We speak with Flen Health about diabetic foot ulcers: how best to cope with them and what treatments are available.
Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases in the UK and it is increasing in prevalence. By 2025 it is estimated that 5 million people in the UK will suffer from diabetes.1 Foot complications are common in people with diabetes. It is thought that 10% of people with diabetes will get a diabetic foot ulcer at some point in their lives.1
People with diabetes may have reduced nerve functioning due to peripheral diabetic neuropathy. This means that the nerves that usually carry pain sensation to the brain from the feet do not function as well as they should and it is possible for damage to occur to your feet without feeling it. Standing on something, wearing tight shoes, cuts and blisters can all develop into diabetic foot ulcers. 2
Diabetes may also affect your circulation by causing the arteries to become 'furred up' or narrowed (atherosclerosis). This can affect all the major blood vessels, especially those supplying the feet. Without a good blood supply, your feet won’t heal as well.5 Unfortunately diabetic foot ulcers can be serious, with 80% of non-traumatic limb amputations being preceded by a foot ulcer.1
Why use Flaminal?
Flaminal is a wound care dressing that is used on many types of wounds including diabetic foot ulcers. If you get a diabetic foot ulcer there are a number of dressings that your healthcare professional may use to treat it depending on how large or small it is or if it is infected. Flaminal is a versatile wound dressing that has a number of positive effects on the wound. Flaminal will continually remove wound debris which can delay healing. The material is absorbed along with bacteria into the gel structure, cleaning the wound bed. Excess wound fluid that could damage wound edges and the skin surrounding the wound will also be absorbed. This balance of moisture and excessive wound fluid is important as a too dry wound will not heal either. Flaminal helps defend against infection and contamination of the wound. Flaminal is effective against MRSA which is a type of bacteria that is resistant to a lot of antibiotics.3 The way Flaminal works is that naturally occurring enzymes (the same that are in breast milk and saliva) work together to kill bacteria within the gel structure. These enzymes are very effective against bacteria but do not harm the key human cells involved in healing. Flaminal has also been proven to help facilitate wound closure. 6
In a clinical study Flaminal has also been shown to help speed up the healing process.4 Foot problems in people with diabetes have a significant financial impact on the NHS through primary care, community care, outpatient costs, increased bed occupancy and prolonged stays in hospital. A report published in 2012 by NHS Diabetes estimated that around £650 million (or £1 in every £150 the NHS spends) is spent on foot ulcers or amputations each year.1
If you can speed up the healing process, this means less time spent being treated, which can result in cost savings for the NHS. People with diabetes should have and annual foot check by a doctor or healthcare professional. Recognising symptoms such as reduced feeling and acting on them immediately should help to avoid diabetes foot ulcers.2
Flaminal comes in two presentations, Flaminal Hydro low to moderately exuding (weeping) wounds Flaminal Forte for highly exuding (wet) wounds.
Ask your healthcare professional if Flaminal is an appropriate treatment for your foot ulcer.
For more information
Flen Health UK LTD, 1 Northumberland Avenue, London, WC2N 5BW
Tel +44 (0) 207 872 5460 | Fax +44 (0) 207 872 5611
Email firstname.lastname@example.org Flen Site http://flenhealth.co.uk/
About Flen Health
Flen Health was established in November 2000, building on the results of wound-treatment research performed by its managing director Philippe Sollie, a pharmacist, during the 1990s. Flen Health's products for wound healing are based on the moist-wound healing principle and originate from patented polymer applications and patented enzyme complexes. Its first line of products is in wound care. New products are in development in dermatological and related fields. With laboratories and offices in Belgium and Luxembourg, Flen Health applies ISO 13485 : 2003 quality standards to its operations.
1. https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng19/chapter/introduction accessed on 28th July 2017
2. http://www.diabetes.co.uk/diabetes-complications/diabetic-foot-ulcers.html accessed on 28th July 2017
3. De Smet, K. et al. Pre-clinical evaluation of a new antimicrobial enzyme for the control of wound bioburden. Wounds. 2009;21:65–73.
4. De la Brassinne, M. et al. A novel method of comparing the healing properties of two hydrogels in chronic leg ulcers. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2006;20:131–135.
6. Durante, C. An open-label, non-comparative case series on the efficacy of an enzyme alginogel. J Wound Care. 2012;21:22–28.