Six Tips to Prevent Diabetic Foot Ulcers
Northeast Philadelphia, PA (November 8, 2017): The Center for Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine at Nazareth Hospital offers advanced therapies to patients suffering from chronic wounds like diabetic foot ulcers. During the month of November, National Diabetes Awareness Month, education about the prevention and treatment of diabetic foot ulcers will be a focus for the Center.
An estimated 30.3 million people in the United States—which is 9.4 percent of the population—have diabetes. Of those, 7.2 million are unaware they are living with the disease. The proportion of adults with diabetes increases with age, reaching a high of 25.2 percent among those 65 years old and older. In addition to age, risk factors for diabetes include diet, activity level, obesity, and heredity.
High blood sugar levels, poor circulation, immune system issues, nerve damage, and infection can contribute to a non-healing diabetic foot ulcer. Approximately 15 percent of people living with diabetes will develop a foot ulcer. An estimated 14-24 percent of people with foot ulcers will experience an amputation.
The Center for Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine at Nazareth Hospital recommends the following to help prevent diabetic foot ulcers:
- Stop smoking immediately
- Comprehensive foot examinations each time you visit your healthcare provider (at least four times per year)
- Daily self-inspections of the feet (or have a family member perform the inspection)
- Regular care of the feet, including cleaning toenails and taking care of corns and calluses
- Wear supportive, proper footwear (shoes and socks)
- Take steps to improve circulation such as eating healthier and exercising on a regular basis
“Advanced wound healing from wound specialists is imperative to healing diabetic foot ulcers,” said Dr. Steven Wilbraham, MD, Medical Director for the Center for Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine at Nazareth Hospital. “We offer a number of leading-edge treatments for these ulcers, including hyperbaric oxygen therapy, total contact casting, and negative pressure wound therapy.”
The Center for Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine at Nazareth Hospital has a twofold mission: first, to halt injury by promoting healing, and second, to accelerate healing by preventing further injury. From infection monitoring and prevention to hyperbaric oxygen therapy, the Center offers a wide range of services performed by a knowledgeable and experienced team of clinicians.
Contact the Center for Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine at Nazareth Hospital to learn more or schedule an appointment at 215.335.7606 or mercyhealth.org/wound-hyperbarics.