If you are diabetic, any wound, no matter how small or insignificant it seems, cannot be ignored! Wounds such as a blister, a scratch by a pet, a nick from shaving or even simply stubbing your toe need to be properly treated in order to ensure that they heal as quickly as possible and avoid getting infected. Learning a little bit about diabetic wounds will help keep you on the road to a speedy and safe recovery.
Diabetes is a complex condition that can cause complications that make it harder to heal a wound. Some of them are:
• A Weakened Immune System – If your body isn’t able to fight off infections a wound is the perfect opening for bacteria and germs to enter the body and take hold.
• Neuropathy – This is nerve damage which can hide the pain of a wound until it gets worse or becomes infected
• Narrow Arteries – Blood flow promotes healing, which is one of the main ways hyperbaric oxygen therapy helps to heal wounds. In diabetic patients, arteries can become narrowed, which restricts blood flow to the tissues. When this happens in a patient’s legs, they are many times more likely to get wounds that get infected and have problems healing.
The following are steps you can take to help avoid infections and allow wounds to heal faster than they otherwise would:
• As soon as an injury is sustained, take action right away. Don’t wait, no matter how minor it seems at the time!
• Immediately clean the wound by rinsing it under running water. Soap, hydrogen peroxide and iodine can irritate a wound, so don’t use them. After washing the wound, use some antibiotic ointment to help prevent infection and then cover it with a sterile bandage. You should change the bandage daily and check it for any signs of infection. Also, clean the skin around the wound with soap to kill any germs that might be close to it.
• Keep pressure off the wound during the healing process. Calluses and blisters are common occurrences on the bottoms of the feet. If this happens, stay off your feet when you can in order to help it heal faster and better.
Wounds on the feet and ankles of diabetic patients are a serious concern because they are more susceptible to swelling and can’t be immobilized, which slows the healing process. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy exposes wounds to an environment of 100% oxygen. Wounds need oxygen to heal properly, so doing this enables them to heal faster, reducing the chance of infection.
As always, consult with your physician any time you sustain a wound! This article does not substitute for the advice of a medical professional. It is intended for informational purposes only.
If you have any questions about HBOT or how it can help you, call Serenity Hyperbaric Treatment at (623) 930-0887 or visit us on the internet at http://www.serenityhbot.net/
The original article that inspired this blog post can be found here.