If you’ve recently been diagnosed with diabetes, it’s important to understand how it may affect you on an everyday basis. The disease causes increased levels of glucose in the bloodstream, which can impact the way your body heals wounds. Here’s what you need to know about how diabetes affects the healing process and when you should seek treatment from a wound care specialist.

Why Diabetes Affects Wound Healing

Studies have found a direct link between glucose levels in the blood and the body’s ability to heal wounds. Specifically, research shows that people with diabetes are more likely to heal completely from their wounds if their blood sugar levels are controlled. Normally, white blood cells combat infections and support the wound healing process. But high glucose levels impair white blood cells' functionality, minimizing their ability to properly safeguard the immune system. As a result, the body can’t efficiently fight bacteria and heal wounds.  

How to Treat Wounds

wound care

If you develop a wound, it’s critical to monitor its progression closely. While it may heal slowly, it should not remain open and fail to show signs of getting better after several weeks. Watch for symptoms like oozing or pain, which may indicate an infection. 

To properly care for the injury, clean it with a mild soap and water and cover it with a fresh bandage daily. If the wound is on your foot, which is the most common place for people with diabetes, take extra precautions when walking around by wearing socks and supportive shoes to help prevent possible infection. 

When to See a Doctor 

If the wound lingers for a month or more, visit a wound care specialist to confirm that no infection is present. In some cases, you may benefit from hyperbaric oxygen therapy. This technique involves inhaling pure oxygen in a hyperbaric chamber. The levels of oxygen are several times higher than average levels, and breathing this air may help facilitate the wound healing process. 


If you’re dealing with diabetes-related wound concerns, visit Hill Country Wound Care Vascular and Hyperbarics in Bulverde, TX. Serving patients throughout the San Antonio area, they offer a variety of solutions to help you heal, including hyperbaric therapy and open wound care. Visit the website for more information on the types of wounds they treat, and call (830) 743-9728 to schedule an appointment.