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A New Cure for Difficult to Heal Foot Wounds

By Alice Merry Subscribe to RSS | January 17th 2012 | Views:

Chronic wounds like diabetic foot ulcer are quite common and a serious threat to well-being of patients. About 24 million people in the US alone, suffer from diabetes and around 18 percent of these people encounter chronic wounds like foot ulcer that do not heal. Many of these wounds eventually result in amputation. There is up to 45 times higher risk of amputation in diabetics. The two primary reasons for development of diabetic foot ulcers are neuropathy and narrowing of arteries.

Diabetic neuropathy affects the nerves that enable sensations by carrying the messages from the brain to different parts of the body. Peripheral artery disease, which causes narrowing of arteries due to formation of deposits in the arteries, is common in diabetes patients. It reduces the flow of blood to the affected areas and this lack of blood supply hampers the wound healing process. Foot ulcer can be prevented by regularly examining for signs of trouble like broken skin or cuts that don’t heal. Proper control of diabetes and maintaining good glucose control also significantly helps in preventing foot ulcer as well as other serious complications associated with diabetes. Simple preventive measures including not walking barefoot, wearing comfortable shoes and properly clipping nails and keeping feet clean, dry and moisturized help a great deal.

A new powder has been developed, which works in conjunction with wound dressings like duoderm. This powder forms a layer like skin and increases the speed of the healing process, while reducing the pain associated with chronic wounds like diabetic foot ulcer.

Tracey Vlahovic, DPM, Associate Professor at Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine together with colleagues conducted a study to assess the effects of the new powder on foot ulcers. The wounds of the study participants were treated weekly with powder dressing for one to two months. This treatment showed very good results as it efficiently closed wounds while significantly reducing the discomfort. The powder treatment also made the wounds stable for other treatments like skin graft.

"This new powder aggregates, or comes together, in an amazing flexible film that mimics the wound's surface and helps it to retain moisture and protect the wound, but still allows the right amount of air flow needed for the wound to close," said Tracey Vlahovic. She further added, "My colleagues and I are excited to continue working with this new wound powder product and look forward to its future uses in treating notoriously difficult types of foot wounds we regularly encounter."

Alice Merry - About Author:
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