If you are diabetic and have developed a wound on your foot, you should certainly be seeing a podiatrist for treatment. These wounds can become very serious very quickly due to the increased risk of infection and poor circulation that come with being a diabetic. Between appointments, however, it will be up to you to take good care of your wound. Here are some diabetic foot wound care guidelines to follow.
1. Monitor your blood sugar closely.
Hopefully, you are already monitoring your blood sugar levels. Now, you should be careful to do so more closely than ever. Even a small jump in blood sugar for a short period of time can increase your risk of infection. Follow your diet closely, take your medications on schedule, and test your blood on schedule.
2. Keep the wound clean.
Your podiatrist will likely recommend cleaning the wound once a day. If you have trouble reaching it, you may be able to get away with cleaning it every other day, but do not go longer than that. You can clean the wound with some gauze and iodine solution. Do not use cotton balls; the little strings of cotton can come off and get caught in the wound.
3. Keep the wound wrapped tightly.
It is important to keep some pressure on the wound in order to keep blood from pooling in the area, and it is also important to keep the wound covered so it stays clean. A good bandage can accomplish both things. Wrap first with gauze, and then with a stretchy wrap. Your podiatrist may give you additional wound dressings you can put under the gauze. Use these if they are provided, but do not experiment with essential oils or other wound treatments you find over-the-counter unless your podiatrist recommends differently. Some can do more harm than good.
4. Wear shoes.
Friction against the wound will only make it worse and slow healing. Your best bet for reducing friction is to wear well-fitting shoes whenever you walk. Without shoes, the friction between your foot and the ground is much greater. If you have trouble finding shoes that fit and think this may have contributed to your wound, then talk to your podiatrist; they should be able to recommend something or fit you for specially sized shoes.
With the tips above, you can properly care for your wound between visits to the podiatrist. With good care, you will heal faster.