What Does A Diabetic Foot Look Like
The foots appearance will provide some tell-tale signs of diabetic foot. A physical examination is, therefore, the usual starting place for doctors.
A diabetic foot may become discoloured . One or both feet may also develop:
A deformed appearance or abnormal shape
Loss of hair on the dorsum of the foot
Staining on socks
Common Symptoms Of Foot Ulcers
Foot ulcers are one of the most common and serious complications of diabetes. About 15 percent of people with diabetes develop foot ulcers in their lifetime.
When you have diabetes, you are more at risk for foot injuries. Over time, your blood vessels and nerves can become damaged and you can lose feeling in your feet. This is called diabetic neuropathy . This can cause problems because you may no longer feel if you get a cut or scrape and the injury can get worse and you may develop a foot ulcer.
Besides managing your blood sugar and doing daily foot checks, itâs important to be able to know what some of the common symptoms of a foot ulcer a This can help you know what to look for. They are commonly found on the side or bottom of the foot, or near the big toe. The ulcers resemble large red crates in the skin.
Here are some of the key symptoms to check for:
1) Body Fever and Chills
Like most infections, a developing foot ulcer may cause you to feel fever or chills. This is part of your bodyâs natural defense system.
2) Pain in Infected Area
While checking areas of your feet, you may notice an area that might feel painful and tender, sensitive, or firm to the touch. This is a sign of infection and a possible foot ulcer.
3) Unusual Swelling
5) Drainage from the Foot
For more tips on how to take care of your feet, read our latest post on managing diabetic neuropathy.
How Do You Get Rid Of A Cold Sore
Although it may take a while to get rid of a cold sore, some medicines can shorten the healing time and make the symptoms less painful. Cold sore treatments include:
- Over-the-counter medications: You can buy without a prescription creams or ointments that you apply directly to the cold sore. If you start using these creams when you first notice tingling or itching before the cold sore forms you may be able to prevent the cold sore from appearing.
- Oral antiviral medicine: Your doctor may prescribe an antiviral medication that you take orally .
- Intravenous antiviral medicine: If other medications arent working, your doctor may need to prescribe an antiviral medication that will be administered through an IV. In this case, your doctor will monitor you closely throughout treatment.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Mouth Lesions
A person with a mouth or tongue lesion may have lumps, bumps, little ulcers, or cuts inside or outside of their mouth and lips. The first thing to do is to identify the problem, since there are many different types of sores.
Use a bright light and a magnifying mirror to examine the inside of your mouth, even sticking out your tongue to check for lacerations or swelling on the top, bottom, and sides. You might want to check for any redness, shininess, or swelling in the mouth, on the gums, or on or under your tongue. You may also see white patches or pus in your mouth.
Youll know you have a canker sore if you see a red ring around a white or yellow center. They tend to be small less than 1 millimeter but may be up to 1 inch in diameter. Canker sores form on or under your tongue, inside your cheeks or lips, at the base of your gums, or at the back of the roof of your mouth.
Cold sores are blisters filled with fluid. You can often feel a cold sore coming on before they show up. Youll feel some tingling or burning in the area, or you might feel a sore throat.
Mixed Red And White Patches
A mixture of red and white patches in your mouth, called erythroleukoplakia, is an abnormal cell growth thats more likely to become cancerous. If red and white patches last more than two weeks, you should see your dentist. You may see these mouth abnormalities before you feel them. In the early stages, mouth cancer may cause no pain.
Bright red patches in your mouth that look and feel velvety are called erythroplakia. They are often precancerous.
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What Is A Canker Sore
A canker sore is a variety of mouth ulcer. It is known scientifically by the term aphthous ulcer. Mouth ulcer and canker sore can be used interchangeably. Canker sores are often round or oval shaped. They are a white or yellowish color, and typically have a red border around them. They can form in many sizes from just a speck to huge and even cavern like. Typically, the larger the canker sore, the longer it will take for it to heal. There a many causes for canker sores including biting your lip, stress, acidic foods, and even vitamin deficiencies.
Causes Of Mouth Ulcers
The causes of single mouth ulcers are usually things you can try to avoid, such as:
- biting the inside of your cheek
- badly fitting dentures, braces, rough fillings or a sharp tooth
- cuts or burns while eating or drinking for example, hard food or hot drinks
- damaging your gums with a toothbrush or irritating toothpaste
Sometimes the cause is something you cannot always control, such as:
- hormonal changes such as during pregnancy
- your genes some families get mouth ulcers more often
- a long-term condition such as inflammatory bowel disease , coeliac disease or Behçet’s disease
- a vitamin B12 deficiency or an iron deficiency
- medications including some anti-inflammatories or beta-blockers
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Good Mouth Care And Mouth Rinses
Good mouth care is key to help reduce the risk or severity of mouth sores. Using a soft toothbrush or foam swab can help keep the mouth clean and reduce the risk of injuring your gums and lining of the mouth. If you use dental floss, ask your doctor if you should stop or if you can continue to floss.
Certain types of rinses can help to keep your mouth clean and can help soothe discomfort. Ask your doctor which type of rinse may be best for your situation. For example, baking soda, salt water, or saline rinses might be recommended. Mouth rinses with antibiotic agents or steroids might be recommended, depending on how severe the mouth sores are.
Benzydamine may help prevent mouth sores in people getting radiation treatment to the mouth or throat. Morphine rinses may help relieve pain from mouth sores in this same group of people. Dexamethasone has been used in mouth rinses to help with cleansing and discomfort.
Another type of mouth rinse, often referred to as “magic mouthwash” might be recommended by your doctor. Magic mouthwash is a mixed medication mouthwash that combines a few different medicines. But, there is not one single combination that’s used by all doctors, and some experts don’t recommend a combination. Some common ingredients of magic mouthwash include diphenhydramine, viscous lidocaine, aluminum hydroxide, nystatin, and corticosteroids.
Cold Sores Vs Canker Sores
One big misunderstanding when it comes to canker sores is the confusion between canker sores and cold sores. To clear this up, the main test to whether you have a canker sore or a cold sore is the location. Canker sores occur only on the inside of your mouth, while cold sores predominately occur on the outside of your mouth and on and around your lips. While it is possible for cold sores to occur on the inside of the mouth, this is rare. In addition, cold sores are contagious, while canker sores are not.
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When Should I See My Doctor
See your GP if you think you might have an ulcer related to a mouth infection.
Also, see your GP if your child develops severe mouth ulcers with symptoms of general illness like:
- weight loss, stomach pain, unexplained fevers
- blood or mucus in their stool
- neck stiffness and tiredness
- ulcers around the anus
This may indicate conditions such as coeliac disease and inflammatory bowel disease.
Its also important to see your doctor or dentist for a mouth ulcer that lasts longer than 3 weeks and keeps coming back.
Although most mouth ulcers are harmless, a long-lasting mouth ulcer is sometimes a sign of mouth cancer. It’s best to get it checked.
When To See Your Pharmacist Dentist Or Gp
Mouth ulcers can be painful. They can make it uncomfortable to eat, drink or brush your teeth.
It’s usually safe to treat mouth ulcers at home. You can buy several types of mouth ulcer treatment from a pharmacy.
Speak to your pharmacist about the best treatment for you or your child.
See your GP or dentist if:
- your mouth ulcer has lasted three weeks
- you keep getting mouth ulcers
- your mouth ulcer becomes more painful or red this could be a sign of a bacterial infection, which may need treatment with antibiotics
Mouth ulcers are also a possible symptom of a viral infection that mainly affects young children, called hand, foot and mouth disease.
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How Can I Prevent Mouth Ulcers
While you cant prevent mouth ulcers altogether, there are things you can do to reduce your risk. For example:
- Brush your teeth twice daily and floss once daily for optimal oral health.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid tissue irritation.
- Eat a healthy diet, rich in fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings.
If your healthcare provider determines that your mouth ulcers are connected to an underlying health issue, managing your condition can reduce the risk of ulcers returning.
What Are Canker Sores
Canker sores are small shallow ulcers that occur in the lining of the mouth. The medical term for canker sores is aphthous ulcers. Canker sores start as white to yellowish ulcers that are surrounded by redness. They’re usually very small but may enlarge to ½ to 1 inch in diameter. Canker sores can be painful and often make eating and talking uncomfortable. There are two types of canker sores:
- Simple canker sores: These may appear three or four times a year and last up to a week. Anyone can get canker sores but they typically occur in people between ages 10 and 20.
- Complex canker sores: These are less common and occur more often in the people who have previously had them.
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Antiseptic And Antibiotic Treatment For Aphthous Ulcers
The use of an antiseptic mouthwash e.g. containing chlorhexidine, twice per day or as per your doctorâs recommendations can be part of a treatment regimen of aphthous ulcers. In rare cases a doctor may prescribe topical or oral antibiotics, such as tetracycline or minocycline, which can be effective in treating ulcers. They are typically administered in mouthwash form, with the antibiotic being dissolved in water, swilled around the mouth and spat out. This may be necessary several times per day for a number of days.
Good to know: Antibiotic mouthwashes containing tetracycline should be avoided in children younger than eight years of age or even older, depending on your doctorâs recommendations, as they can cause the teeth to become discolored.
Can Mouth Ulcers Be Prevented
It may not be possible to prevent mouth ulcers, because they’re often caused by things you can’t control .
However, the following may help to reduce your risk of developing mouth ulcers:
- avoiding certain foods such as chocolate, spicy foods, coffee, peanuts, almonds, strawberries, cheese, tomatoes and wheat flour, if they cause you to have an ulcer
- not chewing gum
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What Are The Complications Associated With Cold Sores
Although complications from cold sores are rare, they can include:
- Eye infections: The herpes simplex virus can spread to the eye when someone touches a cold sore and then touches their eye. If HSV-1 spreads to the eye, it can cause HSV keratitis a potentially serious infection of the cornea. Severe HSV keratitis infections can lead to blindness.
- Genital sores: HSV-1 can spread to the genitals through oral sex, producing warts or ulcers on the genitals or anus. But even though people sometimes call it oral herpes, HSV-1 is not the same as HSV-2, the sexually transmitted virus that causes most cases of genital herpes.
For certain groups of people, cold sores can lead to serious complications. The following groups of people should receive medical treatment immediately if they have a cold sore:
- Newborns: Babies under 6 months old may develop complications such as high fever and seizures because their immune systems arent fully developed.
- Immunocompromised people: For people with weakened immune systems, the herpes simplex virus can lead to encephalitis . If you have HIV or are undergoing chemotherapy, cold sores could be more severe and could take longer to go away.
- People who have eczema: The herpes simplex virus can cause a life-threatening infection called eczema herpeticum in adults and children with eczema. It is important to see your doctor right away if you have eczema and you develop a cold sore.
What Does A Healing Foot Ulcer Look Like
An ulcer on the foot looks like a red sore, most commonly found on the ball of the foot or under the big toe. If the sore gets infected, you will see pus and smell a bad odor. Untreated foot ulcers can develop gangrene and lead to an amputation.
While checking areas of your feet, you may notice an area that might feel painful and tender, sensitive, or firm to the touch. This is a sign of infection and a possible foot ulcer. In addition to pain around the wound or infected area, you may also notice swelling or irritation not normally on your foot.
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Causes Of Canker Sores
- Canker sores have many causes.
- Minor injuries to the mouth can trigger a canker sore. Examples are from a rough food or a hard toothbrush. Biting oneself while chewing can start one.
- Food allergies or irritants may also be a trigger.
- Vitamin deficiencies can also be a cause. A vitamin deficiency can occur if your child is a picky eater.
- Canker sores can run in families .
- Often, the cause is unknown.
What Are Mouth Lesions Symptoms Causes Diagnosis Treatment And Prevention
Sometimes it happens when youre eating and, suddenly, you bite the side of your cheek. Or you notice a stinging and redness on your upper or lower lip and you know whats coming: a cold sore. Or maybe you have a canker sore one painful enough that it makes enjoying a meal difficult. You wouldnt be alone.
Unlike cold sores, canker sores, which occur mainly inside the mouth, aren’t contagious. They develop on the tissues in the mouth or at the base of the gums, and they can be quite painful.
But whatever their type or origin, most of us have experienced painful sores on the mouth, lips, tongue, and inner cheek. And while they rarely call for a trip to the doctor, they can be embarrassing, especially if they are visible.
Heres what you need to know and what to do about these mostly harmless lesions.
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Identifying A Skin Ulcer
Skin ulcers typically look like a round open sore in the skin. The outer border of the sore might look raised and thick. As the ulcer forms, you may notice the skin discoloration in that specific area. It might begin to look red and feel warm. Those with darker skin tones will notice that their skin may look shiny or even turning blue. As the skin ulcer worsens, it will begin to look like a crater. It will typically begin to weep clear fluid or even blood.
Other symptoms depend on the type and severity of the ulcer. Depending on the type of ulcer you have, you may notice:
- Yellow or green pus
Skin Ulcer Risk Factors
Certain risk factors can lead to an increased susceptibility to skin ulcers. It is important to know what these risk factors are to be vigilant and prepared, both for yourself and your loved ones. Below are a few risk factors:
What Causes Poor Blood Circulation?
Since skin ulcers are primarily caused by poor blood circulation, it is important to understand the more common causes of circulation issues.
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What The Patient Can Do
Check your mouth twice a day using a small flashlight, mirror, and a padded Popsicle stick. If you wear dentures, take them out before you check your mouth. Tell your health care team if your mouth looks or feels different or if you notice changes in how things taste.
Talk to your cancer care team about a plan for mouth care that is right for you.
For example, your cancer care team might recommend doing mouth care 30 minutes after eating and every 4 hours while youre awake by using a soft toothbrush, non-abrasive toothpaste, and certain kind of alcohol-free mouthwash or special mouth rinse. Ask about whether you should floss or not. If you have dentures, you may be instructed to remove and clean your dentures between meals on a regular time schedule, and to store them in cleansing soak.
Other tips that might help include:
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