If you are someone with diabetes, then you already know how many deleterious effects this condition can have on your body. One of those effects is to raise your risk of foot wounds — in particular, foot wounds that are slow to heal and that become infected. A great way to approach foot wounds as a diabetic is to take a three-pronged stance. The three prongs are prevention, detection, and treatment. Here's a closer look at each one.
Ideally, you'll prevent diabetic foot wounds from happening in the first place. This requires you to take a few steps. First, make sure you are keeping your blood sugar levels in check and eating according to the dietary advice your doctor or a registered dietitian has given you. Wear shoes that fit. Make sure they do not rub anywhere, and that they do not slide up and down when you walk. Replace your shoes as soon as they start to get worn or rub anywhere. Also, make sure you're wearing the right socks. Wool socks that breathe are a great choice for diabetics, especially in the summer. Cotton socks that don't breathe increase your risk of blisters. Finally, do not walk around barefoot. Even a tiny cut or sliver from stepping on something on the floor could develop into a serious wound.
Even if you take the preventative measures above, foot wounds could occur. It's important that you notice them early so you can start treating them ASAP. Get into the habit of looking over your feet thoroughly each and every morning and evening. If you cannot see the bottom of your feet, use a mirror to do so. Remember that as a diabetic, you may not have the best feeling in your feet; do not rely on pain to indicate whether you have a wound. You need to actually look at your feet.
Finally, if you do detect a foot wound, you need to treat it properly. Immediately clean out the wound with some iodine or hydrogen peroxide, and then apply some antibiotic cream and a bandage. Call your doctor. In many cases, they will want to see you, even for a minor foot wound, to ensure you don't need more aggressive treatment like antibiotics. If your doctor does prescribe antibiotics or another medication for your wound, make sure you take it.
The three-pronged approach outlined above is a very thorough way to deal with diabetic foot wounds. Reach out to your podiatrist for mroe information about diabetic foot wound care.