If you have diabetes, you probably already know that even the smallest cut, wound, or skin abrasion needs a lot of care and close monitoring. For various reasons, such as a weakened immune system, poor circulation, and nerve damage (neuropathy), cuts and wounds tend to heal much slower in most people living with diabetes. Complications associated with the disease, for instance, neuropathy, increase the chance of infections in minor cuts or wounds. If not well taken care of, a small injury or cut can quickly turn into a serious situation that can be limb or life-threatening.
For instance, a small cut on your foot can become infected and turn into a large foot ulcer, which may ultimately result in foot amputation. Research (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1857239/) shows that diabetic foot ulcers affect about 15% of people living with diabetes, some of whom end up losing a limb. However, in the unfortunate event that you have a diabetic foot ulcer, a foot surgeon can help you prevent amputation.
At the Releford Foot and Ankle Institute, Dr. Bill Releford has earned great repute for his stellar amputation prevention rate. With over three decades of experience in ankle and foot surgery, Dr. Releford has helped thousands of people with diabetes to prevent possible amputation. At the institute, we have a range of wound care and surgical techniques that will save your limb.
Note, however, that while a minor cut or wound may be challenging to deal with when you have diabetes, with little patience and some knowledge on how to take care of it, you can treat it and prevent infection. Below, we list some remedies for diabetic wounds and cuts to help you prevent serious complications until you can see your doctor.
Remedies for Diabetic Wounds and Cuts
Manage your blood sugar level
Keeping your blood sugar levels on the check will help reduce the risk of infections from small cuts or wounds. High glucose levels can delay would healing and increase the risk of infections significantly. So be sure to eat diabetic-friendly and healthy meals, and don’t forget to take your insulin and medicine as directed by your physician. You should also check your post-meal glucose levels several times every day. See your doctor immediately you notice a hike.
Check and clean your wounds/cuts
Before starting any home treatment, clean your cut or wound thoroughly. Cleaning with running water will remove as much bacteria, debris, and dirt as possible and help reduce the risk of infections. Use cool water and mild soap when washing the affected area. Pat the area gently with a clean towel and then apply a good antiseptic cream. Cover the area with a bandage or sterile dressing. Be sure to change the dressing frequently, say, 2-3 times a day. When changing the dressing, check for any signs of infection.
Honey has several antioxidants that have been shown to accelerate wound healing. They stimulate tissue angiogenesis, regeneration, and fibroblast growth. The osmotic effects of pure honey have also been shown to keep wounds moist and clean. Honey also has anti-inflammatory features that reduce swelling and pain. Clean your cut and wound and carefully rub honey on it then dress the area.
Turmeric is naturally an antibiotic and antiseptic agent. It is commonly used to treat minor cuts and wounds and prevent infections among diabetic people. Studies have shown that curcumin, a compound present in Turmeric, improves the process of wound healing by decreasing reactive-oxygen species and modulating collagen. If you cut or wound is bleeding, apply pure turmeric powder directly on it. To promote healing, mix half a tablespoon of turmeric powder with coconut oil and apply it on the affected area for 2-3 days.
Use Aloe Vera
This is another great home remedy for wounds and cuts. It had anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and soothing properties. Aloe Vera gel also has phytochemicals that ease pain, increase moisture content, reduce inflammation, and ultimately promote healing. Extract Aloe Vera gel from a fresh leave and apply it directly to the affected area. Allow it to dry and clean the area with some warm water. Pat the area dry with a clean towel and dress the area, Repeat several times daily until the wound heals.
Coconut and Olive Oils
Coconut oil is very effective for healing wounds. It has amazing anti-inflammatory, moisturizing, and antibacterial properties. Olive oil also has these properties and packs a lot of omega-3 fatty acids, which are also excellent in reducing inflammation and speeding up wound healing. Studies have specifically pointed out olive oil’s palmitoleic and oleic acids as responsible for the wound-healing effects. Apply virgin coconut oil on your cut or wound and bandage it. Reapply the oil 2-3 times daily for several days until your wound heals. Apply olive oil the same way, and be sure to include it in your smoothies, soups, or salads. Be sure to eat healthy, diabetic-friendly meals. Take your insulin and medicine as required and keep a keen eye on your sugar levels. This, combined with one or two of these remedies should help your wound to heal faster and prevent infection.