn into chronic wounds.

Don’t hesitate to call us today to schedule an appointment for diabetic wound care. You may also request a consultation on our website.

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