Every year in this country, hundreds of thousands of diabetic patients develop foot ulcers (open sores that can take days, weeks or even months to heal and close up.) Many diabetics do not produce enough insulin, the hormone responsible for helping cells turn glucose into energy, so their blood sugar levels can shoot up.
High blood sugar levels can damage the blood vessels that transport blood around the body. When blood flow to your legs and feet is restricted, it means that healing, oxygen-rich blood never gets to your outer extremities. In turn, even the smallest of cuts can develop into these large, open infections (ulcers.) And, if doctors can’t get those ulcers to heal, the infected tissue from the wound may spread to the blood or bone, threatening the entire limb. In fact, ulcers are responsible for many diabetic foot amputations.
That’s why, as a podiatrist, I’m excited any time a new ulcer treatment becomes available. That’s why, today, I’m going to tell you about an easy-to-use, non-invasive new treatment option. Want to hear the best part? It comes in the form of a spray.
New Spray Treatment for Diabetic Ulcers
The name of the new treatment option is Granulox, a spray designed to treat diabetic ulcers. The spray contains hemoglobin, a substance that is naturally found in red blood cells, which are responsible for delivering oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body.
In the new Granulox spray, hemoglobin binds with oxygen from the air, helping deliver it to the bottom of the wound. After cleaning out the ulcer, your podiatrist applies spray to the wound; the spray can be used at every dressing change for the ulcer, helping speed up the healing process.
In addition to being used for diabetic ulcers, patients with vein disease and venous leg ulcers could also benefit from Granulox.
Faster Healing Times with Granulox
So, how much faster can wounds heal with the hemoglobin spray? According to studies, adding Granulox to the ulcer treatment protocol cuts the ulcer’s healing time in half! That’s a big deal for patients dealing with open wounds—especially for those who have exhausted other treatment options.
Another big deal? Using Granulox spray reportedly cuts the cost of treating your diabetic ulcer by up to 40%!
But, here’s some sort-of-bad news: while Granulox is currently available in the UK, the FDA has not yet approved the spray for use here at home. Still, thanks to its promising results overseas, the FDA has fast-tracked the Granulox approval process, which is good news for those of us protecting diabetic feet in Houston and all over the country.
As always, I work hard to keep you posted about the latest developments in diabetic foot care (plus other fancy new foot treatments) so be sure and check back with me regularly. I’ll be sure to let you know if and when this spray for treating ulcers is finally available to American patients.
If you have noticed a break in the skin or an ulcer forming on your feet, it is a medical emergency! Contact Houston podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider immediately and we'll get you in. The sooner you come in, the faster we can get your diabetic foot ulcer healed.