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Wound Health and Diabetes: How to Care for Cuts and Scratches

Wounds are no fun for anyone, but if you’re living with diabetes, they can be especially problematic. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to spot problems and treat your wounds properly. Together, we’ll look at the causes, types, signs, and treatments for diabetic wound care so you know what to look for in your everyday routine or among your loved ones.


The "Why"

If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, it’s important to realize that poor blood sugar control can cause delayed wound healing. This affects the blood circulation in your hands and feet.


The Different Types

If you’re a diabetic, you need to monitor and treat all wounds, no matter how small or insignificant. The two main types of wounds to be aware of are external and internal. External wounds are visible on the skin and can appear as cuts, burns, bumps, or bruises. Internal wounds can be ingrown toenails, calluses, or skin ulcers.


The Signs

Those with diabetes may have loss of feeling and need to look at skin, between toes and bottoms of feet daily to spot any change. Any wound may cause:

  • Consistent pain or no pain at all
  • Inflammation, such as, redness, swelling, heat, pain, or loss of function
  • Infection: dead tissue, odors, discharge, or pus
  • Sickness in the form of fever or chills


Treatment and Care

If you have a bruise or tear on your skin, check it every day to make sure it doesn’t develop into anything more serious. Focus on keeping your wounds clean and using antibiotics if your wound becomes infected.  Diabetes specialists typically advise taking the following steps to care for your wound:  

  1. Clean your cut with soap and water
  2. Apply ointment such as Neosporin or prescription ointment as recommended
  3. Cover with a bandage to keep the area moist

If there is no improvement in a week or the wound is worse, contact your physician.

Remember if you have questions or concerns about cuts, scratches, or wounds to contact your primary physician for more information. Don’t wait and assume the wound will heal on its own. Diabetes and wounds are a serious combination and need to be handled proactively and sometimes that means a medical professional is needed for additional treatment.  

To learn more about Beebe Healthcare and our Diabetes Management & Medical Nutrition Therapy, visit or call (302) 645-3121.