What are Diabetic Ulcers?
A diabetic foot ulcer is an open wound that is commonly found at the bottoms of the feet. Anyone who has been diagnosed with diabetes can develop a foot ulcer; however, patients who use insulin and those with kidney, eye or heart disease are at a higher risk.
There are a variety of factors that can cause diabetic ulcers to form including poor circulation, trauma, deformities and lack of sensation in the foot. Those with diabetes may also develop neuropathy, a condition in which nerve damage causes a loss of feeling in the feet. A podiatrist can easily test for diabetes-related neuropathy using a painless instrument known as a monofilament.
Since many diabetic patients have a loss of feeling in their feet, pain will not be a common symptom of a diabetic foot ulcer. Redness and swelling of the foot is common, and some may notice drainage or experience an odor.
If you notice that you have a foot ulcer, it’s time to see your podiatrist right away for treatment. Treating the condition as soon as possible will reduce the chance of infection. Our goal is to promote faster and more efficient healing. For those with an ulcer on the bottom of the foot, staying off the foot is crucial. This means wearing a brace or specialized footwear to keep pressure off the area.
Also the use of dressings and topical medications will aid in healing the foot ulcer. However, for rare cases in which these treatment options do not work, we may need to perform surgery to reduce pressure on the ulcerated area of the foot.
Diabetic patients that also have neuropathy, poor circulation, foot abnormalities and poor shoes are at a higher risk for developing foot ulcers. The best way to promote proper ulcer healing is to see your podiatrist for treatment.
To find out more about diabetic ulcers or to schedule an appointment, call our office today at (215) 332-5300.