Diabetic foot care is a huge concern and common problem seen by podiatrists everywhere. Diabetic foot ulcers are one of the complications from people with diabetes that is sometimes the result of poor diabetic foot care. Anyone with diabetes can develop foot ulcers and associated foot pain that comes with diabetes.
Identifying Diabetic Foot Ulcers
The visual and scented symptoms of foot ulcers are not pleasant but they are some of the first signs that people notice when discovering that they have a foot ulcer. This can include drainage from the bottom of the foot that leaves a faint stain on your sock. The drainage will follow with odors and potential swelling or redness in the infected area of your foot ulcer.
What podiatrists say the clearest sign of a foot ulcer is the skin surrounding the wound. The skin surrounding it will appear dark and black. The reasoning behind darkened and black skin surrounding an ulcer is the lack of healthy blood flow to the area. Though these signs aren’t apparent at first and the foot ulcer may not start showing the severe symptoms until it has become infected.
How foot ulcers are formed
Diabetic foot ulcers are usually formed due to nerve damage, going untreated, poor circulation, wounds on feet, and hyperglycemia (high blood sugar).
With each of the listed causes of diabetic foot ulcers, there are steps to avoiding those specific conditions themselves. When you are able to identify the root causes of these initial problems, solve them, and continue to take the proper care where needed then diabetic ulcers may never need to be apart of the equation.
Everyone with diabetes is at risk for foot ulcers. Though there are some behaviors and factors that increase that risk substantially. These are all included:
- Not washing your feet
- Untreated foot injuries
- Poor blood circulation
- Incorrect shoe sizes and wrong footwear that’s too fitted
The treatment of diabetic foot ulcers
As you could imagine trying your best to stay off of the foot with the ulcer is a great idea. This is called off-loading and it can become your best friend while you heal your foot ulcer. Staying off of your foot or feet that have the infection will reduce the likeliness of it expanding and spreading.
Along with off-loading for the sake of healing your foot ulcer, you’re going to want to protect the infected foot in general. This means not letting anything accidentally swipe it or hit the infected area. Your podiatrist may recommend diabetic shoes (orthotics), foot braces, casts, or wraps.
In terms of severe foot ulcers, there are surgical procedures that can be performed. This process typically involves removing deformities to relieve pressure.