As a person with diabetes, you know to be very aware of your foot health. Diabetes impedes your circulation, especially in your feet, which makes ulcer-style wounds more likely to occur. Once you have these wounds, getting them to heal can be a bit of a challenge since slow healing is also a side effect of diabetes. If you have a diabetic foot ulcer, you should absolutely see a doctor. You should also follow the recommendations below to help encourage the ulcer to heal.
Cover the wound.
While some types of wounds do need to dry out in order to heal, this is not true of foot ulcers. This type of wound needs to heal from the inside, out — and that happens best when the wound is moist. Keeping the wound covered will also help ensure it does not get exposed to bacteria that could cause an infection. The easiest way to cover a wound is with some gauze secured with athletic tape. You should never use cotton in any form as the fibers can get stuck in the ulcer.
Keep pressure off your foot.
Pressure on your foot further reduces circulation, which will keep the ulcer from healing well. You want to avoid wearing shoes that press on the ulcer. Try not to walk any more than you need to. If you are struggling to find shoes that do not put pressure on the ulcer, your doctor can recommend orthotic inserts that fit inside your shoe and adjust the way it fits.
Clean and check the wound daily.
Once a day, you should uncover the wound. This is important for two reasons. For one, you need to check whether the wound looks any worse, is red and swollen, or is creating any pus. If you do notice these signs, your foot ulcer may be infected and you should see a doctor ASAP. You should also apply some antibiotic ointment to the ulcer while it is uncovered. This helps prevent infection and should also speed up the healing process. Most people prefer to uncover and check their wound right before they go to bed so they then can avoid putting pressure on the wound for the next 8 or so hours.
If you follow the advice above, your diabetic foot ulcer should have an easier time healing. Talk to your doctor for more tips and advice related to diabetic foot wound care.