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What Is a Diabetic Foot Ulcer?
An open diabetic ulcer (or diabetic ulcer) is a wound or open sore which occurs in around 15% of people with diabetes. It is usually located in the lower part of your foot. In the event of an ulcer on their foot 6 percent of them will be admitted to hospital due to the infection or another complication that is related to ulcers.
Diabetes is the most common cause of non-traumatic lower extremity amputations within the United States, and approximately 14 to 24 percent of those with diabetes who develop a foot ulcer suffer an Amputation. However, research has revealed that the development for a foot ulcer can be avoidable.
Who Can Get a Diabetic Foot Ulcer?
Anyone with diabetes is likely to suffer from a foot ulcer. Native Americans, African Americans, Hispanics and older men are more likely to suffer from ulcers. Patients who take insulin are more at chance of having a foot ulcer develop, and so are those with diabetes-related eye, kidney or heart disease. Being overweight, and drinking tobacco and alcohol can are also factors in the formation in foot ulcers.
How Do Diabetic Foot Ulcers Form?
Ulcers develop due to an array of causes like a an inability to feel the foot, insufficient circulation and foot deformities and irritation (such as pressure or friction) as well as trauma in addition to the length of diabetes. People who suffer from long-term diabetes may suffer from neuropathy, a decrease or completely inability to sense pain or discomfort in their feet because of nerve damage that is caused by the increase in blood glucose levels as time passes. Nerve damage is often able to occur without pain , and it is possible that one is not conscious of the issue. The podiatric doctor can test your foot for nerve damage with simple and painless device known as monofilament.
Vascular diseases can aggravate an ulcer on the foot, which can reduce the body’s ability to heal , and increasing the likelihood of an infection. Blood glucose levels can decrease the body’s capacity to fight off an infection, and can also slow the healing process.
How Should a Diabetic Foot Ulcer Be Treated?
The most important goal in management of foot ulcers is to achieve healing as soon as it is possible. The quicker the healing process on the area of wounds, the lesser chances of developing an infection.
There are many important factors to consider when deciding on the best treatment for an ulcer of the diabetic foot:
Prevention of infection
Reducing the pressure on the surface, also known as “off-loading”
Removal of dead tissue and skin is referred to as “debridement”
Applying dressings or medication on the ulcer
Controlling blood sugar and other health issues
The majority of ulcers aren’t infected. However, when your podiatric doctor diagnoses as having an infection program of antibiotics, wound treatment and even hospitalization may be required.
There are many important elements to prevent the ulcer from getting infected.
Control blood sugar levels and keep them in check
Keep the wound free of infection and properly bandaged
Cleanse your wound regularly by dressing the wound with a wound dressing or bandage
Do not walk around barefoot.
Applying Medication and Dressings
The proper management of wounds involves dressings and topically applied medications. These include normal solutions to the most advanced including the growth factor, dressings for ulcers and skin-care products which have been proven to be very efficient in the healing of foot ulcers.
To heal a wound, it must have adequate circulation to the wound. The podiatrist could recommend an examination tests including non-invasive studies or consult with a specialist in vascular surgery.
Managing Blood Glucose
The tight control of blood glucose is crucial when treating an ulcer of the foot that is diabetic. Collaboration with the medical doctor or an endocrinologist can speed up healing and decrease the possibility of developing complications.
Most foot ulcers can be treated without surgery. However, if this is not possible, surgical treatment could be the best option. Some examples of surgery to alleviate the pressure on the affected region include shaving or removing bone(s) as well as the correcting of abnormalities, like bunions, hammertoes and bones that form “bumps.”
The healing time is contingent on many variables, including wound size and area, pressure on the area from standing or walking as well as circulation, swelling blood glucose levels the treatment of the wound, and what you are applying to your wound. Healing can occur in a matter of weeks or may take some time.
How Can a Foot Ulcer Be Prevented?
The best method to combat the diabetes foot ulcer is to stop it from developing from the beginning. It is recommended to see the podiatrist on a frequent basis. The doctor can ascertain the extent to which you are at risk of getting a foot ulcer, and develop strategies to prevent.
You’re at risk if:
Are suffering from neuropathy.
Are you experiencing poor circulation?
You may have a foot defect (i.e. bunion, hammer toe)
Don’t wear shoes that are inappropriate for you.
Are you experiencing uncontrolled blood sugar levels?
Eliminating risk factors like drinking alcohol, smoking as well as high cholesterol and elevated blood glucose levels are essential in the treatment and prevention of diabetic ulcer. Wearing the correct socks and shoes will help in reducing the risk. Your podiatric doctor can give assistance in choosing the appropriate footwear.
Being aware of how to inspect your feet is vital to finding a possible issue as soon as it is possible. Check your feet on a regular basis, particularly between the toes as well as the sole, for cuts, bruises blisters, cracks ulcers, redness and any signs of abnormalities. Every time you visit a healthcare doctor, take off your shoes and socks , so the feet are assessed. Any issues that are found must be addressed to your podiatrist an expert in medicine as quickly as you can, regardless of what “simple” it may seem to you.
The most important factor in successful wound healing is consistent podiatric medical treatment to ensure that you receive the “gold standard” of care:
The ability to lower blood sugar levels
A proper method of debridement for wounds
The treatment of any illness
In reducing friction and pressure
Restoring sufficient blood flow