Keep Your Minor Wounds Minor

Since infection can lead to bigger health problems if you have diabetes, even the smallest of cuts should be treated seriously. Follow these wound care steps and guidelines to make sure you know how to properly treat a minor wound and keep infection at bay.

Woman looking at her feet while sitting on a dock and putting her toes in the water.

Feet First: Your Body Depends on Them

People with diabetes have a higher risk of foot and wound infections and other problems for three reasons:

  • If uncontrolled, diabetes can cause nerve damage, so you may not always feel sores, injuries, and high-pressure areas like the soles of your feet.
     
  • You are more susceptible to poor circulation, and impaired circulation can delay the healing process.
     
  • Infections can develop when blood glucose is not under control.
     

This is why the care of cuts and scrapes on your feet is extra important if you have diabetes. Follow these tips for proper diabetic foot care:

  • Keep your toenails short (but not too short).
  • Ensure you dry between your toes.
  • Always wear shoes outside and make sure they fit properly.
  • Keep your feet moisturized.
  • Don’t pop a blister. Clean it with soap and water, then protect it with a bandage.
  • Avoid over-the-counter corn and callus removers.
  • If you have a corn or callus, get it treated by a podiatrist.
  • Never ignore any bump, blister, or redness on your feet.

Not to sound too scary, but complications from foot wounds are a leading cause of hospitalization and amputation among people with diabetes. So always check in with your doctor or medical professional if you have concerns.

Man smiling and holding a water while taking a walk outdoors.

Protect the Skin You’re In

As many as one-third of all people with diabetes will experience a skin-related issue in their lives. In fact, skin problems can be the first sign of diabetes.1
 

Most of these diabetes-related skin conditions can be kept under control with appropriate care. In addition to getting proper nutrition, exercise, and medication, keep your skin healthy by:
 

Staying Clean & Dry

After washing, dry off thoroughly. This helps prevent fungal and bacterial infections.

Focusing on Hydration

Drink water and use a moisturizing lotion. Lotions and creams can relieve itch associated with dry skin and prevent irritation and cracking. But avoid using them on open wounds.

Being Proactive

Inspect skin (especially on your feet) daily for cracks, and treat any skin concerns immediately. Keep an eye out for fungal infections as well, since people with diabetes are more prone to them. These infections typically occur between toes and in warm, moist folds of skin.

Man helping to wrap gauze around a wound on a child’s arm.

Caring for Everyday Injuries

Find out how to properly care for cuts, scrapes, and burns so you can feel confident handling these first aid basics.

Wrap Yourself in Comfort

Choose gauze with tape or a wrap like HURT-FREE® wraps that hold your dressing in place without damaging your skin on removal.

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Sources:

“Skin Complications” https://www.diabetes.org/diabetes/skin-complications

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