Help for Wound Care
Wound care covers a broad spectrum of treatment in medicine, but the more specific case of diabetic wound care is primarily focused on maintaining and treating wounds on the feet directly related to diabetes.
What Causes the Different Types of Wounds?
There are five different classifications of wounds that require medical care, each of which can be caused by different objects or movements. Those classifications are:
- Abrasions: An abrasion occurs when skin rubs or scrapes against a hard or rough surface. Though the blood is minimal, the wound needs to be scrubbed and cleaned to avoid infection.
- Incisions: A sharp object (e.g., knife, shard of glass, razor blade) creates an incision. Incisions tend to bleed quickly and quite a bit. A deep incision can damage tendons, ligaments and muscles.
- Lacerations: A laceration is caused by a deep cut or tear of the skin, producing rapid and extensive bleeding. Knives, tools and machinery are common culprits.
- Punctures: A puncture is a small hole caused by a long, pointy object (e.g., needle, nail, ice pick). Sometimes, a bullet can even cause a puncture wound. Bleeding might not be excessive, but these wounds can be deep enough to damage internal organs. They usually require a tetanus booster to prevent infection.
- Avulsions: An avulsion consists of a partial or complete tearing away of skin and tissue. Avulsions typically occur during violent accidents (e.g., body-crushing accidents, explosion, gunshots). They bleed heavily and rapidly.
How Are Wounds Treated?
With diabetes, it’s vital to treat foot injuries immediately. Even minor wounds can turn into serious foot ulcers or infections. That’s why it’s crucial to seek out a wound care specialist for quick and thorough care.
With a proper wound care treatment plan, the specialist will:
- Assess the Wound: While abrasions and small scrapes can almost always be treated at home, a wound that bleeds excessively causes a great deal of pain or is too deep to treat will require a specialist’s touch.
- Employ Tissue Debridement: Wound debridement (the removal of necrotic tissue from a wound) will reduce pressure, stimulate healing and allow for the inspection of underlying tissue. It will also help with secretion/wound drainage and optimize a wound dressing’s effectiveness.
- Protect the Wound from Infection: Both oral and topical antibiotics are recommended for diabetic wound treatment patients who show signs of infection, even mild ones. Antimicrobial agents help fight infection. Typical diabetic wound dressings and topicals are enhanced with antimicrobials to reduce bacteria and protect against further contamination. They also prevent the spread of infection deeper into the wound.
- Cover the Wound: By covering a wound with clean gauze, it can heal more efficiently, protected from foreign substances that can delay the healing process. Choosing the optimal dressing for a diabetic wound is essential. It must maintain a well-balanced moisture environment that is not too wet or too dry, allowing the wound to drain and heal properly.
- Issue Good Wound Maintenance Routines: In the case of keeping healthy healing habits, it is important to maintain a good routine as healing progresses, even after initial treatment. Be sure to change the dressings on the wound as per a specialist’s instruction, and to reapply any healing microbial ointment that may be used as necessary. Exhaustion and excessive movement of an area near a wound can cause complications and a much longer healing process. If you must move frequently, be sure to rest when possible and pay attention when the wound is strained.
EUP: The Place for Wound Treatment
Essex Union Podiatry is a complete foot and ankle practice serving the podiatric needs of Essex and Union counties. Our specialty trained physicians utilize the latest techniques and tools to diagnose, treat and provide preventative care for all foot and ankle conditions. With an emphasis on patient education, our practice offers quality care by creating an informative and personalized treatment plan tailored to meet individual needs.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our hammertoe specialists, give us a call at (973) 376-8210 or contact Essex Union Podiatry today.
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