Wounds and skin infections are slow to heal in the person with Type 2 diabetes. Wound healing is the body's natural way of repairing the damage involving the dermal and the epidermal tissues, the skin layers mostly involved in the occurrence of wounds. It is a complex cascade of events that:
- stimulates the activity of white blood cells, the defenders of the body against infections
- the aggregation of platelets, the blood cells involved in blood clotting, and
- the involvement of endothelial cells, the layer of cells that lines the interior of the blood vessel walls
Failure in the normal processes involved in wound healing is the most important cause of amputation in the United States. In fact, according to the John Hopkins POC-IT Center, 81 percent of people who underwent amputation have this problem. Hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, the most important finding in poorly controlled Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, is one of the most significant factors involved in poor wound healing that leads to amputation and other surgical interventions.
High blood sugar levels lead to reduced activity of the immune system, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. With this particular decreased activity, the body becomes vulnerable to the attacks of infectious microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses and fungal infections.
How can you improve wound healing if you have Type 2 diabetes?
1. Proper wound cleaning : If you have a wound, check with your doctor. He will advise you about the proper care and cleaning techniques to encourage better wound healing.
2. Infection contr ol : Infected non-healing wounds need antibiotic coverage to eliminate the possible infection-causing microbes proliferating within the actual wound itself.
3. Relieve possible mechanical stresses that add insult to the already-existing damage : Pressure and repetitive injury causes must be eliminated to prevent further insult to your already infected non-healing wound.
4. Apply the correct wound dressing : There is no such thing as a dressing that suits all wounds. However, a moist wound environment that is physiologically adequate promotes better tissue and skin repair. The correct dressing prerequisites further insult to the wound from the external environment … it brings further trauma, infection and contamination.
5. Control your blood sugar level : A normal blood sugar level can encourage the activity of white blood cells, the defenders of the human body against the possible attack of infection-causing microbes. The healthy activity of these defenders may improve and even speed up the tissue repair within the wound area.
Skin infections and wounds that can not be healed could lead to gangrene and extremely amputation of a foot or limb. You can prevent an amputation and other surgically related wound management even if you have Type 2 diabetes. Proper wound care coupled with good blood sugar control is the ultimate key for the prevention of poor and delayed wound healing.