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How does diabetes affect wound healing?

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Minor cuts, burns, and wounds are an inevitable part of life. But for people with diabetes healing process can take longer, increasing the risk of infections and other complications. It is caused by high glucose levels that affect the nerves and lead to poor blood circulation, making it harder for the skin to repair. Keeping blood glucose levels under good control can help to reduce the risk of slow healing wounds now and further in the future.

Factors that may increase this risk include:

  • impaired sweating
  • dry and cracked skin
  • toenail infections
  • foot abnormalities, such as Charcot’s foot

Other ways diabetes might affect wound healing include:

  • reduced production of growth and healing hormones
  • decreased production and repair of new blood vessels
  • a weakened skin barrier
  • reduced collagen production

Understanding why wounds are slow to heal and closely monitoring your body, and especially feet are important steps to prevent cuts and blisters. So check your blood sugar regularly and protect your sensor with an adhesive patch.