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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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Diabetes and Wounds: Caring for Sores

Every 30 seconds, somewhere in the world, someone loses a lower limb as a result of diabetes. That's because diabetes and wounds are a dangerous combination. If you have diabetes, there's no such thing as a minor wound to the foot -- even a small foot sore can turn into an ulcer that, if not properly treated, can lead to amputation. The rate of amputation for people with diabetes is 10 times higher than for those who don't have the disease. Most of these amputations could easily be prevented with...

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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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