People with diabetes have a higher chance of developing ulcers or foot sores, also known as diabetic ulcers. They can take a long time to heal if the patients do not treat them right and use the appropriate wound dressing like Mepilex

About 1.8 million Australians suffer from diabetes (type 1 and type 2) according to self-reported data from the National Health Survey by ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics). Foot ulcers are one of the most common reasons to visit hospitals and stay for diabetes treatment. Foot ulcers take several weeks or months to heal and are often painless as the patients lose the sensation in their feet. It is due to the damage caused to the nerves and the blood vessels. This condition might make it difficult to detect injury or blisters and take appropriate care. They must consult their healthcare provider and use the information below to prevent ulcers in the future.   

Debridement Treatment Method

One of the most recommended ways to treat diabetic ulcers is debridement. A healthcare provider such as a podiatrist removes dead tissues carefully without causing more harm. One must not do it by themselves. Here, the professionals

  • Clean and disinfect the skin surrounding the wound.
  • Probe into the wound to check how deep it is and for any foreign objects stuck inside.
  • Cut dead tissues and wash the ulcer.
  • Put the feed in a whirlpool bath and use a catheter to wash away the dead skin.
  • Apply enzymes on the ulcer to dissolve the dead tissues.
  • Place medical maggots on the ulcer that eat away the affected skin and produce healing chemicals.
  • Apply wet and dry dressing like Mepilex to the area to remove dead tissue and begin the healing process.
  • Provide hyperbaric oxygen therapy to deliver oxygen for the wound.

Take Excess Pressure Off The Ulcer

Pressure on one or more parts of the food results in foot ulcers among diabetic patients. Healthcare providers recommend wearing a brace, special shoes and a cast and crutches to help remove the pressure and move around during the healing process. A slight pressure on the feet for even a few minutes can reverse the healing done. Therefore, patients must:

  • Not putting pressure on one part of the foot for long.
  • Wear shoes designed from leather, canvas and suede that allow air to pass in and out.
  • Wear shoes with better adjustability, like buckles and Velcro. 
  • Avoid shoes made of plastic, high heels, sandals or flip-flops.
  • Wear shoes that fit well and have them customized.
  • Avoid walking barefoot. 

Wound Dressing and Care

One must consult a healthcare provider and care for their wounds accordingly. They must:

  • Maintain their blood sugar levels to ensure faster healing and help fight infections.
  • Clean the ulcer every day and bandage or dress it with Mepilex.
  • Control blood pressure, cholesterol levels and smoking habits. 
  • Use wet-to-dry dressing to remove the dead tissues from the drying wound. 
  • Change the dressing by oneself or with the help of the caretakers.
  • Appoint a visiting nurse to check on the wound regularly.
  • Keep the skin and wound dressing dry to avoid softening the healthy tissue and resulting in more damage.

Consult a Doctor

The best way to determine one’s risk of developing foot ulcers and verify the healing process is by consulting a medical professional. They conduct different exams to check the patient’s foot pulses and sensation with tools like the monofilament. One must also consult a provider immediately if they observe:

  • Increased firmness around the ulcer
  • Pain and pus drainage
  • Fever and chills
  • The odour from the ulcer
  • Redness, swelling or increasing warmth around the wound.