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Diabetic. Recovering from gangrene on toe. How to treat dead skin?

Aug 2012
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Practicing since : 1999
Answered : 362 Questions
My customer overseas is recovering from gangrene on his toe. He is diabetic. His family wants to know how to treat the dead skin? It has been coming off slowly and has bless a little.
Posted Wed, 17 Apr 2013 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Madhuri Patil 30 minutes later
Hi there.

The customer of yours seems to be on right set of antibiotics for the condition of his foot. Also you have mentioned that his blood glucose is under control. This gives a hope that the infection will remain restricted to that particular toe only. Already been a dead tissue, the foot surgeon would suggest removal of it (the toe only) to prevent infection spread in the rest of the foot. So unfortunately, it cannot be treated to conserve the foot structure. Anyway, amputation of the toe is the best way in terms of rest of the body.
I hope you got the answer. Please get back for any further query. Take care.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Diabetic. Recovering from gangrene on toe. How to treat dead skin? 22 hours later
Hello again, thank you for your quick reply to my question. My friend went to his doctor again today. It turns out his toe does not have gangrene. There is blood circulation and he has feeling in the toe. I have attached a picture of his toe as well. The toe is white because he applied neosporin cream and powder. So, they would like to know if there are any special medications they can use to help the healing quicker.

Thank you again!

Answered by Dr. Madhuri Patil 5 hours later

Thank you for the clarification and the images.

This is certainly going to heal but slowly. Most important thing is to control sugars very strictly and complete the course of antibiotics properly.
The key is insulin- even when his sugars are under control with oral medication, in the situation of slowly healing ulcers, one needs to be treated with insulin only. Insulin, along with taking care of sugar, helps for fast healing process.
Secondly, a few old and even a few new surgeons believe that spraying the cleaned ulcer with short acting soluble insulin directly on it also makes the healing process fast. I also believe into it and I have also tried this on my patients myself with wonderful results. BUT THIS IS NOT AN APPROVED METHOS BY THE AUTHORITIES AND HENCE YOU SHOULD NOT TRY IT WITHOUT CONSULTING THE TREATING DOCTOR.
Fortunately at this stage his whole foot can be saved and not a worry issue at all.
Please get back for any related query. Take care.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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