What is a Diabetic Ulcer?
A diabetic ulcer is an opening, sore or wound in the skin of a person with diabetes usually occurring on the foot. A small cut, scrape, blister or ulcer can become a serious health concern for diabetics due to the risk of infection, poor blood flow and slower healing time. These ulcers can lead to amputation of the toes, foot or even the entire lower leg. “It is important for diabetics to check their feet every day so minor cuts and scrapes are caught early and treated” advises Dr. Jonathan Moore, Medical Director of Cumberland Foot and Ankle, a Diabetic Foot and Ankle Center of Excellence in Kentucky.
How do you get a Diabetic ulcer?
Diabetic ulcers occur as a result of various factors including trauma, lack of sensation that signals pain in the foot, poor circulation, foot deformity, infected insect bite, cut or scrape. Some people who have had diabetes for many years can develop neuropathy, a complication caused by elevated blood glucose levels over a length of time. Neuropathy from nerve damage results in a decreased or complete lack of feeling in the feet and lower legs. Another complication is poor circulation or blood flow which slows healing and increases the risk for infection. High blood sugar levels can also reduce the body’s ability to fight infection and heal.
Correctly Healing a Diabetic ulcer?
The science of wound care has advanced significantly over the years. The old-time saying “let the air get to it” or “leave the dressing off so the wound dries out” has actually been shown to be harmful to the healing process. Studies have proven that a “moist wound environment” is ideal for the healing process to take place. In general, all ulcers including diabetic ulcers heal faster and have a much lower risk of infection when they are kept moist and covered with a dressing continuously.
How do you prevent Diabetic Ulcers?
1. Inspect your feet DAILY for blisters, cuts, sores, and pay extra attention between the toes.
2. Schedule regular foot examinations with your podiatrist .
3. Always wear socks or stockings to help pad and protect your feet.
4. Do NOT walk around barefoot . Lack of injury detection is the leading cause of foot ulcers.
5. Wash and Dry your feet DAILY especially between the toes.