Diabetics in Indonesia often categorize the disease into two types, namely dry diabetes and wet diabetes. In the medical world itself, actually there is no such thing as dry or wet diabetes.
In general there are three types of diabetes, namely type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Although the type of diabetes is different, but the condition is equally indicating that a person has high sugar levels in the blood.
Causes of Diabetes Injury Difficult to Cure
Diabetes often makes sufferers vulnerable to injuries that never heal, especially in the legs. Indonesians often equate this condition as wet diabetes. Even the slightest injury to diabetics must be treated properly. The reason is, diabetes wounds that are not immediately resolved can turn into diabetic ulcers, which often occur in the feet of diabetics. In some cases, severe ulcers cause the legs of diabetics to be amputated.
There are several factors that can cause the wound to be difficult to heal, namely:
Poor blood circulation
Decreased immune system
High levels of sugar in the blood can cause various complications. One of them is narrowing of the arteries or peripheral arterial disease. This condition makes blood flow from the heart to all parts of the body become obstructed, so that the supply of oxygen and nutrients becomes difficult to channel throughout the body. In fact, the injured body part really needs oxygen and nutrients contained in the blood to accelerate the healing process.
Increased blood sugar levels cause cells that are responsible for maintaining a weakened immune system. Therefore, a little injury can cause severe infections. When you have this, immune cells can not heal or dry the wound quickly in diabetics.
One factor that is difficult to heal or drain wounds in diabetics is neuropathy (nerve damage). Neuropathy itself is a condition where the body cannot feel something or feel numb. This is because the nerves in the body are damaged due to high blood sugar levels which causes the nerve tissue to not get enough blood flow. Usually this condition is more common in the legs and arms. Because you don’t feel any pain in the injured area, you may not notice it if the wound is rubbing, getting worse, or a new wound has formed.
Management of Diabetes Patients’ Wounds
Unlike a normal person, diabetics need to be aware if their limbs are injured, especially in the legs, because even the smallest injury if not handled properly can endanger the overall body condition.
Here are the first aid measures for wound management in diabetics:
- Clean the wound area from dirt by using soap and running water, routinely. After the wound is clean, apply an antibiotic ointment to the injured leg. Then cover the wound with a sterile dressing.
- Avoid using antiseptic drugs, wound cleaning fluid containing alcohol, or products made from iodine. These products actually cause irritation to your skin.
- Avoid using narrow shoes that make your feet depressed. Excessive pressure on the wound area allows the wound to get worse.
- Maintain blood flow to remain smooth, how to raise legs and maintain a straight leg position so that blood flow is not increasingly disrupted.
- Always watch for signs of infection that appear on the wound. Symptoms of infection can include pain, redness, pus appearing, the location of the wound feels hot and swollen, and fever.
Keep in mind, if the wound in the leg does not heal after getting independent treatment, it is advisable to immediately consult a doctor, so that the wound does not get worse and become difficult to handle.
Preventing Wounds In People With Diabetes
Given the risk of injury to diabetics is too high, it is better to take precautions before the injury. Here are things you can do as a precaution:
- Routinely clean the feet using warm water. After that, dry the whole body, especially between the toes. Use lotion to keep skin moist.
- Gently rub the surface of the foot with pumice or a special tool to smooth the surface of the foot. This can also be done as a precaution against the appearance of calluses and fish eyes on the feet.
- Always use footwear when outside the house or inside the house. This aims to avoid injury to the legs. Avoid using socks that are too tight because it can reduce blood flow.
- Avoid wearing shoes that are uncomfortable, like high heels. Instead, choose shoes that have heel cushions and are larger than your feet.
- Cut your nails carefully. This is intended to avoid foot injuries caused by nail clippers. Ask for help from others, if you are not able to cut your own nails.
- Check the condition of the foot every day, make sure the foot is normal and there are no signs of injury and infection.
In addition to preventing injuries as described above. You also need to manage diabetes by eating healthy foods, not smoking, and exercising regularly.
Remember also, the term dry diabetes or wet diabetes actually does not exist in medical terms. Regardless of the type of diabetes, you should still see a doctor to get a complete medical examination and proper treatment. If there are diabetic wounds and it is difficult to treat them at home, you can go to the nearest hospital or health facility for wound care.