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Diabetes Wound Care Checklist: What's in Your First Aid Kit?

Use these first aid tips as the first line of defense in your diabetes wound care.
By
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Injuries that are minor in a healthy person can have severe consequences when you have diabetes, so good wound care is essential.

Because of reduced circulation and problems with sensation (neuropathy), people with diabetes are at a much higher risk for complications from ordinary, everyday cuts and scrapes.

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Taking Diabetes Wound Care Into Your Hands

You are the first line of defense against wound complications. Here's what you need to have on hand for proper wound care when you have diabetes.

  • Lotion. It doesn't need to be a fancy prescription lotion, just a simple moisturizer to keep your feet from drying and cracking. The important thing is that you use it regularly.
  • Normal saline (available by prescription) or hydrogen peroxide for cleaning wounds
  • Antifungal cream if you have athlete's foot or other fungal infection
  • Triple-antibiotic cream for dressing cuts or scrapes
  • 4x4 sterile gauze pads for covering wounds
  • The phone number for your local wound care center or doctor's office

Although cleaning your wound, dressing it with antibiotics, and covering it with gauze are important steps in diabetes wound care, don't stop there. A wound care specialist should see even minor injuries and foot sores, within seven days at most.

Reviewed on June 11, 2007

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If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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