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Prevention and Care of Diabetic Foot Ulcers

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If you have diabetes, then your doctor has probably told you to watch out for diabetic foot ulcers. Foot ulcers are sores anywhere on your foot that are slow to heal. Therefore, you have to be very careful to both prevent them from developing and keep them from getting infected. Here is more information about how foot ulcers happen and steps to take to keep them from worsening. 

Why Do Diabetics Get Foot Ulcers?

High blood sugar has a direct effect on your nerves and blood vessels. Your hands and feet are most affected by poor circulation. As a result, you are more likely to get foot wounds and be unaware of them.

How Do Foot Ulcers Happen?

Foot ulcers begin as small cuts, punctures, or scrapes from walking around barefoot or wearing poorly fitted shoes. For most people, these small wounds heal up with no problem. However, with diabetics, they may heal up slower than normal or not at all.

What Makes Foot Ulcers Worse?

Ignoring your feet and not treating foot ulcers can lead to infection and possible amputation of toes or the entire foot in the future. Failure to keep your feet clean or take protective measures to reduce or prevent foot ulcers increases your chances of infection.

How Are Foot Ulcers Prevented?

Keep your blood sugar well-controlled and inspect your feet every day. Take extra steps to clean your feet. Keep your feet moisturized to prevent cracks that could bleed. Because you may experience loss of sensation, routine activities could make it difficult to sense pain.

Avoid going barefoot, even indoors, to keep your feet from being punctured or cut. Wear protective shoes and socks that reduce chafing. Have someone else remove corns, calluses, and ingrown toenails. Cutting into any of these could result in bleeding that may not stop quickly.

What Are the Complications of Foot Ulcers?

The main complication of foot ulcers is infections. In addition to increasing the risk of amputation of the toes, feet, and even legs, these infections cause walking difficulties. This could force you to be more sedentary. If you can't do any exercise, then it could have an impact on the rest of your health.

If you have diabetic foot ulcers, then take care of your feet and check for new cuts or wounds regularly. Consider having your feet examined by a podiatrist as part of your regular physical exam. Ask the doctor about protective shoes as well. If you have a diabetic foot wound that is not healing, then see a podiatrist for diabetic ulcer wound care.