Aspirus: Specialized wound care improves healing, reduces amputations for diabetes-related wounds
Courtesy of Aspirus Health
WISCONSIN – In honor of Diabetes Awareness Month, Aspirus Health wound healing experts are reminding people with diabetes to kick off their shoes every time they see their health care provider.
“Foot ulcers and other diabetes-related chronic wounds are a leading cause of amputation and require early detection and specialized care,” said Rob Holcomb, program director for Aspirus Riverview Wound & Hyperbaric Clinic.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 34.2 million people – just over 1 in 10 – have diabetes; and diabetes-related wounds account for about 65,000 amputations annually.
“Risk factors for diabetes include age, diet, activity level, obesity, and heredity,” Aspirus stated. “Factors that may increase the risk of developing a chronic wound, such as a foot ulcer include high blood sugar levels, poor circulation, immune system issues, and nerve damage.”
A diabetic foot ulcer is a wound that is usually on the ball of the foot or toes. It may start from a cut, scrape, or blister. Many people with diabetes have nerve damage in their lower limbs and do not feel pain when an ulcer begins. Up to 25 percent of people with diabetes will experience a foot ulcer; and 85 percent of diabetes-related amputations start with a foot ulcer.
To help prevent diabetic foot ulcers, Holcomb recommends that people with diabetes:
- Stop smoking immediately
Check your feet daily:
- Look at your toenails and between your toes
- Use a mirror to see your bare feet, heels and ankles
- Ask a family member or friend to help
- Never try to trim calluses or corns yourself
- Ask your health care provider to examine your feet at every visit
Follow basic foot health guidelines:
- Don’t go barefoot indoors or outdoors
- Wash your feet daily; dry between your toes; do not use powder
- If your feet become dry, moisturize them but do not get moisturizer between your toes
- Avoid getting your feet too hot or too cold
“With a 96 percent healing rate within 27 days, Aspirus Riverview Wound & Hyperbaric Clinic cares for patients who are living with diabetic ulcers, neuropathic ulcers, pressure ulcers, ischemic ulcers, venous insufficiency, traumatic wounds, surgical wounds, vasculitis, burns, damage to tissue surrounding radiation therapy sites, and other chronic, non-healing wounds,” Aspirus said. “The clinic’s compassionate, specially trained staff use advanced therapies, including hyperbaric oxygen therapy, specialized wound dressings, debridement, compression therapy, bioengineered skin grafting, edema management, and non-invasive vascular assessment.”
Contact Aspirus Riverview Wound & Hyperbaric Clinic to learn more about diabetic foot ulcers or if you have a wound that is not healing. To schedule an appointment, call 715-422-7755.
For more information about all the wound care services and locations available through Aspirus Health, visit www.aspirus.org/wound-care.