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Treating Diabetic Wounds and Helping them Heal Quicker

Posts Tagged ‘Wound’

Treating Diabetic Wounds and Helping them Heal Quicker

Posted on: June 9th, 2022 by Jason Miller No Comments

At Encompass Healthcare, Dr. Bruce Ruben and his team of wound doctors treat diabetic wounds on a daily basis.

We see a lot of different types of non-healing wounds from patients with Diabetes and we’re asked how to help these wounds heal (and how to help diabetic wounds heal quicker). Here are some treatment processes you can do at home to ensure these wounds do not become bigger health concerns.

First, and very importantly, find any cuts you have, including scrapes, and treat these wounds immediately.

If you treat new wounds right away, you can start caring for them before things get bad.

As soon as you find a cut or sore:

+Wash your hands with soap and water.
+Rinse off the wound with warm water.
+Apply pressure to stop any bleeding.
+Apply antibiotic cream and cover with a bandage.

Also, if you don’t know you have a wound, you can’t treat it quickly. So if you suffer from neuropathy, keep an eye out for new wounds. Check your hands and feet daily, and don’t forget to check between your toes.

Wearing white athletic socks can help, too. If you see a red spot or a place where your sock is sticking to your skin, check your foot to see if you have a wound that’s new or not healing.

Take pressure off the area – if your wound continues to reopen or experience damage, it won’t heal quickly and may get much worse. So avoid putting stress, pressure and weight on wounds.

It can be difficult for some wounds like ones on your feet. If you need help, talk to your doctor about ways to protect your wounds while maintaining mobility. Special shoes and customized foot padding are common options.

Keep your wound clean and covered with the right dressings

Wounds heal best when they are clean and moist. So it’s important to get them clean and covered right away. If you have a new scrape or cut, a basic bandage and antibiotic cream should work just fine.

But if you have wounds that are infected, slow healing or more serious, make an appointment with a doctor to learn what the best wound care is for you. Your doctor will likely recommend different types of diabetic wound care dressings to protect the injury and promote healing.

 

Common types of dressings for diabetic wound care:

Foam dressings – Extremely soft and absorbent, foam dressings are used for wounds that leak or ooze a lot. They also offer added cushioning which can help protect the wound against physical damage.

Alginate dressing – These types of dressings are primarily made from seaweed. They can hold up to twenty times their weight in moisture, making them a great choice for deep wounds and ones with discharge. Another advantage of alginate dressings is that they prevent the growth of new bacteria.

Hydrogel dressings – Hydrogel is a water-based gel designed to keep an area moist. If your wound is dry or covered in dead skin, your doctor may recommend a hydrogel dressing to provide moisture. This can help break down dead tissue and promote cell growth. These types of dressings usually aren’t used for infected wounds.

What happens if diabetic sores or wounds are left untreated?

Wounds tend to heal more quickly with care and attention. But when you live with diabetes, everyday wounds are more likely to turn serious when they stick around for too long.

 

Foot ulcers or wounds

If foot wounds are left untreated, they may turn into foot ulcers, which are often called diabetic foot sores. About 20-25% of people with diabetes will get a foot ulcer at some point in their life.

Here’s how foot ulcers develop:

  1. The foot forms a callus.
  2. The callus receives ongoing damage. Most often, this happens when a person has neuropathy and can’t feel when their foot is hurt.
  3. Since the damaged callus isn’t treated when it should be, the skin erodes, leading to an ulcer.

Most foot ulcers are on the ball of your foot, often near your big toe. A foot ulcer looks like a red sore. If there’s pus and the wound smells badly, it may be infected.

If you have a foot ulcer, you should talk to your doctor. If it’s infected, you should make an appointment with your primary care doctor as soon as possible.

Foot ulcers can take a long time to heal – about three months – and you’ll need to check in frequently with a doctor to make sure that the healing process stays on track. In some cases, you may need special shoes to reduce pressure on the wound.

While this may all seem like a lot of work, there’s a reason to stick with it. If your foot ulcer doesn’t heal, it can turn into something more serious, possibly even the loss of a limb.

Gangrene – Gangrene occurs when body tissue dies – Fortunately, this condition isn’t common. But it’s something to watch for, because it can cause serious issues if not caught and treated early.

Gangrene often begins with an infected wound. It usually starts in a certain area like a finger or toe, and then can spread over time. If the infection remains untreated for too long, the surrounding tissues can start to die.

 

Signs to watch for include:

  • A reddish line around the wound, becomes black
  • Loss of sensation around the wound
  • Skin that has turned an unusual color, such as red, blue, bronze or greenish-black
  • Wounds that repeatedly reappear in the same place

If you think you have gangrene, you should get medical help right away. Your doctor will remove the affected tissue and repair the area, possibly with a skin graft. Infection will be treated with antibiotics.

If gangrene isn’t treated soon enough, the result can be amputation. The doctor may need to remove a finger or a toe to keep the gangrene from spreading – and if there’s a lot of dead tissue, they may need to remove an arm or leg. In some cases, gangrene can be fatal, so make sure to get treatment at the earliest sign of this condition.

 

Osteomyelitis – Infected wounds can infect your bones, causing a condition called osteomyelitis. If bone infections aren’t treated, parts of your bones can die. Symptoms to look for include:

  1. Fever
  2. Swelling and redness
  3. Skin that’s hot to the touch
  4. Pain or tenderness
  5. Yellowish pus coming through your skin

If you think you have a bone infection, make an appointment with your primary care doctor. There are effective treatments for osteomyelitis, but they work best when the infection is caught early.

Encompass Healthcare and Wound Medicine offers advanced treatments for severe and chronic diabetic wounds.

Congratulations to Dr. Bruce Ruben! He Has Been Awarded Compassionate Doctor Award, One of Only Three Percent to Receive Honor!

Posted on: February 4th, 2014 by Encompass Healthcare No Comments

Congratulations, Dr. Bruce Ruben! Vitals physician rating site has just awarded Encompass HealthCare & Wound Medicine’s Dr. Ruben with a 2013 Compassionate Doctor Award, one of only three percent to receive this honor.
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5 Benefits To Outpatient Wound Care

Posted on: October 19th, 2013 by Mindy Ruben No Comments

What are the benefits of outpatient wound care? PLENTY!
Most people wouldn’t want to be caught dead in a hospital and for good reason. That’s where all the really bad germs hang out. You know, the antibiotic resistant germs. The ones they can’t extinguish with a simple shot of anything.

They’re called “nosocomial infections” and you get exposed to them simply by getting treated in a hospital setting. So if you have a choice on where to get your wound care, it’s a good idea to get treated as far away from the hospital as you can, preferably in an outpatient setting where there are naturally less antibiotic resistant germs and less carriers of those germs.

Here are five great benefits to getting your wound care outside of the hospital:

1. No hospital = No Hospital-Borne InfectionsOutpatient wound care avoids superbugs like MRSA, Encompass HealthCare & Wound Medicine, West Bloomfield, Michigan.

Okay, I think you’ve got this one by now. But just to illustrate a point, imagine there’s a patient with the nasty Clostridium Difficile (aka: C-Diff) bacteria a few doors down during your stay in the hospital. We’re talking life-threatening diarrhea. C-diff is a hospital-borne infection. Now, the guy who stocks the examination gloves for every room is in your room to stock the gloves. He does so by taking gloves out of a box and shoving them into the glove container mounted on the wall. But look! He’s not wearing gloves himself! And he’s been in the C-diff room right before yours! Is he unknowingly contaminating the gloves in your room with life-threatening diarrhea things? Gloves that are going to touch you?  There. Now, I’m sure you got this one.

Butterfly needles are used in our outpatient wound care center, Encompass HealthCare & Wound Medicine, West Bloomfield, Michigan.

At Encompass HealthCare, we use extremely thin butterfly needles. Most times, they’re pain free.

2. Not All IV Needles Are Alike. Neither Are IV Infusions.

In an outpatient wound care facility like Encompass HealthCare, we use very small 23-gauge butterfly needles to access veins. The needles are so thin that they often cause no pain at all. Hospitals like to use wider gauge needles like 18-gauge and 21-gauge. Hospitals are also more likely to install a “port,” which is a semi-permanent tube imbedded into the body. The thinking is you won’t have to be re-stuck every day, and that it’s easier to get your IV that way. The problem is a port is just an open tunnel where bacteria can breed that leads directly into the vein. So stick with the outpatient wound care center, no pun intended.

3. Outpatient Wound Care Facilities Are More Convenient.

Frankly, I can only speak for Encompass HealthCare here, but not only are we open seven days a week, (you can do that when you don’t have tons of overhead like a hospital,) but you can usually park within 50 feet of your treatment area.  That means you can get in quickly, get your treatment, and then get on with your life faster. The same goes for hyperbaric oxygen treatments. Just try to schedule HBOT treatments at the hospital. There’s nothing convenient about it. Flexibility = 0. Did I mention that in our outpatient wound care center you can get your treatment, bandage changes and doctor’s visit all in the same appointment? Now that’s convenient.

4. Outpatient Wound Care is More Personalized.

If you’ve ever spent a couple days in the hospital, you know what “continuity of care” is not. It’s the night shift not understanding what happened with you on the day shift. Different days, different nurses, different doctors, different skill levels…

In an outpatient center, you see the same faces every day and they get to know you. Your goals, your preferences…they know which veins are good and which veins they should avoid. Sorry, you just can’t get those kind of provider/patient relationships in a big hospital. They don’t have the time and the provider-to-patient ratio is constantly shrinking.

Did I mention the complimentary protein smoothies for our patients? That’s right. Protein and nutrition are very important elements in wound care. And you’re more likely to find that kind of attention to detail in an outpatient wound care facility.

5. We Have Tape, Only None Of It Is Red.

Sure, we have forms to fill out. Once. But after that, there is very little bureaucracy in outpatient wound care. That leaves the patient with only one job: to get better. We don’t bog you down with a binder of discharge papers when you leave, either. Oh, you might get one piece of paper with instructions. Maybe a free sample of our favorite wound cleansing soap and a loofa to apply it with. But our goal is always to put the care in wound care.

That’s especially easy to accomplish when you’re not tied down by a hospital.

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4 Myths About Germs and Bacteria

Posted on: September 23rd, 2013 by Mindy Ruben No Comments

We have all heard wives tales regarding germs and bacteria.  How do you know what’s truth and what’s fiction?

At Encompass Healthcare, we can clear that up.  Let’s look at these 4 common myths:

Myth #1:  MRSA (Methacyllin Resistance Staph Aureous) On The Skin Makes People Sick.

The truth is that 50% of us have MRSA bacteria already colonizing on our skin.  That’s because our skin is our body’s first natural defense against the outside world and it’s normally teeming with bacteria. These germs are usually safe because your skin is your protection. It acts as a barrier to bacteria from entering the body. The only time this becomes a problem is when the skin is compromised by a cut or a wound, allowing the bacteria to enter into the bloodstream. Most of the germs living on our skin are, interestingly enough, staph and strep. And it’s okay for them to be there as long as you don’t suffer a cut, scrape or non-healing wound.

Myth #2:  Wearing Your Coat When Outdoors Prevents A Cold.

We’ve all heard our mothers say, “Don’t go outside without a coat or you’ll catch a cold!”  But the truth is you should wear a coat because you may get cold, not necessarily catch a cold. When studied by the New England Journal of Medicine, kids without coats did not catch colds, viruses, or any other bacteria-related illness by not wearing a coat outside in cold weather.  Viruses are contracted by contact or close contact with another person who has a virus or bacterial infection.

To prevent colds and other viruses from spreading, make hand-washing a priority.  This will help drastically reduce the incidences of colds and viruses. This is especially important when you’re among those known to have a cold, virus, or bacterial infection.

Myth #3:  Most Reported Deadly Bacteria Are Deadly.

When the news reports that an area has been hit by a deadly bacteria, it may or may not be true. The truth is that many deadly bacteria can be harmless and many harmless bacteria can be deadly. It all depends on your immune system. In fact, reports show that when a new virus hits, only 10% are really at risk, usually people aged two years and younger, or aged 65 years and older.  Most people can tolerate severe bacteria as long as their immune systems are reasonably healthy.

Myth #4 Every Respiratory Track Infection Requires Antibiotics

In reality, 95% of all respiratory infections are caused by viruses and the only “cure” is to allow our bodies to heal naturally. This is because viruses do NOT respond to antibiotics, which are used only to treat bacterial infections. Viral infections are controlled by our immune systems and simply need to “run their course.”  Most people who are in good health are able to fend off viruses with no problem at all. The only time antibiotics are used to treat respiratory infections is when the infection is caused by a bacteria. In those cases, a culture is taken to determine which bacteria to treat.

We hope that clears up some common misconceptions about germs and bacteria. Remember, don’t go outside in the cold without a jacket or you’ll get cold. And that doesn’t mean you’ll catch a cold.

 

A New Model For Wound Care: New Mobility Magazine Features Dr. Bruce Ruben in April Issue

Posted on: April 8th, 2013 by Mindy Ruben No Comments

A New Model For Wound Care by Dr. Bruce E. Ruben.

Read about the new model of wound care as explained by Dr. Bruce E. Ruben below.

A new model of wound care by Dr. Bruce Ruben, at Encompass HealthCare & Wound Medicine, West Bloomfield, Michigan.
Wound Care Article2Wound Care Article3Wound Care Article4Wound Care Article5

 

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