When To See Your Doctor
If you begin to see blackened flesh around an area of numbness, see your doctor right away to seek treatment for an infected foot ulcer. If untreated, ulcers can cause abscesses and spread to other areas on your feet and legs.
At this point, ulcers can often only be treated by surgery, amputation, or replacement of lost skin by synthetic skin substitutes.
How Can I Prevent Leg Ulcers
Leg ulcers commonly open up again after healing. These steps can lower the risk of getting a leg ulcer or a wound recurrence:
- Elevate your legs above your heart when youre sitting or sleeping.
- Maintain a healthy weight and stay physically active.
- Manage health conditions that affect blood circulation, including diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and Raynauds syndrome.
- Quit smoking and using tobacco products. Talk with your healthcare provider about ways to stop smoking.
- Use gentle cleansers, and apply moisturizing lotion to prevent dry skin.
- Wear compression stockings or bandages for an hour each day to improve blood flow to the legs.
Regular Sugar Heals Leg Ulcers And Other Skin Wounds
Every so often something happens that really can change lives. A low-tech fix that works and works consistently. In a world where people often go to bed hungry and cant even consider medical treatment because of the cost such a fix would be life-changing.
In view of what Im about to tell you I have to wonder why this hasnt been plastered all over the news, why it hasnt been publicised to the nth degree.
The sad truth is theres no money in it thats why. Big pharma dont want you to know about this because it will cost them billions a year in lost revenue.
What is this miracle?
Sugar. Normal, regular household sugar. Let me explain.
Moses Murandu is a nurse working in the UK. He was born and raised in Zimbabwe. Seeing patients struggling for years with disability brought on by leg ulcers that wouldnt heal he asked if he could try a traditional African treatment of using regular sugar on the wounds.
The bacteria that causes the breakdown of the skin lives in a thin slimy film on top of the ulcer, antibiotics very rarely work and the dressings that supposedly heal ulcers are extortionately expensive and again they prevent further infection but rarely actually heal the defect.
The smell caused by leg ulcers is appalling and its something you cant mask however much air freshener you use.
The cheapness of the treatment is the problem, nobody will back a clinical trial that they know wont earn them a profit. To hell with the patients.
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Research And Evidence On Sugars Effectiveness
A growing collection of case studies from around the world supports the effectiveness of sugar in treating wounds and skin infections, including examples of successful sugar treatments on wounds resistant to antibiotics.
Here is a picture of a leg ulcer that conventional antibiotic treatment had not been able to help. In fact, it got worse over a couple of years. The second picture was taken after 30 days of treatment with sugar.
There is little funding available for research on sugar as a treatment and alternative to pharmaceutical antibiotics. Pharmaceutical companies cannot patent or control the use of sugar, so they have no incentive to fund any research. Just the opposite sugar is a severe threat to many current skin antibiotics and all their pharmaceutical treatments for skin infections, ulcers and wounds. The pharmaceutical industry has a lot to lose if sugar takes its rightful place as a first treatment, so they try to discredit sugar and hide its use from doctors and hospitals.
Unfortunately for the pharmaceutical industry, several hospitals are getting dramatically improved outcomes at very low cost by using sugar as an approved and first treatment. The savings to both government and insurance company expenditures are impossible to ignore.
Murandu has also carried out clinical studies on 41 patients in Wolverhampton in the UK. He hasnt yet published the trial results but has presented them at national and international conferences.
The Sugar Is The Plain Granulated Type You Might Use To Sweeten Your Tea
The sugar Murandu uses is the plain, granulated type you might use to sweeten your tea. In the same in vitro trials, he found that there was no difference between using cane or beet sugar. Demerara, however, wasnt as effective.
The pilot showed that strains of bacteria grew in low concentrations of sugar but were completely inhibited in higher concentrations. Murandu started recording case studies in Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Lesotho . Included among them is a woman living in Harare.
The womans foot had been measured, ready to be amputated, when my nephew called me, Murandu says. She had had a terrible wound for five years, and the doctor wanted to amputate. I told her to wash the wound, apply sugar, leave it and repeat.
The woman still has her leg.
This, he says, is one example of why there is so much interest in his methods, particularly from parts of the world where people cant afford antibiotics.
Researchers like Moses Murandu are pushing for sugar to be considered an effective method of wound treatment
In total, Murandu has now carried out clinical studies on 41 patients in the UK. He hasnt yet published the trial results but has presented them at national and international conferences. One question he had to answer during his research was whether sugar could be used on diabetic patients, who commonly have leg and foot ulcers. Diabetics need to control the level of glucose in their blood so this isnt an obvious healing method to use on them.
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How Venous Leg Ulcers Are Treated
Most venous leg ulcers heal within 3 to 4 months if they’re treated by a healthcare professional trained in compression therapy for leg ulcers.
But some ulcers may take longer to heal, and a very small number never heal.
Treatment usually involves:
- cleaning and dressing the wound
- using compression, such as bandages or stockings, to improve the flow of blood in the legs
Antibiotics may also be used if the ulcer becomes infected, but they do not help ulcers heal.
But unless the underlying cause of the ulcer is addressed, there’s a high risk of a venous leg ulcer coming back after treatment.
Underlying causes could include immobility, obesity, previous DVT or varicose veins.
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Are Foot Ulcers Curable
Typically, shallow foot ulcers with adequate blood circulation heal within 12 weeks. A third of all cured foot ulcers are at risk of recurrence owing to a lack of prophylactic and remedial actions. Deep ulcers with a high infection rate and poor circulation may need surgery and a prolonged healing period.
Management Of Systemic And Local Factors
Treatment of diabetic foot ulcers requires management of a number of systemic and local factors.
Precise diabetic control is, of course, vital, not only in achieving resolution of the current wound, but also in minimizing the risk of recurrence. Management of contributing systemic factors, such as hypertension, hyperlipidemia, atherosclerotic heart disease, obesity, or renal insufficiency, is crucial. Management of arterial insufficiency, treatment of infection with appropriate antibiotics, offloading the area of the ulcer, and wound care are also essential.
Amin N, Doupis J. Diabetic foot disease: From the evaluation of the foot at risk to the novel diabetic ulcer treatment modalities. World J Diabetes. 2016 Apr 10. 7 :153-64. . .
Naves CC. The Diabetic Foot: A Historical Overview and Gaps in Current Treatment. Adv Wound Care . 2016 May 1. 5 :191-197. . .
Rice JB, Desai U, Cummings AK, Birnbaum HG, Skornicki M, Parsons NB. Burden of diabetic foot ulcers for Medicare and private insurers. Diabetes Care. 2014. 37 :651-8. .
Gentile AT, Berman SS, Reinke KR, Demas CP, Ihnat DH, Hughes JD, et al. A regional pedal ischemia scoring system for decision analysis in patients with heel ulceration. Am J Surg. 1998 Aug. 176:109-14. .
Mills JL Sr, Conte MS, Armstrong DG, et al. The Society for Vascular Surgery Lower Extremity Threatened Limb Classification System: risk stratification based on wound, ischemia, and foot infection . J Vasc Surg. 2014 Jan. 59 :220-34.e1-2. . .
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As Well As Being Cheaper Sugar Has Another Upside: As More And More Antibiotics Are Used We Are Becoming Resistant To Them
Back in the UK, tissue engineering specialist Sheila MacNeil of the University of Sheffeld has researched how naturally occurring sugars can be used to stimulate the re-growth of blood vessels. Her research stemmed from from her work on tumours, when she noticed that one particular small sugar derived from the breakdown of DNA kept cropping up. MacNeils team experimented by applying this sugar to the membrane surrounding chick embryos. According to MacNeil, the sugar stimulated double the number of blood vessels than would grow without it.
But of course these types of naturally occurring sugars found in our bodies are a long way from the type of everyday sugar used by Murandu in his experiments. The dream ticket, MacNeil says, would be to find a sugar that could be used in both ways. She believes this is the next step research should take.
Meanwhile in Wolverhampton, Murandus plan is to set up a private clinic using his sugar method. He hopes that one day sugar will be commonly used, not only by the NHS but also at public hospitals in some of the other countries where he has been working. He continues to get regular emails from around the world, asking for his advice and guides patients remotely over email and texting. His far-away clients send him photos of their results along with their gratitude when they are healed.
Like sugar, the knowledge came raw from Zimbabwe, was refined here and is now going back to help people in Africa, he says.
What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider
You may want to ask your healthcare provider:
- What caused the leg ulcer?
- What is the best treatment for me?
- What changes can I make to heal the wound and prevent future ulcers?
- Should I look out for signs of complications?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Leg ulcers can be painful, unsightly and difficult to treat. Chronic leg ulcers need specialized wound care to prevent infection and aid healing. Your healthcare provider may recommend other treatments like medicines or procedures to improve blood flow to the leg. Even after they heal, leg ulcers can break open again. Your provider can offer suggestions on how to prevent a wound recurrence.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 06/23/2022.
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How Are Leg Ulcers Treated
Leg ulcers can be challenging to eliminate. Even with treatment, wounds can persist for months or sometimes years.
Treatments vary depending on the ulcer type and cause. Your healthcare provider will focus on healing the wound, reducing swelling and preventing the ulcer from coming back as it heals.
Leg ulcer treatments include:
- Compression therapy with stockings or bandages to stimulate blood flow to the legs.
- Leg elevation above the heart for one hour a day for at least six days.
- Wound care, including debridement , topical antiseptics to prevent infection and regular bandage changes.
- Antibiotics to treat infections and medications to open blood vessels and improve blood flow .
- Hyperbaric oxygen therapy to get more oxygen into the blood and speed healing.
- Sclerotherapy or endovascular ablation to treat varicose veins.
- Surgery to remove, repair, replace or bypass a damaged vein.
- Skin grafts for wounds larger than 4 inches or ulcers that dont heal with other treatments.
When You Need More Treatment
If your wound doesnât heal in about a month or becomes an infection that spreads to the bone, you may need other treatments. These can include surgery and hyperbolic oxygen therapy, which involves breathing pure oxygen in a special room in order to help your body heal.
If your ulcer develops gangrene and your tissue dies, your doctor may have to amputate that area of your body.
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Are Leg Ulcers A Dangerous Condition
A venous skin ulcer is a lesion on the leg that heals very slowly, often due to poor blood circulation in the limb. They might persist from a few weeks to many years. You may hear them referred to as venous leg ulcers by a doctor or nurse. They may sometimes progress to more severe complications if left untreated.
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How To Help The Healing Process Along
To help the healing process along, follow these tips:
Do regular self-checks. Catching wounds early is the key to avoiding infections and complications. Make sure you do daily self-checks and look for new wounds, especially on your feet. Dont forget to check in between and under your toes.
Remove dead tissue. Necrosis and excess tissue often occur with diabetic wounds. This can promote bacteria and toxins and increase wound infection. It can also prevent you from being able to inspect the underlying tissue. Your doctor will often help you with the removal process.
Keep dressings fresh. Regularly changing dressings can help reduce bacteria and maintain appropriate moisture levels in the wound. Doctors often recommend special wound care dressings.
Keep pressure off the area. Pressure can cause wear and tear that damages the skin and leads to a deeper wound or ulcer.
If youre dealing with a foot wound, consider wearing white socks during the healing process. This will make it easier to see blood or other signs of drainage on your socks.
See your doctor if you experience any of the following:
You should also see your doctor if your symptoms worsen or last longer than a week.
Cleaning And Dressing The Ulcer
The first step is to remove any debris or dead tissue from the ulcer and apply an appropriate dressing. This provides the best conditions for the ulcer to heal.
A simple non-sticky dressing will be used to dress your ulcer. This usually needs to be changed once a week.
Many people find they can manage cleaning and dressing their own ulcer under the supervision of a nurse.
Honey To Treat Cuts And Wounds
Medical-grade honey can be applied to cuts, incisions, fissures, or tears in the skin to promote quick and comprehensive wound healing.
Honey has been successfully used as a dressing for a variety of surgical and trauma wounds as demonstrated by a review study in 2021.
The antimicrobial properties of medical-grade honey work against a broad spectrum of bacteria with no resistant strains. Thus, it can help keep the wound from getting infected while it heals.
However, there is still a dearth of proper large-scale studies that examine the efficacy of honey for healing infected wounds.
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What Is A Diabetic Foot Ulcer
A diabetic foot ulcer is an open sore or wound that occurs in approximately 15 percent of patients with diabetes, and is commonly located on the bottom of the foot. Of those who develop a foot ulcer, six percent will be hospitalized due to infection or other ulcer-related complication.
Diabetes is the leading cause of nontraumatic lower extremity amputations in the United States, and approximately 14 to 24 percent of patients with diabetes who develop a foot ulcer have an amputation. Research, however, has shown that the development of a foot ulcer is preventable.
Diabetic Leg Ulcers: Home Remedies To Heal Leg Sores
Among the more significant side effects of diabetes are diabetic leg ulcers, open leg sores that may afflict the feet or legs, once or recurrently, and break down the skin’s protective barrier so that infection may more easily enter the body to cause disease and further tissue damage at the site of the ulcer. These ulcers often occur with advanced diabetes because the diabetic patient does not feel the damage occurring to the skin, where neuropathy has affected pain receptors in the legs and feet.
There are other health concerns that can cause leg ulcers including trauma, impetigo, tuberculosis, and cellulitis. However, diabetic leg ulcers are the most common. These result from blocked arteries and as a secondary effect of the neuropathy that often comes with an uncontrolled diabetic condition. The atherosclerosis that blocks leg arteries causes arterial insufficiency, a lack of circulation to the area where ulcers subsequently occur.
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