If you have diabetes, there is a 40% chance that you will experience neuropathy, or numbness, when you have a wound on your foot. This means that if you have an open wound on your foot, it is likely that you will not feel any pain from it, causing you to avoid seeing a podiatrist until it gets infected or worse. Diabetic foot ulcers are caused by nerve damage from elevated blood glucose levels, which can also slow healing and reduce the body’s ability to fight off infections.
Diabetic foot ulcers occur in close to 15% of diabetic patients and often develop on the bottom of the foot. Patients with this problem are sometimes hospitalized due to infection and complication with the ulcers they develop, often resulting in amputation.
Anyone with diabetes can develop a foot ulcer, but older men are the most susceptible. Diabetics who use insulin are also more likely to develop a foot ulcer, as are those who use alcohol and tobacco products.
Ulcers can form as the result of lack of feeling, poor circulation, deformities, irritation and trauma. Symptoms may include drainage on your socks, redness, swelling and odor.
Foot ulcer development is, however, preventable, and our Richardson wound care specialists will tell you how.
Once you notice an ulcer on your foot, you should immediately seek podiatric care. Foot ulcers in diabetic patients need to be treated to reduce the risk of infection and amputation. Other treatment factors include the following:
- Taking pressure off the wounded foot
- Removing dead skin and tissue
- Putting medicine and dressings on the wound, keeping it clean and covered
- Avoiding walking without shoes
- Managing your blood glucose levels
To prevent diabetic foot ulcers from developing, you should be sure to visit your Richardson wound care specialist regularly so that we can determine whether you are at risk. Some additional measures you can take to prevent foot ulcers are as follows:
- Wearing supportive shoes and socks
- Inspecting your feet daily for signs of abnormality
- Reducing your use of alcohol and tobacco
- Monitoring high cholesterol
- Monitoring elevated blood glucose
If you have any questions or concerns about a possible diabetic foot ulcer, contact our Richardson wound care specialists today to make an appointment. We will discuss and determine the best treatment options for you.