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Current DFU Treatments

Standard DFU Treatments

To give your diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) the best chance of healing quickly, you need to be aware of three important aspects of treatment.

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1. Moist wound healing

Keeping what doctors call a moist wound environment is an important part of healing. This is because the cells needed for healing cannot live in a dry environment. Various types of bandages have been created to keep your wound moist as it heals.3,9,10

2. Debridement

Regularly removing all of the dead skin and calluses around the wound to get down to the living tissue is called debridement. Doctors typically use surgical instruments to scrape away the unwanted tissue and clean the wound.3

3. Offloading

The way doctors help your wound heal is called offloading. This is done by using different devices (such as special footwear, casts, or other dressings) that literally take the load off your foot. Your offloading device will help protect your wound while it heals. It is important that you use this device all the time, even when you are at home, because every unprotected step may delay the healing process.2

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  1. Diabetes. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. www.cdc.gov/media/presskits/aahd/diabetes.pdf. Accessed July 3, 2013.
  2. Parmet S, Glass TJ, Glass RM. Diabetic foot ulcers. JAMA. 2005;293(2):260.
  3. Boulton AJM, Kirsner RS, Vileikyte I. Clinical practice: neuropathic diabetic foot ulcers. N Engl J Med. 2004;35(1):48-55.
  4. Palumbo PJ, Melton LJ III. Peripheral vascular disease and diabetes. In: Diabetes in America: diabetes data compiled 1984. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, August 1985:XV-1-XV-21. (NIH Publication No. 85-1468.)
  5. Margolis DJ, Malay DS, Hoffstad OJ, et al. Incidence of diabetic foot ulcer and lower extremity amputation among Medicare beneficiaries. NCBI Bookshelf. Data Points Publication Series [Internet]. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US);2-11. Published February 7, 2011. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK65149/?report=printable. Accessed July 3, 2013.
  6. Alder AI, Ahroni JH, Eoyko EJ, et al. Lower-extremity amputation in diabetes. Diabetes Care. 1999;22(7):1029-1035.
  7. CDC features—Living with diabetes: keep your feet healthy. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. www.cdc.gov/Features/DiabetesFootHealth/. Updated April 2, 2012. Accessed July 3, 2013.
  8. US Department of Health and Human Services. Prevent diabetes problems. Keep your feet and skin healthy. http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/complications_feet/index.aspx. NIH Publication No. 08-4282, May 2008. Accessed July 3, 2013.
  9. Hilton JR, Williams DT, Bueker B, Miller DR, Harding KG. Wound dressings in diabetic foot disease. Clin Infect Dis. 2004;39(suppl 2):S100-S103.
  10. Bryan J. Moist wound healing: a concept that changed our practice. J Wound Care. 2004;13(6):227-228.
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