Causes of diabetic ulcers and treatment options
Diabetes is a serious and very common disease. Over 29 million people in the United States have diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. Diabetes affects many major body systems including nervous, immune and circulatory. That means diabetes affects you throughout your body, especially your feet.
Diabetic ulcers are a painful, debilitating problem which can happen in about 15% of people with diabetes. But there is help available. Your podiatrists at The Foot & Ankle Group in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania want you to know about prevention and treatment of diabetic foot ulcers.
Diabetic ulcers can happen because of injury to your foot, lack of circulation, and lack of proper nerve function. Because diabetes affects the nervous system, you may not even feel any pain from an ulcer. You may notice redness, swelling, a bad odor, or drainage coming from your foot.
Your podiatrists at The Foot & Ankle Group want you to know how to prevent diabetic foot ulcers. Remember to:
- Check your feet daily, including using a mirror to see the soles of your feet
- Wash, dry and apply lotion to your feet daily
- Always wear comfortable socks and shoes, and never go barefoot
If you do develop a diabetic ulcer on your foot, your podiatrists at The Foot & Ankle Group want to promote healing as fast as possible, before your ulcer can become infected. They will suggest:
- Taking pressure off of your feet, by using a brace or special footwear
- Using crutches or a wheelchair
- Removing any dead skin or tissue
- Applying topical medications and dressings on the ulcer
If your diabetic ulcer does become infected, antibiotics may be prescribed. In cases of a severe diabetic ulcer that doesn’t respond to treatment, surgery may be indicated. The goal of surgery for a diabetic ulcer is to relieve pressure. This can be achieved by shaving or excising bone, and correcting any bone deformities.
Diabetic ulcers can be serious and can limit your daily activities, keeping you from enjoying your life. But help is just a phone call away. If you have a diabetic ulcer, don’t wait for the problem to get worse. It’s time to call your podiatrists at The Foot & Ankle Group, with offices in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Mount Laurel, Bordentown, and Columbus, New Jersey. Call today and feel better tomorrow!