How to Eliminate or Reduce Diabetic Foot Ulcers
With preventative measures and the right wound care products, you can overcome ulcers.
According to the most recent estimates from the American Diabetes Association, there were 29.1 million Americans – 9.3 percent of the total population – living with diabetes as of 2012. While there are quite a few conditions associated with diabetes, foot ulcers are among the most severe.
According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, these diabetic foot ulcers occur in approximately 15 percent of all diabetic individuals. And while some people only associate these diabetic foot ulcers with pain or discomfort, six percent of that group will have to be hospitalized due to complications or infection, and 85% of foot amputations are preceded by ulceration.
But ulcers don’t have to have such a massive effect on patients, and there are several ways to counter these painful wounds.
Prevention is essential
As many doctors will agree, one of the best ways to treat diabetic foot ulcers is to prevent them in the first place. For diabetic patients, that means sticking to a regimen and maintaining several key behaviors. It’s important to check your feet every morning; the quicker you can identify the early stages of ulcers – like swelling or cracked skin – the better. As an extension of this, you need to wash your feet regularly, with hand soap and warm water, and wear the right footwear. Finally, diabetics must always take steps to control their blood glucose levels. Diabetic Living magazine unveiled several easy steps, including eating right, getting plenty of rest and engaging in regular exercise.
Rely on wound care products
When it comes to combating ulcers, there are already a slew of widely available wound care products. Compression garments are among the most widely used and can prevent ulceration by encouraging renewed blood flow in the feet and legs. Topical products, including alginates and antimicrobial dressings, are effective because they absorb wound drainage and can prevent dehydration that contributes to these ulcers. Silver-based dressings are equally adept at keeping ulcers in line. There have been several research projects that indicate silver will promote enhanced wound healing.
Though dressings are enough to treat most ulcers, doctors and researchers are still looking for new, more efficient ways to help patients. In spring 2016, one such project was unveiled by scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee: light-based therapy. Using a very specific form of red light, one otherwise undetectable to the human eye, the UWM team was able to improve wound healing rates by “activating” cells, effectively preventing inflammation and letting cells get to tissue repair and vessel formation. In laboratory studies, some wounds healed up to 2.5 times faster, opening up new avenues for advanced ulcer care.
For all your specialized wound care products, turn to Advanced Tissue. We deliver to both homes and long-term care facilities.