How to Heal a Diabetic Sore


Diabetic sores are serious and need proper treatment. They can lead to ulcers (open, deep sores) and even amputation. If you have a sore or an ulcer, you can take steps to facilitate healing and prevent infection, but also see a doctor soon after you notice the sore.

Things You'll Need

  • Soap and water
  • Saline solution
  • Antibiotic cream
  • Sterile gauze
  • Pressure-relieving boots, pillows or cushions
  • Prescribed medications and supplements
  • Wash the sore with soap and water. If it is a deeper sore, you might need a saline solution or other special wash. Your doctor will tell you the most appropriate way to clean it.

  • Cover the sore with an antibiotic cream and sterile gauze. Your doctor might also give you other types of topical medications; use as directed. Change the dressing every day or whenever it becomes wet or dirty.

  • Reduce pressure on the sore. Special boots are available for foot wounds. If the sore is on your leg, use specially designed pillows, cushions or other support surfaces to keep pressure off the leg. Your doctor can advise you where to get these items.

  • Make an appointment with your doctor. She will check if you are getting proper circulation to the wound or if the sore requires special cleaning to remove bacteria or damaged skin.

  • Take any medications or supplements as directed. You might need antibiotics if your sore is infected. Your doctor might also prescribe certain supplements like zinc or vitamin C; they promote healthy tissue growth and wound healing.

Tips & Warnings

  • Prevent sores by checking your feet daily for cuts, scrapes and other injuries. Wear properly fitting shoes. Treat any foot problems, such as ingrown toenails or athlete's foot, promptly. Do not smoke. Exercise regularly to enhance circulation. Manage your diabetes diligently; take all medications as directed, watch your diet and follow all of your doctor's instructions regarding self-care and lifestyle modifications.

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