Diabetic Foot Ulcers:

Diabetic foot ulcers are among the most common complications of patients who have diabetes mellitus and this condition is not well controlled through diet, exercise, or insulin treatment.

How can Diabetes lead to foot ulcer?

In patients with diabetes, the blood circulation is not very strong and high blood sugar can build up in the extremities as feet are the farthest away from the heart. Due to the high blood sugar levels the nearby nerves may get damaged as they do not get proper blood replenishment. An ulcer can thus develop as an open wound on the foot, particularly on the sides or bottom. These ulcers continue to penetrate the skin tissues, expose the layers underneath, and destroy the muscles and connective tissues.

Patient education regarding foot hygiene, foot and nail care and proper footwear is vital to reduce the risk of injuries that can lead to ulcer formation.

Primary causes :

Peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage) and lack of blood flow due to peripheral artery disease are the primary causes of diabetic foot ulcers.

You may have heard about diabetic patients complaining of numbness and a lack of sensation around the infected area. Chronically high blood sugar level can damage the nerves including the motor, sensory, and autonomic nerves. When the sensory nerves that usually carry pain sensation to the brain from the feet do not function well, it is possible that the damages occurring to your foot go unnoticed. This damage can lead to a loss of sensation in the affected area. Thus, the immune system of the body is damaged thereby weakening the body’s ability to fight infection.

Peripheral artery disease is a form of vascular disease in which blood does not efficiently flow to your feet. Poor circulation can also make it more difficult for ulcers to heal.

Risk factors for diabetic foot ulcers :

A diabetic has a high risk of developing foot ulcers if they have one or more of the following conditions:

  • History Of Varicose Veins
  • Peripheral artery disease
  • Corns and calluses in the feet
  • Excessively dry skin
  • Immobility
  • High blood glucose level
  • Smoking
  • Hypertension
  • History of Diabetes for over 10 years
  • Foot or limb amputation

Treatment for diabetic foot ulcers:

If you notice any ulcer or changes in your skin, make sure you talk to your doctor immediately regarding this. A process called debridement can remove unhealthy tissues from the wound and improve the healing potential of the remaining tissues. Your doctor may also recommend other procedures to prevent the ulcers getting infected or growing bigger, which may include:

 Cleaning the ulcers daily: Gently clean the ulcer with soap and water unless
otherwise recommended.

 Applying a wound dressing or bandage to cover the ulcer, which would
decrease the odds of infection and slow healing.

 Reducing direct pressure on the ulcers which may necessitate the use of
crutches, braces, or special footwear.

 Keeping your blood sugar in control.

If you notice something and you are not sure if it is normal, call your doctor without delay. Our doctors at Avis Vascular center are experts in the field and can recommend appropriate treatment options based on your medical history.

Have more queries on treatment options ? You can call or visit our Vascular Specialist at Avis Hospitals to know more about the treatment.

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