Diabetic wounds - such as diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) - can be incredibly challenging to treat. It can feel overwhelming to find the wound healing solution your body will respond to best.
But there is good news.
There are a plethora of diabetic wound healing products - and even some that may prevent wounds from forming in the first place!
The key to finding the best diabetic wound healing products is to understand what your body is going through - what creates chronic wounds in the first place. That information, coupled with the guidance of a podiatrist, nutritionist, or other health professional, should be enough to come up with a targeted plan for your individual diabetes wound healing needs.
To start, it’s important to discuss your symptoms with your doctor.
Then, ask additional questions like:
- How does diabetes slow wound healing?
- What are the most common diabetes-related wounds?
- What can I do to prevent diabetic foot ulcers?
- What are the best diabetic wound healing products for my specific case?
We will attempt to answer some of these questions here. But at the end of the day, it’s a conversation you should also have with a doctor who knows you and your symptoms intimately.
10 diabetic wound healing products and supplements
There are many different diabetic wound healing products and supplements you can try to assist with faster wound healing. Remember, before trying any of these options, it is best to discuss their safety and efficacy with your medical health practitioner.
Each one may impact your wounds and your body differently. You and your doctor may want to try each one individually or create a plan that includes multiple options to give you the best results and the fastest healing wounds possible.
1. Antibiotic ointments
These ointments may help lower the number of bacteria in your chronic wounds and help prevent biofilm (which can impair healing) from forming.
Be aware that some people have strong allergic reactions to neomycin, the active ingredient in Neosporin. In this case, Polysporin will be a better option.
Another diabetic wound healing product you might want to try is becaplermin. Becaplermin is a growth factor derived from human platelets. It is FDA-approved for the use in diabetic foot wound healing, and is used topically to stimulate and support the wound healing process.
Studies have found that when used once daily over a period of 8 weeks, becaplermin may reduce diabetic wound healing time by nearly 40%.
3. Offloading devices
Sometimes, the best diabetic wound healing products are simply the ones that take pressure off your DFUs. Offloading can be critical in helping your foot ulcers to close. Some things you might want to try include:
- Custom insoles
- Orthopedic footwear
- Removable cast boots (RCB)
- A wheelchair
Your needs will depend on the location, frequency, and severity of your DFUs. While it’s always good for your health (and circulation) to get up and move, that’s not necessarily the best for avoiding chronic wounds.
Talk to your doctor about striking the right balance between offloading and healthy mobility levels.
4. Wound dressings
If you’re looking for the best way to cover your DFUs and other wounds, these are the diabetic wound healing products you should look into. Wound dressings have been found to help control infection and may alleviate pain in diabetic foot ulcers.
Wound dressings come in a wide range of options, from pads to gels to foam to pastes. They can be made of cellulose, or seaweed, or iodine.
But one of the most popular dressings for wound healing is collagen.
In fact, collagen is one of the most important players in the wound healing process. That’s because your body uses collagen fibrils to build new tissues and complete the proliferation and remodeling phases of wound healing.
Without access to a proper supply of collagen protein, your body can easily get stuck in the inflammation stage, especially if you are dealing with diabetic wounds.
Collagen dressings have been shown to aid in the healing of DFUs by attracting fibroblasts to the wound site and promoting new tissue growth. In fact, collagen protein is used by medical professionals on a regular basis due to its many proven healing properties.
5. Tissue-based products
If general wound care options aren’t working for you, your doctor might recommend cellular and tissue-derived products. Some products, like the ones derived from placental or amniotic cells, are FDA-approved for treating DFUs and other diabetic wounds.
Tissue-based products work by providing the wound site with fibroblasts and keratinocytes needed to promote tissue regeneration. While this is still a new and emerging field, there is some evidence to suggest that tissue-based products can decrease the risk of amputation and improve wound closure.
6. Vitamin A
In addition to physical and topical wound healing products, it can be extremely helpful to add supplements to your wound healing regimen.
Diet plays a major role in your body’s ability to heal, and medical nutrition therapy can help you figure out the best nutrition plan for your own wound healing journey.
Of course, this should be done under the guidance of your doctor or a licensed nutritionist, who can help you learn how to read nutrition labels and find the right dosage and type of supplements for diabetic wound healing.
Insurance coverage and medical nutrition can sometimes be tricky, and it’s best to consult your insurance company directly to see if they will cover daily supplements. If your doctor has already prescribed the supplements to you for medical purposes, they are more likely to be covered.
One of the first supplements you can talk with your doctor about is vitamin A.
Vitamin A is one of the most essential nutrients for wound healing, and it helps to control your inflammatory response. It is also necessary for proper immune system function.
7. Vitamin C
Vitamin C can help with all stages of wound healing, because it is required for the synthesis of collagen.
By increasing your vitamin C intake, you may be able to boost your body’s natural collagen production, which will help your body make new skin tissue to close off foot ulcers and other wounds. It’s also great to take your vitamin C with your collagen supplement to promote better absorption.
Vitamin C has also been shown to promote your immune system, which may help you prevent wounds and injuries from happening in the future.
8. Medical-grade collagen
As addressed above, topical collagen and collagen-boosting vitamins are both helpful as diabetic wound healing products.
But ingesting a collagen supplement may be even more beneficial and more powerful when it comes to diabetic wound healing products.
When you ingest liquid or powder collagen peptides, your body can properly absorb the collagen protein and put it to use where it is needed most in the wound healing process. Compare this to topical application, which requires you to apply the cream in a precise location, and might get rubbed off by bandages or clothing.
ProT Gold liquid collagen and collagen powder are just two protein drinks for diabetics that could offer an excellent solution for diabetic wound healing. Our medical-grade collagen products are designed specifically for medical applications, providing you a safe, natural way to heal faster.
A supplement that can help your body build even more wound-healing protein is L-arginine.
L-arginine can be used both orally and topically to stimulate new tissue growth. It also acts as a vasodilator, which can open your blood vessels and may improve circulation to aid in the diabetes wound healing process.
This one comes with a word of caution, though.
L-arginine might decrease your blood sugar levels.
So if you are on diabetes drugs, you need to speak with your doctor to decide if you need to adjust your medication or supplementation before attempting to take L-arginine.
Have you been looking for at-home remedies for diabetic foot ulcers? Have you ever wondered, “Can you treat diabetic wounds naturally?”
Honey may be one of the more unusual suggestions in our list of diabetic wound healing products, but it shouldn’t come as so much of a surprise. It has many natural antifungal and antibacterial properties.
Recent studies have also shown that honey might be useful in managing diabetic wounds. In fact, honey has been used in wound healing for thousands of years, but it’s only in recent times that researchers have refocused on its natural healing properties.
Honey is easily available and affordable, so it’s certainly worth asking your doctor if they think it could be beneficial to use for diabetes foot wound healing.
Now that you have our list of the best diabetic wound healing products and supplements, let’s take a look at what’s causing these wounds in the first place.
Specifically, we’ll look at one of the most common diabetic wounds: foot ulcers (DFUs).
What causes diabetic foot ulcers?
Diabetic foot ulcers occur in approximately 15% of people with diabetes. A combination of factors can contribute to the formation of diabetic foot ulcers. These include:
- Poor circulation
- Irritation from pressure or friction
- Foot deformities
- Blood glucose levels
- And the length of time you have had diabetes
If you’ve been struggling with diabetes for many years, you are more likely to develop neuropathy, which is reduced (or complete lack of) feeling in the feet due to nerve damage. This nerve damage can occur slowly over time due to high blood glucose levels, and because it is often painless, you might not even be aware of the problem.
Unfortunately, you might also not be aware of foot ulcers.
If you can’t feel DFUs, then you probably aren’t doing anything to help them heal. And, diabetic wound healing can be very complicated and slow if you don’t help it along.
Why are DFUs so hard to heal?
Poor circulation and high blood glucose levels are some of the leading reasons why wounds don’t heal in diabetics. Elevated blood glucose can cause your blood vessels to narrow, and your platelets to grow larger, making it difficult for oxygen and nutrients to reach your wound site.
Another reason why wounds don’t heal in diabetics is that high glucose levels inhibit your white blood cells, hindering your immune response. When you get a diabetic wound, it’s much more difficult for your body to heal and to fight off infection.
Once you notice you have an ulcer, it’s important to seek podiatric medical care for diabetes foot wound healing as soon as possible. If not managed properly, complications with infection can lead to osteomyelitis, amputation, and, in extreme cases, even death.
That being said, there are plenty of diabetic wound healing products and supplements you can use to properly manage your diabetes foot wound healing.
And of course, the best defense is to prevent your DFUs from happening in the first place!
How to prevent diabetic foot ulcers
Diabetic foot ulcers don’t need to be regular occurrences. In fact, many people with diabetes don’t get them at all!
With the above supplements and these practical tips for preventing DFUs, you could be one of them.
Do daily foot checks
Inspect the skin of your feet (and ideally your full body) every day to look for scrapes, bruises, and swelling. Immediately clean, disinfect, and cover anything you might find.
Then, keep a close eye on the diabetic wound healing process to see if it's getting progressively better or worse. Swiftly managing cuts, scrapes, and blisters can help keep them from evolving into chronic diabetic foot ulcers.
Avoid walking around barefoot
This is an important rule when you have diabetes, and especially if you have diabetic neuropathy.
It’s best to wear socks, slippers, or shoes whenever possible. Walking barefoot will put you at greater risk of cuts, and you may not even be aware if you step on something sharp until it’s too late.
Wear the right shoes
Ill-fitting shoes can result in blisters or pressure ulcers that may later turn into chronic foot ulcers. If you aren’t sure about your shoe size, have a professional assist you.
Look for shoes made of breathable and sturdy materials like leather, suede, or canvas. It is also best to avoid shoes with pointed or open toes - such as high heels, sandals, or flip-flops.
Rearrange your furniture
Be proactive and remove or reorganize household items that could cause you to trip, stub your toes, or fall. This will help prevent you from injuring your feet at home - and may even provide a breath of fresh air for you in the form of a well-organized home.
If you do continue to bump into things with the same part of your foot, you could try protecting that piece of skin with a wrap or brace.
Manage your blood glucose levels
If you’re able to keep your blood glucose at healthy levels, it may help you avoid some of the reasons why wounds don’t heal in diabetics.
For one, it will help your circulation immensely. You will also be less likely to develop advanced neuropathy.
With healthy blood glucose levels, it should be much easier for your body to heal cuts and bruises, which may help prevent diabetic foot ulcers.
Of course, no plan is perfect, and for some people, diabetic foot ulcers are a way of life no matter how they try to prevent them. So how can a diabetic wound heal faster?
Well, by bringing the list here to your doctor and creating a treatment plan.
If you have regular DFUs, or have a wound that simply won’t heal, then it’s important to learn and understand as much as you can about advanced diabetic wound healing products and supplements.
As a reminder, much of the wound healing process comes from within. And a supply of healthy foods and supplements will help give your body the resources it needs to fend off any illnesses, heal wounds faster, and prevent future ones.
Here at ProT Gold, we are an industry leader in creating medical-grade collagen products that are trusted in nearly 4,000 medical facilities across the United States. Our formula is easy to digest, contains no additives or excess sugars, and has already helped many people in their diabetes wound healing journey.
Collagen protein supplements may cut your injury recovery and wound healing time in half, offering a safe, sustainable option for managing your diabetes-related injuries.
You can see the results for yourself - check out our collagen protein reviews here to learn more about one of the best diabetic wound healing products on the market.