Diabetic wound care is essential if you have diabetes and want to avoid complications such as amputation. A wound is an injury to the skin or other external part of the body that breaks its surface. A wound may be caused by blunt force trauma, a cut from a sharp object, or pressure. Diabetes can increase your risk for wounds because it affects blood circulation and nerve function in your feet. It also makes you more prone to infection than someone without diabetes. To learn how to heal diabetic foot sores with products and treatments, keep reading!

In this Diabetic & Me article you will learn about:

  • How to treat a diabetic wound?
  • Which products are good for wound care?
  • How to prevent foot ulcers?

What Happens If a Diabetic Gets a Cut On Their Foot?

A wound is an injury to the skin or other external part of the body that breaks its surface. A wound may be caused by blunt force trauma, a cut from a sharp object, or pressure. Diabetes can increase your risk for wounds because it affects blood circulation and nerve function in your feet. It also makes you more prone to infection than someone without diabetes. If you get a cut on your foot, elevated protein levels will make your cells vulnerable to forming scar tissue which blocks red and white corpuscles called platelets from joining together to form clots during the healing time.

If a diabetic gets a cut on their foot, it can lead to ulceration that may eventually result in amputation of the limb, when not treated correctly. There wound treatment is very important for people with diabetes.

Diabetic wounds are often very difficult to heal. There are a lot of reasons why they may not heal well, but one common cause is that the person has poor diabetes management including high blood glucose levels and poor blood flow in their feet. This means that even if someone cuts themselves or gets an open wound on their foot, it's harder for them to get better at healing because there is less blood flowing through the area around the cut or wound site.

Diabetic Foot With Ulcers

How Do You Treat a Cut On a Diabetic Foot?

As we mentioned before, broken skin on the foot is more likely to become infected because of diabetes. This means that treatment for diabetic cuts or wounds should be almost immediate. So what are some treatments for a cut on a diabetic foot?

The most common treatment for open wounds or ulcers in people with diabetes is using a cleanliness regimen and dressings to promote rapid wound healing and prevent infection. Cleaning the wound/ulcer meticulously with soap and water removes all dead tissue such as slough from the surface making it a less perfect environment for bacterial growth and improves the healing process. A wet dressing can use material from previous incisions which have healed as well as dry non-adherent dressings available over-the-counter at pharmacies, grocery stores, to help maintain a moist environment around the wound/ulcer which can speed up the healing process and prevent infections around the affected area.

Here are some basic steps on how to treat a wound on a diabetic foot:

  • Wash hands before touching or cleaning the cut/wound with soap & warm water or antiseptic cleaner.
  • Clean the foot thoroughly to avoid infection.  Use soap and water or an antibacterial solution, depending on what's available in your household. If you have soapy water, make sure it is not too sudsy as that can clog pores and cause a hotbed for bacteria growth.
  • Dry the affected area gently but completely with a clean towel. Be careful not to pull the skin around the wound when drying off blood/secretions which may contain dirt particles from the outside world (which could lead to further infection).
  • Cover the open wound with a dry non-stick dressing, sterile gauze, and tape or adhesive strip.
  • Keep your blood glucose levels controlled heal faster and prevent possible infections.
  • Make sure to check on your wound daily, clean and replace the bandages.

Which Ointment Is Best for Diabetic Wound?

Hydrogen peroxide is used for very small wounds, but it's more important to prevent infection when treating diabetic wounds. For a closed incision or wound, you would want to cover the entire surface of the skin with dry non-stick dressing and secure it with adhesive tape.

For an open wound or ulcer, it's important to cleanse using soap and water as well as to irrigate your wound twice per day in order to maintain a sanitary environment. Wet dressings may be recommended after cleaning which may include sterile gauze/adhesive tapes applied so that the material can absorb any fluids from the surrounding area.

Newer products such as hydrocolloid dressings which are able to create a moist healing environment on surfaces by absorbing wound fluid while protecting the area from infection, dirt, and other external contaminants are available over-the-counter at pharmacies or grocery stores.

If you have a non-healing ulcer after six months of treatment, consult your doctor for further help in promoting wound healing. They may prescribe antibiotics to prevent infections.

Here Is A List Of Supplies Required When Treating Sores On Diabetics:

Here is a list of supplies required when treating sores on diabetics: 

  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Antibacterial soap
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Non-adherent dressings (i.e., Adaptic, Mefix)
  • Wet non-adherent dressing
  • Dry non-stick dressing
  • Cotton balls or cotton swabs
  • Gauze pads: regular and compression
  • Gauze roll bandages/tubular gauzes
  • Tape (paper tape, transparent adhesive film)
  • Scissors
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Neosporin is the original antibiotic ointment that can be applied to minor wounds. It heals cuts, scrapes, and burns while also helping in the fight against infection with its antibiotic ingredients. Get some Neosporin Original today and heal your wounds like never before! The perfect remedy for everything you can think of, this Neosporin ointment has got all of your problem areas taken care of. You can put a glob on any wound or even use it as a lip balm for chapped lips if needed!

Remedy Antibacterial Soap

Bring your skin back to health with Remedy Antibacterial Soap Body Wash. This soap’s active odor-fighting ingredients work to eliminate and prevent body odors, including acne even after past use of harsh chemicals like benzoyl peroxide. The scrubby texture also helps clean pustules, oily skin, blemishes, and dry patches off of your body while leaving a moisturizing nature behind that will soothe any redness or chafing you may have from other products such as Retin A or sunlight exposure. It's made without the bad stuff you find in department store soap: no Parabens, Phthalates, Dyes or Petroleum by-products etcetera.

Medpride 3’’ x 3’’ Sterile Gauze Pads for Wound Dressing

The Medpride 12-ply Gauze is a convenient choice for any small wound, or need. With 100 packs of sterile gauze individually wrapped and non-stick materials, these gauze pads are also designed to be comfortable with soft cotton quality which will not irritate delicate skin types. Use them for dressing wounds or applying ointments/prepping needles quickly and easily!

Madison Supply - Medical Guaze Scissors

The ultra-sharp blade of the black-handled Medical Gauze Scissors cuts through all the toughest materials like butter. Safety is assured with a blunt tip and excellent grip. The medical professionals at Grady Health Foundation, Paulding County EMRSA Control Team, Atlanta Fire Rescue EMS division were on hand to find out how well they performed in field testing for durability and precision cutting. Perfect to cut through any gauze and bandages.

How To Prevent Cuts and Sores?

The best method to cure a diabetic foot ulcer is to prevent it from occurring in the first place.

Diabetics with the following conditions have more risk of developing wounds, sores, and ulcers on their feet.

Here are some ways you can avoid getting cuts or sores on your feet. 

Shoes and Other Footwear

Wear well-fitting, supportive and breathable shoes, like sneakers for diabetics, that support arches well by having good arch support built-in as well flexible soles made out of rubber materials that grip the floor. Avoid wearing shoes with heels that make it difficult for you to walk around and that hurt your feet.

Use special diabetes footwear that reduces the risk of foot ulcers and other complications around the foot such as high arches, toe deformities (e.g., hammertoes), or thickened pads of fat in the sole of the foot called podiatry edema.

Wear well-fitting cotton diabetic socks, like nano socks each day when going outside which cover any bug bites/wounds, or wear sandals for diabetics when you can to allow the skin on feet and toes to get air and breathe. 

Good Hygiene

Practice good hygiene by washing your feet daily and drying them thoroughly after bathing or swimming to avoid getting fungus or warts.

Regularly trim your toenails in order to prevent them from curling back into the skin which could become infected if left untreated. If needed more urgently, use a nail file instead of nail clippers as these tend not to be sharp enough for this task. Clean underneath toenails using an orange stick or cotton swab soaked with hydrogen peroxide.   

Diabetes Management

Monitor your blood sugar levels daily with a glucose meter. If they are high (or too low) adjust your diet and/or insulin doses as needed to bring levels back down in order for you not to get cuts or sores.

Barefoot Walking

For proper foot care and health, it's not recommended to walk barefoot around the household when you have sores and cuts including inside bathrooms so you don't cut yourself on anything sharp such as glass, metal objects lying around loose.

Avoid standing barefoot for long periods especially if your job requires this. Use a footrest when sitting down at work or home so that you don't have excess pressure on the soles of your feet due to gravity pulling them down while seated for prolonged amounts of time. 

Check Your Feet Daily

Check your feet on a daily basis for any signs of discoloration, swelling, redness in particular around the toes and feet. If found to be abnormal seek medical advice immediately.

Don't Smoke

People with diabetes often develop wound-prone skin. Diabetics smoking decrease their chance of wound healing and the risk of wound infection. Infected wounds can increase an individual's blood sugar level, which will make it more difficult for them to manage their diabetes or heal their wounds.


In conclusion, diabetic wounds are common and it is important to take care of them in order to avoid complications. To do so, you should wear shoes that support your feet well or use special footwear designed for people with diabetes when going outside. You also need to monitor your blood sugar levels daily as high (or low) levels can affect the risk of getting cuts on your feet. Don't forget to check your feet daily. I hope this information will be helpful!

Last update on 2023-11-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About the Author

Ely Fornoville

Hi, I'm Ely Fornoville, and I am the founder of Diabetic & Me. Being a type 1 diabetic since 1996, I developed a passion to help people learn more about diabetes. I write about diabetes and share stories from other diabetics around the world. I currently use a Medtronic Guardian 4 CGM and a MiniMed 780G insulin pump with Humalog insulin.

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