Fall can be an unwelcome time of year if you have diabetes. Cool evening walks and hiking through those crunchy, fallen leaves aren’t as appealing when you have a foot ulcer. However, following a few simple tips you can prevent a wound from developing or can help it to heal.
The reason a diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) develops is because of nerve damage or injury in the feet where the nerves are the longest in your entire body. If you lose feeling or sensation in your feet, small sores go unnoticed until a larger, more serious ulcer
To prevent a foot sore from progressing:
- Do a daily foot check using a mirror to see if any redness or soreness exists.
- Examine shoes prior to wear, for any sharp edges or tears on the inside of the shoe.
- Wash your feet every day with warm water and a mild soap.
- Wear well-fitted shoes.
- Cover your feet (except between the toes) with petroleum jelly, lanolin lotion or a cold cream before putting on shoes and socks.
- Use an emery board or pumice stone to remove dead sin. Leave any calluses since they act as protective padding.
- Cut toenails straight across. Don’t leave any sharp edges that can prick other toes.
- Don’t cross your legs because that can reduce blood flow to your feet.
- Ask your doctor to check your feet at each visit.
- If your feet get cold, wear socks to bed.
- NEVER go barefoot.
Barefoot activities, like swimming or walking on the beach, can be dangerous for people with diabetes. Make foot protection a top priority.
If you already have a foot ulcer that needs treatment, especially if it won’t heal on its own, talk to your physician and/or diabetes educator about the Wound & Edema Center. Our staff have special wound treatments available that aren’t in a typically doctor’s office. A physician referral is not required, but is suggested. We will keep your physician up-to-speed on your progress all along the way. Learn more at FortHealthCare.com/Wound.
Tags: dfu, diabetes and feet, diabetes complications, diabetic foot ulcer, foot ulcer, foot wound, tips for foot safety
You may be wondering why a wound specialist in Wisconsin cares about hyperbaric medicine? After all, we aren’t near any oceans to treat divers who get “the bends” and carbon monoxide poisoning isn’t all that common – thankfully! But the truth is, wound care and hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) are nearly inseparable.
If you have a wound that is considered “chronic” and can’t be healed through conventional means, you may be a candidate for HBOT. Treatment is delivered in a special chamber in which the internal pressure reaches a level about two-and-one-half times greater than normal atmospheric pressure, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. This pressure change does NOT cause pain (maybe some ear popping as the pressure is slowly increased,) but it does put more oxygen in to your blood which accelerates healing. Once you are comfortably positioned in the chamber and the pressure reaches the desired level, all you need to do is lay back and relax. Many patients sleep, watch a movie or just enjoy the quiet time for the 90 or so minutes the treatment takes. Treatments are repeated 4- 5 days per week for a series of 6-8 weeks.
During each treatment you will breathe 100% pure oxygen, quickly increasing the concentration of oxygen in your blood, where it is delivered to the wound site for faster healing. Essentially, HBOT therapy helps heal the wound from the inside out. HBOT can help reduce swelling, fight infection, and build new blood vessels, ultimately producing
At the Johnson Creek Wound & Edema Center, HBOT is used in the treatment of:
- Diabetic foot ulcers
- Bone infections, such as Osteomyelitis
- Negative effects of radiation from cancer treatment
- Compromised skin grafts and flaps
- Brown recluse spider bites
Medicare and most healthcare plans reimburse for hyperbaric oxygen therapy for ‘currently accepted indications.’ Our staff will assist you with personal insurance issues.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is not offered in many hospital systems because it is such a specialized treatment option. A referral is not required, but is suggested. We will keep your physician up-to-speed on your progress all along the way.
Learn more at FortHealthCare.com/Wound.
Tags: hbot, hyperbaric medicine, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, johnson creek, wound care, wound center