Diabetic Ulcers & Chronic Wounds
Diabetic ulcers and chronic wounds can develop when any normal wound fails to heal correctly. Chronic wounds affect approximately 6.5 percent of the U.S. population, most of whom have comorbid conditions that impede healing.
Nonhealing ulcers occur in approximately 15 percent of diabetic patients. And unless treatment is successful, these wounds frequently lead to amputation. Unfortunately, treatment poses a significant challenge, due to the complex nature of the condition.
Causes of Diabetic Ulcers & Chronic Wounds
Chronic wounds include surgical incisions that do not heal, as well as infectious and ischemic wounds. Ischemia occurs when the blood supply is insufficient to facilitate healing. Ulcers are the most common type of nonhealing wounds, including pressure, venous, arterial and diabetes-related ulcers.
Diabetic ulcers can occur when a patient’s diabetic neuropathy causes breaks in the skin. They can also form when calluses become ulcerated. Combined with the poor circulation and suppressed immune functions typical of diabetes, these wounds fail to heal.
Arterial ulcers occur as a result of blood clots, hypertension and blocked arteries. Venous ulcers are caused by vein-related problems, including deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) and varicose veins.
Treatment of Chronic Wounds & Diabetic Ulcers
The successful treatment of diabetic ulcers and nonhealing wounds poses a significant challenge to the medical community.
The first component of treatment is to address any underlying disease or condition that may have caused or contributed to the problem. Concurrently, appropriate wound care treatment protocols must consider how resistant diabetes-related ulcers and other nonhealing wounds are to conventional treatment.
Diabetes-related ulcers are treated with special dressings meant to protect the ulcerated area and to help facilitate recovery. These include hydrogel and hydrocolloid dressings, foam dressings, alginates and collagen dressings.
The challenge in treating nonhealing ulcers and wounds is fighting the underlying causes that impede the body’s normal restorative functions. Nonhealing wounds lack the blood flow, oxygen and nutrients they need.
Fortunately, laser therapy facilitates these specific processes in the body.
Laser Therapy for Diabetic Ulcers & Chronic Wounds
For more than a decade, the research has supported the efficacy of laser therapy for treating chronic wounds and ulcersrelated to diabetes mellitus.
As the technology has advanced, studies continue to demonstrate its benefits. They show that this treatment is highly effective for reducing the size of diabetic ulcers in as little as two weeks. In fact, research indicates that laser therapy can contribute significantly to reducing the more than $15 billion annual cost of chronic wound care.
Laser wound healing works at the cellular level, diminishing inflammation, increasing blood flow and encouraging a proliferation of enzymes that expedite the body’s own healing mechanisms. Treatment is painless, noninvasive and quick, delivered by a doctor trained and certified in using this advanced medical technology.