Most of us wouldn’t worry about a minor scrape or bump, but diabetes complicates wound care almost as much as it disrupts your diet.
George Perdrizet, MD, medical director of The Wound Recovery and Hyperbaric Medicine Center at Kent Hospital, says diabetes can cause a number of complications, including some that make it harder for even the most minor wounds to heal.
“Diabetes causes damage to the blood vessels and nerves that keep the body’s skin and tissue healthy, especially on the feet,” Dr. Perdrizet says.
The most important advice, he adds, is to seek professional help for any wounds you suffer.
“Actually, diabetics should see their doctor on a regular basis for a foot check-up. This allows problems to be solved before a wound or ulcer develops,” he says.
The feet are the most common source of problems for diabetics, especially on the bottom of the foot where blisters can form and around the toenails, where clipping the nails can lead to damage to the skin or nail bed and result in infection.
If not taken care of properly, such wounds can become very large and extend to the bone. Bone infection requires surgery to effectively treat and may result in amputation.
Your physician may also refer you to The Wound Recovery Center for treatment. There, a nurse and physician who specialize in wound care will talk to you about the wound and come up with a treatment plan. They will teach you how to take care of your feet to avoid wounds and have you come back every few weeks to check on the wound.
For more information about the Wound Recovery and Hyperbaric Medicine Center at Kent Hospital, the first of it’s kind in Rhode Island, please call 401-736-4646.