Diabetic foot ulcers can start very easily. Maybe it’s a new pair of shoes or an extra long walk. Next thing you know, you have a small callus or blister on your foot.
The problem arises when you lose feeling in your feet. If you keep walking instead of stopping or changing shoes, a small sore may turn into a more serious wound. Up to 10 percent of people with diabetes will end up with a foot ulcer. Don’t let it happen to you.
Ways to prevent foot ulcers:
Monitor your blood sugar. The best way to prevent diabetic foot ulcers is to keep your blood sugar levels under control. Uncontrolled glucose often leads to neuropathy, which causes loss of feeling in the feet and may allow a sore to go unnoticed. Maintaining normal glucose levels will also help any sores on the foot heal faster. This can help keep ulcers from developing.
Pay attention to your feet. Ace podiatrists say it’s important to check your feet daily if you have diabetes. Catching a sore early can go a long way in preventing major problems. If you can’t see the bottoms of your feet, try this: Put a mirror on the floor and hold each foot over it. Or ask a family member to check all areas of your feet regularly.
How can you treat foot ulcers?
You need to “offload” the affected part of the foot. This is something your podiatrist can do. Continued pressure on the sore will only worsen it. So you’ll likely wear a cast, surgical shoe or boot that keeps weight off the injured site while the wound heals.
If the ulcer hasn’t healed in four weeks or you have a bone infection, your podiatrsit may recommend more advanced therapies.
These may include:
- Living cellular skin substitute
- Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized room) to promote healing
Why are foot ulcers so serious?
The soft tissue of the foot isn’t like that on other parts of the body, so an infection can get to the muscle and bone very quickly. Infection and poor blood flow can lead to more serious complications.
Infections can lead to amputation. For this reason, you need to see your Ace podiatrist quickly if you suspect you have a foot ulcer.
Never let a wound linger without treatment. As time passes, the chances of it healing decrease. Be sure to see your podiatrist right away. Call Ace Medical today for an appointment.