Wound care center aims to raise awareness of diabetic foot ulcers

SARANAC LAKE — During Diabetes Awareness Month, the Wound and Hyperbaric Treatment Center at Adirondack Health is raising awareness of diabetic foot ulcers.

A diabetic foot ulcer is an open sore or wound that is commonly located on the bottom of the foot but can also appear on the heel, ankle and toes. The Wound and Hyperbaric Treatment Center offers advanced therapies to patients suffering from chronic wounds, including diabetic foot ulcers. There are more than 29 million people living with diabetes in the United States, and about 25 percent will eventually develop a foot ulcer. Left untreated, these ulcers can impair quality of life and may lead to amputation.

Early detection and intervention can help to lower the possibility of limb loss. Adirondack Health’s Wound and Hyperbaric Treatment Center recommends the following to help prevent diabetic foot ulcers:

• Stop smoking immediately.

• Patients should have their health care provider do a comprehensive foot examination each time they visit (at least four times a year).

• Self-inspect feet every day, or have a family member perform the inspection.

• Take care of feet regularly, including cleaning toenails and taking care of corns and calluses.

• Choose supportive, proper footwear (shoes and socks).

• Take steps to improve circulation, such as eating healthier and exercising on a regular basis.

“We tend to bundle up for the next six months and might pay a little less attention to our feet than we do in the spring and summer,” said Adirondack Health case manager Kim Denis, BSN, RN and certified wound specialist. “Dry skin in the winter may result in cracks, fissures and possibly even wounds. Before you put your socks on each day, inspect your feet and apply lotion to moisturize them.”

Proper wound care is imperative to healing diabetic foot ulcers. The Wound and Hyperbaric Treatment Center offers a number of leading-edge treatments including hyperbaric oxygen therapy, total contact casting and negative pressure wound therapy. These specialized wound care therapies can aid in wound closure, new tissue growth and wound tissue regeneration.

Open since 2012, Adirondack Health’s Wound and Hyperbaric Treatment Center employs a team of physicians and nurses who deliver advanced wound therapies for patients with chronic wounds. To learn more or schedule an appointment, call 518-897-2800.