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When someone with diabetes is injured it is very important to pay attention to the lesion, even if it seems very small or simple, as in the case of cuts, scrapes, blisters or calluses, as there is a greater risk of the wound not heal properly and a serious infection arises.
These care can be done at home right after the injury or as soon as a blister or hidden callus is discovered, for example. But in all cases it is very important to go to the dermatologist as soon as possible so that the wound is evaluated and the appropriate treatment is indicated.
This is because diabetes is a chronic disease that damages the nerves and weakens the immune system over time, making the healing process more difficult. In addition, as the body cannot use sugar, it accumulates in the tissues and facilitates the development of bacteria in wounds, increasing the risk and intensity of infections.
First aid for wounds in diabetics
It is important to be careful if there are changes in the skin of diabetic people, such as:
- Wash the area using warm water and neutral pH soap;
- Avoid putting antiseptic products on the wound, such as alcohol, povidone-iodine or hydrogen peroxide, as they can damage tissue and delay healing;
- Putting on antibiotic ointment prescribed by your doctor to try to prevent an infection from developing;
- Cover the site with sterile gauze,replacing it every day or as directed by the doctor or nurse;
- Avoid putting pressure on the wound, giving preference to comfortable clothes or wide shoes, which do not rub against the wound.
In case you have a corn, for example, you should never shave it or try to remove it at home, as it can cause severe bleeding or facilitate the development of a serious infection at the site. Thus, one should always consult a podiatrist to make the appropriate treatment and avoid complications that can lead to amputation of the foot.
What to do to avoid serious complications
Due to the high risk of the lesion becoming infected or simpler situations such as cuts, blisters or calluses worsening into deep ulcers in the skin, it is important to observe the site more than once a day, looking for signs such as intense redness, excessive wound swelling, bleeding or presence of pus, and wound worsening or non-healing after 1 week.
So, if any of these signs appear, it is important to go back to the doctor or go to the emergency room to change the treatment and start using antibiotics that can be ingested or applied to the wound to facilitate healing and eliminate bacteria.
The most common cases of serious injuries arise in the feet, as the circulation to the feet, necessary to heal wounds, usually gets worse over the years. In addition, the use of tight shoes facilitate the emergence of corns and sores, which can appear in places that are not visible and go unnoticed, worsening over time. To avoid this type of situation, see how to take care of the diabetic foot.