It is estimated that almost 10 percent of the United States population has diabetes. Diabetes causes a lot of ill health effects and increases your risk for heart disease, stroke, eye problems, and problems with feet. Another common complication is diabetic foot ulcers. Keep reading to learn what a diabetic foot ulcer is, the signs, as well as diabetic wound prevention and care.

What is a Diabetic Foot Ulcer?

Diabetic foot ulcers are a common side effect in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. It is an open wound or sore most often on the bottoms of the feet. As peripheral neuropathy, or the loss of sensation in the hands and feet, is common in diabetics, a person may not realize or even feel the ulcer on their foot. Foot ulcers are slow healing and have a high risk of infection due to their location and poor blood flow. If simple cuts go unnoticed, they have the potential of turning into ulcers. Here are some of the common signs of foot ulcers in diabetics.

Swelling, discoloration, and irritation are the early signs of an ulcer. If it is found early enough the risk of infection is relatively low. Signs of an infected ulcer are discharge, a foul odor, pain surrounding the area, fever, chills, and blackened tissue. If the ulcer goes untreated or noticed for too long, it could cause an infection in the surrounding tissues or bone. The rate of diabetic foot amputations is about 4.6 for every 1000 adults and this number might be rising. Understanding how to prevent and care for diabetic wounds is essential.

Diabetic Wound Prevention and Care

As many diabetics have peripheral neuropathy, the lack of feeling in the extremities, it is difficult for them to know when they are hurt. Diabetics are encouraged to inspect their feet daily and see a medical professional as soon as possible if a wound is noticed. A mirror can be used to easily view the bottom of the feet. Lifestyle changes are also necessary for wound prevention and care. Making certain that shoes are the right size, proper blood sugar management, wearing clean socks daily, and keeping feet dry are all preventative measures against foot wounds. Sometimes, in severe cases when ulcers become seriously infected or go undetected, amputation may be necessary. This is just one reason why proper treatment is so important. Treatment of diabetic foot ulcers is best left to podiatrists specializing in diabetic care.

A Specialist Near You

A diabetic foot ulcer can occur in people with type 1 and 2 diabetes and it is a common issue. Ulcers are slow to heal, which makes them prone to infection and further complications. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, inspecting your feet, and keeping blood sugar levels under control are steps to take to prevent foot ulcers in the first place. If you live in the Union County, NJ area and are looking for a podiatrist, schedule an appointment with us online. Do not wait to have your diabetic foot ulcer treated.

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