diabetic foot ulcer treatment
Foot ulcers are a common complication of diabetes that is not being managed through methods such as diet, exercise, and insulin treatment. Ulcers are formed as a result of skin tissue breaking down and exposing the layers underneath.They’re most common under your big toes and the balls of your feet, and they can affect your feet down to the bones.All people with diabetes can develop foot ulcers, but good foot care can help prevent them. Treatment for diabetic foot ulcers varies depending on their causes.Discuss any foot concerns with your doctor to ensure it’s not a serious problem, as infected ulcers can result in amputation if neglected.
Identifying symptoms and diagnosis
One of the first signs of a foot ulcer is drainage from your foot that might stain your socks or leak out in your shoe. Unusual swelling, irritation, redness, and odors from one or both feet are also common early symptoms.The most visible sign of a serious foot ulcer is black tissue (called eschar) surrounding the ulcer. This forms because of an absence of healthy blood flow to the area around the ulcer.Partial or complete gangrene, which refers to tissue death due to infections, can appear around the ulcer. In this case, odorous discharge, pain, and numbness can occur.Signs of foot ulcers are not always obvious. Sometimes, you won’t even show symptoms of ulcers until the ulcer has become infected.Talk with your doctor if you begin to see any skin discoloration, especially tissue that has turned black, or feel any pain around an area that appears callused or irritated.
Causes of diabetic foot ulcers
Ulcers in people with diabetes are most commonly caused by:
high blood sugar (hyperglycemia)
irritated or wounded feet
Poor blood circulation is a form of vascular disease in which blood doesn’t flow to your feet efficiently. Poor circulation can also make it more difficult for ulcers to heal.
High glucose levels can slow the healing process of an infected foot ulcer, so blood sugar management is critical. People with type 2 diabetes and other ailments often have a harder time fighting off infections from ulcers.
Nerve damage is a long-term effect and can lead to a loss of feeling in your feet. Damaged nerves can feel tingly and painful. Nerve damage reduces sensitivity to foot pain and results in painless wounds that can cause ulcers.
Ulcers can be identified by drainage from the affected area and sometimes a noticeable lump that isn’t always painful.
Risk factors for diabetic foot ulcers
All people with diabetes are at risk for foot ulcers, which can have multiple causes. Some factors can increase the risk of foot ulcers, including:
poorly fitted or poor quality shoes
poor hygiene (not washing regularly or thoroughly or not drying the feet well after washing)
improper trimming of toenails
eye disease from diabetes
tobacco use (inhibits blood circulation)
Our doctor may recommend that you seek surgical help for your ulcers. A surgeon can help alleviate pressure around your ulcer by shaving down the bone or removing foot abnormalities such as bunions or hammertoes.You will likely not need surgery on your ulcer. However, if no other treatment option can help your ulcer heal, surgery can prevent your ulcer from becoming worse or leading to amputation.