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.

Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD on June 11, 2007
From the WebMD Archives

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.

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.

WebMD Feature


SOURCES: Boulton, A.J. The Lancet, November 2005; vol 366, issue 9498: pp 1719-1724. American Diabetes Association: "Complications of Diabetes in the United States." Harold Brem, MD, director, Wound Healing Center, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery: "Diabetic Foot." Jeffrey Buehrer, MD, vascular surgeon, wound care specialist, Firelands Regional Medical Center, Sandusky, Ohio. National Diabetes Education Program: "Medicare Coverage of Therapeutic Footwear for People with Diabetes." American Society for Clinical Investigation: "Cellular and Molecular Basis of Wound Healing In Diabetes." Brunilda Nazario, MD, diabetes specialist, senior medical editor, WebMD.

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