Debridement of skin ulcers
If you have diabetes, you may have an increased risk for developing foot ulcers, or sores. Foot ulcers are the most common reason for hospital stays for people with diabetes. It may take weeks or even several months for your foot ulcers to heal. Diabetic ulcers are often painless.
See also Diabetes - taking care of your feet
Debridement is the process to remove dead skin and tissue. Your doctor or nurse will need to do this to be able to see your foot ulcer. There are many ways to do this.
One way is to use a scalpel and special scissors.
Other ways to remove dead or infected tissue are to:
Foot ulcers are partly caused by increased pressure on your foot. Be sure to wear shoes that do not put a lot of pressure on your foot, especially where the ulcer is.
Your doctor may ask you to wear special shoes, or a brace or a special cast. You may need to use a wheelchair or crutches for awhile. These devices will reduce the pressure and irritation to the ulcer area, and that will help speed up the healing process.
The type of shoes you wear when you have diabetes is important:
You will need to do these things to care for your wound:
Your doctor or nurse may use different kinds of dressings to treat your ulcer.
Wet-to-dry dressings are often used first. This process involves applying a wet dressing to your wound. As the dressing dries, it absorbs wound material. When the dressing is removed, some of the tissue comes off with it.
See also: Wet to dry dressing changes
Other types of dressings are:
Keep your dressing and the skin around it dry. Try not to get healthy tissue around your wound too wet from your dressings. This can soften the healthy tissue and cause more foot problems.
Call your doctor if you have any of these signs and symptoms of infection:
Also call your doctor if your foot ulcer is very white, blue, or black.
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