Diabetes is a chronic, progressive disease, and many who have it will eventually develop a complication called neuropathy. This problem causes tingling and numbness that can lead to foot ulcers, as those with diabetes often have diminished sensation and won’t notice minor scratches or pressure and their sores tend to get less attention than someone who doesn’t have diabetes who would notice them right away. Without the pain sensations sounding the alarm, patients with diabetic neuropathy tend not to notice the problem and compounded with increased blood sugar, this can lead to a dire situation very quickly, especially if you have poor blood circulation.
The take-home message for anyone with diabetes is to pay close attention to your feet, even if you notice something minor. Ulcers should be treated promptly because they increase your risk of infection. You should carefully inspect the bottoms and sides of your feet every day for red sores surrounded by dry, crackling skin.
Do I Have a Diabetic Foot Ulcer?
You should perform daily inspections of your feet if you have diabetes, as you may not have as much feeling in your feet as someone who doesn’t have your same disease. Look for any open sores, cuts, redness, or swelling. Ulcers may also cause drainage in your socks, as well as an unpleasant odor. If you notice one, you should act quickly to have the problem resolved as diabetics run the risk of requiring foot amputation without prompt treatment.
What Is the Treatment for a Diabetic Foot Ulcer?
Debridement is the primary treatment for foot ulcers, which involves the removal of dead tissue and calloused skin surrounding the foot ulcer. Once the debridement is complete, the ulcer itself is bandaged and you will be provided with protective footwear to alleviate pressure on the affected area. Some patients may require surgery to remove an ulcer, or amputation if there is a rampant infection.
How Can I Prevent a Diabetic Foot Ulcer?
Diabetics should be very aware of their foot health and wash and dry their feet religiously while making the effort to keep them well moisturized, too. Change your socks frequently and keep your toenails trimmed short. Make sure to have your feet evaluated at least once per year, and if you detect any signs of wounds or infections, you should have an immediate medical evaluation to prevent any severe complications.
For further information about how our podiatry specialists at Curalta Foot & Ankle can help you care for your feet as a diabetic, call us at 1-888–777-1430 or reach out online to book an appointment now.