Foot & Ankle Wound Care in Phoenix, AZ

Diabetic Wounds and Ulcers Treatment in the Maricopa County, AZ: Phoenix (Arcadia Lite, Camelback East Village, Alhambra, Biltmore Area, Good Samaritan, Grandview, Midtown Phoenix, North Mountain Village, Central City, Paradise Valley) areas

Wound care is particularly important for those with diabetes. It’s common for those with diabetes to experience neuropathy. Neuropathy is a type of nerve damage that affects the body and can cause you to lose feeling in the feet. Diabetic neuropathy can develop over time and symptoms typically show up in the feet first. There may be numbness or pain, pins-and-needles or burning sensations, sensitivity to touch, muscle weakness and more.

The combination of diabetic neuropathy and circulatory issues can lead to the development of wounds and, ultimately, non-healing wounds (ulcers). Left untreated, a diabetic wound may become infected and devolve into an even more dangerous complication such as gangrene which increases the risk of amputation in worst case scenarios.

Causes of Diabetic Wounds

Some factors that contribute to the formation of wounds on the feet include wearing tightly fitted shoes, getting a pebble stuck in your shoe, or simply walking. What may appear to be just a small inconvenience such as a blister or callus can worsen over time, so it’s important to be safe and seek the attention of a professional. If you’ve developed a wound, it’s recommended that you try your best to keep the weight off of the area until you’re able to meet with a podiatrist.

Wounds should be taken care of immediately after discovery, as even the smallest of wounds can become infected if enough bacteria build up within the wound. To remove dirt, wounds should first be rinsed under running water only. Soap, hydrogen peroxide, or iodine can irritate the injury and should be avoided. To prevent infection, apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover it with a bandage. The bandage should be changed daily. The skin around the wound may be cleaned with soap.

Wound Prevention

In order to prevent these worst-case scenarios from occurring, people with diabetes should do everything they can to avoid wounds from developing in the first place. Managing their diabetes is essential. Keeping glucose levels under control can help reduce the risk of developing a wound.

Other ways to prevent wounds from developing include checking your feet daily for any injuries, washing and drying your feet daily, dressing for comfort and making sure your toes have enough space, and properly trimming your toenails straight across. You should also examine every part of your foot: the top of the feet, the bottom of the feet, the sides, the toenails, and in between the toes. A mirror can be used to aid in this daily inspection, if necessary. Things to look for include cuts, blisters, bruises, calluses, corns, sores, cracked skin, redness, bumps, lumps, ingrown toenails, puffy skin, tenderness, pain, or differences in temperature. Anything out of the ordinary should be reported to a podiatrist immediately.

When Diabetic Wounds Don’t Heal

Wounds in a person with diabetes can be dangerous. A diabetic wound can heal slowly, not heal properly, or in some cases, never heal, making it an ulcer. Ulcers that are not healed promptly and properly have the potential of becoming infected and, sometimes, this infection may even spread to nearby tissue and bone, which is a serious health issue. An infection, and/or lack of blood flow can cause tissue to die, which is known as gangrene. Dead tissue must be surgically removed to prevent bacteria from entering and spreading through the bloodstream. This procedure is known as debridement. Early detection and intervention are extremely important in mitigating the risk to healthy tissue, and to prevent an amputation from becoming necessary.

Because wounds can lead to more severe complications, especially for those with diabetes, we recommend you speak with a podiatrist for professional guidance and a suggested plan for treatment.

Wound Care (FAQs)

What are diabetic foot wounds? 
Diabetic foot wounds are cuts, scrapes, or sores that occur on the feet of people who have diabetes. Although they may seem inconsequential, even small wounds are a cause for concern. This is because people with diabetes are less likely to feel the wound due to nerve damage in the feet, delaying treatment until the wound has progressed. Poor circulation to the feet can also make the wounds heal slowly, increasing the risk of infection. Left untreated, wounds can turn into diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs). 
Why do diabetic wounds heal slowly? 
Diabetic wounds tend to heal slowly because many people with diabetes also have poor circulation in their lower limbs. When there is inadequate blood flow to the feet and ankles, the nutrients needed for efficient, effective healing cannot get to the wounds quickly enough. When the wounds heal slowly and poorly, the chances of further damage to the surrounding skin and infection go up.  
What should I do if I notice a diabetic foot wound?
If you are diabetic and notice a wound on your foot, you should seek the care of a podiatrist as soon as possible. The earlier treatment begins, the better your chances are of avoiding complications. 
How are diabetic foot wounds treated?
Treatments for diabetic foot wounds vary depending on the location and severity of the wound. Generally, your podiatrist will focus on disinfecting the wound, removing any dead tissue, and creating an environment on the foot that is conducive to healing. You will likely need to keep any pressure off of the wound while it heals. This can be achieved through resting the affected foot, padding it, wearing orthotics, or using devices designed to off-load pressure. 
How can I prevent diabetic foot wounds? 
The best way to prevent diabetic foot wounds is to remain proactive. When walking inside or outside the home, wear shoes to protect your feet from injuries. Maintain proper foot hygiene to reduce the risk of infections. Since loss of sensation through diabetic neuropathy is also common among people with diabetes, daily visual inspection of the feet for any cuts, scrapes, sores, wounds, or discoloration is also suggested. If you notice any changes in your feet, you should schedule an appointment with a podiatrist as soon as possible. 

Connect With Us

Advanced Podiatric Procedures & Services in the Phoenix, AZ 85012 area