Wounds that won’t heal can become a major health risk for diabetics and protecting yourself is the best prevention according to Dr. Nathaniel Holzman, Medical Director of the St. Mary Wound Healing Center in Langhorne. He says patients can help themselves by keeping their diabetes in good control, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and maintaining healthy skin. He says cracks in the skin can allow bacteria to enter which may lead to infection. He also urges people to regularly see a podiatrist for preventative foot care to manage risk factors before wounds occur.
If a patient does present with a wound that has been an issue for a while, there are different treatments available. First, Dr. Holzman makes certain there is sufficient blood flow to the region, as blood flow is essential in wound healing. Also, swelling must be controlled and is initially managed with compression. Establishing healthy eating patterns for good sugar control is also very important. Some times, wounds present with infection that may require antibiotics. At times, surgery may also be necessary. Dr. Holzman says hyperbaric oxygen therapy may also be needed to aid in the healing process.
Unfortunately, diabetes is on the rise as people gain weight and adopt more sedentary lifestyles. As diabetes is a chronic condition, patients need to do everything possible to keep it under control and maintain good health. He urges people to eat nutritious food, maintain a healthy weight, keep active, and adopt a good skin care regimen.
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