Why Do Diabetics Need to Have a Wound Care Specialist on Their Team?

People newly diagnosed with diabetes soon learn it takes an entire team of medical experts to help manage the condition. While it may feel overwhelming at first, the health benefits of tackling diabetes with specialty guidance far outweigh any initial frustration. That’s also true of diabetic wound care.

The board-certified specialists at Vein and Vascular Solutions NYC often utilize their significant medical expertise to provide highly effective wound care to patients in and around the Brooklyn and Staten Island communities of New York.

Learn why you may need a wound care specialist on your diabetes management team.

Understanding wounds

Medically speaking, a wound is an injury to living tissue caused by a cut, abrasion, or other impacts. Physicians typically use the term to describe a break in the skin.

A skin wound of any size causes your body to enact a three-phase healing process:

Inflammatory stage

Blood vessels at the wound site initially constrict (tighten) to help prevent blood loss, and platelets gather to build a clot. Once the clot has formed, nearby blood vessels expand to allow maximum flow to the wound. The blood carries white cells and other natural healing components designed to fight infection as skin cells multiply and grow across the wound.

Fibroblastic stage

During this phase, collagen, which gives skin strength, grows within the wound and encourages the edges to close. Capillaries, the body’s smallest blood vessels, form at the site supply the new tissue with nutrient-rich blood.

Maturation stage

Depending on the wound’s size and depth and your level of collagen production, your body continues to rebuild and refine tissue at the wound site over weeks, months, and even years.

Any interruption in these natural steps can compromise wound healing, often the case in wounds experienced by diabetes.

What makes diabetic wounds different?

Poorly controlled diabetes can cause numerous complications that interfere with your skin’s ability to heal. For instance, persistent high blood sugar levels can weaken your immune system’s ability to fight bacterial infection at the wound site.

Individuals with diabetes often experience damage to blood vessels, which reduces much-needed blood flow to a skin break. Without an adequate blood supply, white cells, collagen, and other nutrients needed to repair the damage and rebuild healthy tissue can’t reach the wound.

Damage to capillaries and other circulatory issues common to diabetes also weaken and compromise your skin’s strength as a protective barrier. Even mild friction from a pair of ill-fitting shoes, for instance, may cause an abrasion that eventually evolves into a non-healing sore or diabetic foot ulcer.

Injury to peripheral nerves in your legs and feet, another complication of diabetes, also decreases your ability to sense pain and other signs of worsening wound infection. Without normal sensation, you may not even be aware of the wound until it’s evolved into a significant problem.

These complications can lead to serious, even life-threatening infection and tissue death (gangrene) that may eventually require limb amputation without specialty care.

How do you treat diabetic wounds?

The experts at Vein and Vascular Solutions NYC take a holistic approach to diabetic wound care. This may include analyzing and treating a wound with various medications, specialty dressings, and other treatments designed to enhance healing.

Our specialists also employ a variety of diagnostic studies to identify the underlying cause of the issue accurately. We then use sophisticated image-guided technologies to provide treatment for vascular issues, such as blocked blood vessels, without major surgery.

For instance, your treatment strategy may include minimally invasive angioplasty to widen affected blood vessels and improve blood flow to the wound site. Some patients benefit from ablation treatments that use advanced laser technology to close damaged vessels so that your body reroutes vital blood flow to nearby healthy veins.

For highly advanced specialty care that includes diabetic wound management, schedule a visit at Vein and Vascular Solutions today.      

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