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What Causes Diabetic Foot Ulcers

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Most Common Causes Of A Diabetic Foot Ulcer In Texas

Diabetic Foot Ulcer 101

Foot ulcers are a serious complication of diabetes. They can be caused by various factors and lead to something more serious if not treated early. A diabetic foot ulcer results when the skin tissue begins to break down and opens up to layers of skin beneath. If you are diabetic and notice an ulcer, contact your Dallas podiatrist immediately for medical treatment.

What Other Conditions Can Affect The Feet Of People With Diabetes

People with diabetes also can develop Charcot foot, a rare complication that can cause permanent deformity. In Charcot foot, nerve damage weakens the bones and joints. The bones can break, and the joints can dislocate or collapse.

Read more about preventing diabetes complications.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

People with diabetes are at risk for ulcers and infections, which may go unnoticed in people with diabetes-related neuropathy and numbness. If you have diabetes, its important to care for your feet every day and report any problems to your healthcare provider. Early treatment can prevent hospitalization, deformity and amputation.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/26/2021.

References

Irritated Or Wounded Feet

Ulcers can sometimes be a result of improperly fitting or even inappropriate shoes. Wearing improper footwear can cause abnormal weight-bearing, areas of concentrated pressure, and abnormal shear forces on the feet. This can then increase the likelihood of experiencing foot stress.

There are three main types of ulcers.

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Tip #: Dont Walk Around Barefoot

Get Help Now:TriHealth Wound Healing

This is especially important for people who have diabetic neuropathy, which is nerve damage in the body that develops from high blood sugar levels caused by diabetes. Ive had patients step on needles and hard objects, metals impregnated into their foot, and theyll never know, Dr. Masturzo points out.

Wound Care And Dressings

Foot Ulcer

Care for your wound as instructed by your provider. Other instructions may include:

  • Keep your blood sugar level under good control. This helps you heal faster and helps your body fight infections.
  • Keep the ulcer clean and bandaged.
  • Cleanse the wound daily, using a wound dressing or bandage.
  • Try to reduce pressure on the healing ulcer.
  • Do not walk barefoot unless your provider tells you it is OK.

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What Are The Risk Factors For Diabetic Foot Ulcers

In addition to the aforementioned causes, there are also certain factors that increase the chances of developing diabetic foot ulcers. Some of the risk factors for diabetic foot ulcers include:

  • Being overweight
  • Kidney, heart, or eye disease associated with diabetes
  • Deformities in the foot
  • A history of ulcers in the feet

If you relate to any of these risk factors, you should be extra cautious with your blood sugar levels. Try to avoid injuries to the feet as much as possible.

You should be careful at all times and consult a doctor for the slightest of injuries or wounds.

If you notice any of the symptoms of foot ulcers, consult a doctor immediately. Diabetic foot ulcers have a tendency to worsen over time and if left untreated, they can lead to serious complications and infections. Diabetic foot ulcers may even lead to foot amputations in serious cases.

Now that you understand how severe this condition can be, you must be wondering how diabetic foot ulcers can be treated.

Lets get an insight into the treatment procedures for diabetic foot ulcers.

What Causes Diabetic Foot Ulcer

People with diabetes have an increased chance of developing foot ulcers because you are more likely than other people to damage the skin on your feet. This is because diabetes can cause nerve damage, so you don’t notice if your foot is injured or sore. Diabetes also causes blood vessel damage so your skin can’t heal easily.

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How Do I Take Care Of My Foot And Toe Ulcers

Your healthcare provider might teach you how to care for your ulcers at home. You might be instructed to:

  • Wash the affected area with mild soap.
  • Keep the wound clean and dry.
  • Change the bandages as directed.
  • Take prescribed medications as directed.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Ask your healthcare provider how much water you should drink every day.
  • Follow a healthy diet, as recommended by your healthcare provider.
  • Exercise regularly, under your healthcare providers care.
  • Wear appropriate shoes.
  • Wear compression wraps as directed.

What Is A Diabetic Foot Ulcer

Beware of Diabetic Foot Ulcers and How to Quickly Heal Them

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.

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Best Birth Control For Diabetes Type 1

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What Causes Diabetes

Long-term high blood sugar can cause a type of nerve damage called diabetes-related neuropathy. Diabetes-related neuropathy can occur throughout the body, but most often in the legs and feet.

The condition might make you lose feeling in your feet. If your feet are numb, you might not notice a blister, cut or sore. You might not even feel a pebble in your sock that is cutting your foot, for example. Wounds that go unnoticed and untreated can become infected.

Diabetes can also affect blood flow to your legs and feet. People with diabetes are more likely to develop peripheral artery disease . This condition causes arteries to become narrowed or blocked. Reduced blood flow can make it difficult for a diabetes-related foot ulcer or infection to heal.

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What Are The Post

You should continue taking your diabetes medicine and any other medications you may be taking. You should plan a follow-up appointment with your doctor within two weeks after the procedure. If you have diabetes, it is important that you continue to follow your doctor’s treatment procedure. This includes taking all your diabetes medications , monitoring your blood sugar levels regularly, following a healthy diet, and exercising regularly.

What Is A Diabetic Foot Ulcer And What Can I Do To Prevent It

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According to the American Diabetes Association, 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes each year. About half of diabetic patients have some type of neuropathy .

Diabetic neuropathy makes patients more likely to suffer from foot problems. In this article, we will be focusing on diabetic foot ulcers.

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Treatment For Diabetic Ulcers

When someone identifies an ulcer, they should seek medical care to prevent its progression. The primary goal of treatment is to promote healing as soon as possible. Treatment will often depend on the grade of the ulcer.

If an infection is present, a doctor will likely prescribe antibiotics. They may require a tissue sample to identify the cause of the infection. The antibiotic type and dosage a doctor suggests will depend on the infection organism and the severity of the infection.

In some cases, surgical options may be necessary to help encourage healing, relieve pressure on the area, and prevent further complications. These options may include:

  • education on foot care and control of blood sugar levels
  • medications for blood sugar control
  • offloading pressure from the ulcer by using crutches, a wheelchair, or a non-removable cast to promote healing
  • medicines to help improve blood circulation
  • topical medications and dressings

Home Remedies For Diabetic Foot Ulcer

It is crucial to keep your feet dry and clean at all times. This will reduce the risk of infection and prevent bacteria from entering your body through cuts or cracks in your skin. You should also avoid walking barefoot without shoes on whenever possible. If you have a foot ulcer, it’s essential to keep it clean by washing it with warm water and soap once or twice daily.

Home remedies, however, only help you in subsiding the effects of diabetic foot ulcers. Surgery, however, can help you get relief from the problem for good.

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Causes Of Diabetic Foot Ulcer

Diabetic foot ulcers can form due to multiple reasons. High sugar levels can cause nerve damage known as diabetic neuropathy. Diabetic neuropathy makes you lose the sensation of pressure, pain & or temptation. This may also result in numbness, and you may not notice a blister, sore, or cut. Wounds that go unnoticed can be infected.

Poor blood circulation is another leading cause of diabetic foot ulcers. People with diabetes may develop peripheral artery disease , which causes arteries to narrow. The reduced blood flow makes it difficult for a diabetic foot ulcer to heal.

Why Are People With Diabetes More Likely To Get Foot Ulcers

How to Treat a Diabetic Foot Ulcer [Early Signs, Causes & Treatment]

People with diabetes may have reduced nerve functioning due to Neuropathy

  • Wearing poor fitting footwear
  • Walking barefoot
  • People who have diabetes for a longer period or manage their diabetes less effectively are more likely to develop foot ulcers. Smoking, not taking exercise, being overweight, having high cholesterol or blood pressure can all increase diabetes foot ulcer risk.

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    What Type Of Doctor Treats Diabetic Wounds

    There are numerous treatments for diabetic ulcers, but early intervention is one of the best. If you have a severe wound that has bled for a long time , a podiatrist can debride it, dress it, and advise you on how to prevent its recurrence or worsening.

    Diabetes can affect your blood sugar levels, and you may need to take various medications to keep them under control. If you understand which doctors treat diabetes, the process may be less stressful. A variety of specialists may provide care to those suffering from diabetes. Before you see each specialist, it is critical that you understand some key information. A person must fast for 8 hours before taking blood tests. Fasting tests should be scheduled at a time when the patient is sleeping. People suffering from diabetes can consult a physician or an endocrinologist to get the most appropriate treatment.

    Signs And Symptoms Of Diabetic Foot Ulcers

    Diabetic Foot Ulcers present with different signs and symptoms. Some of the diabetic foot ulcer symptoms are:

    • Changes in skin colour
    • Swelling in the foot or ankle
    • Pain in the legs
    • Open sores on the feet that are draining and slow to heal
    • Ingrown toenails or toenails affected with fungus
    • Corns or calluses
    • Dry cracks in the skin, especially around the heel or other areas of the feet
    • Foot odour that is unusual or that will not go away

    All of these signs and symptoms may not be present all at once, depending on the severity of the condition.

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    The Role Of Dressings In The Management Of Diabetic Foot Ulcers

    Following debridement, the diabetic foot ulcershould be kept clean and moist but free of excess exudate, with dressings selected based upon the ulcer characteristics, such as the extent of exudate, or necrotic tissue . Some dressings are also impregnated with antimicrobial agents to prevent infection and enhance ulcer healing .

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    The Risks Of Diabetic Foot Ulcers

    Any part of the diabetic foot can be affected by ulcers, but the dorsum of the foot, near the ankle, and along the side of the foot are the most common. Other risk factors for developing diabetic foot ulcers can also be present in addition to diabetes. A poor foot circulation is a major cause of the condition. Foot deformities, such as bunions or hammer toes, can occur in some cases. Diabetes is a condition that can last a long time. To avoid this condition, you must consume a high-blood-sugar diet. The majority of the time, I use a lot of foot care products . taking a lot of medications, such as corticosteroids or NSAIDs. Having had a history of foot ulcers br When left untreated, diabetic foot ulcers can lead to amputation. If you have diabetes or develop a foot ulcer, it is critical that you see your doctor as soon as possible. Surgery, cryotherapy, and antibiotics are just a few of the available treatments.

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    What Are The Symptoms Of Diabetic Foot Infection

    The symptoms of diabetic foot infections are similar to those of any infection. The area around the injury will become red, eventually spreading from the original site. People with diabetic foot infections will also experience pain or tenderness at the site of the wound, and the original cut may seep pus.

    Once the infection has developed, a person will begin to experience non-local symptoms. This can include any of the following.

    • A new mouth sore

    People with diabetic foot infections may also notice black tissue, called eschar, surrounding the diabetic ulcer. This forms in the absence of healthy blood flow to the area. Partial or complete gangrene can also appear around the ulcer, creating discharge, pain, and additional numbness.

    It is important to remember that most people dont notice an issue until the initial injury becomes infected. If you are experiencing signs of an infection, whether in your feet or another part of the body, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Only a doctors prescription can provide access to necessary treatments.

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