Diabetic Foot Ulcers: Prevention And Treatment Approaches


Diabetic foot ulcers are a fairly common complication of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. They occur due to nerve damage caused by peripheral neuropathy, which is another common complication of diabetes. When the nerves in your feet are damaged, you can experience numbness that stops you feeling cuts, bruises or blisters. Without prompt cleaning and care, these minor injuries can turn into ulcers in diabetics as a result of poor circulation and slow healing associated with the condition. Foot ulcers may not sound serious, but diabetic foot ulcers are a common reason for foot amputation, as they are prone to infection and can become gangrenous. Here's an overview of how you can minimise your chance of developing a diabetic foot ulcer and how the ulcers are treated:

Preventative Measures

To minimise your risk of developing foot ulcers, protect your feet from cuts and blisters by wearing comfortable shoes that fit well. Your toenails should also be kept short, and it's a good idea to wear shoes when swimming in a river or walking along a beach.

Aside from practicing good foot care, smokers should give up cigarettes to prevent additional damage to their circulatory system. Poor circulation prevents enough oxygen and nutrients, which are required for healing, from reaching cuts and blisters on your feet via your blood, and your chance of developing an infection increases the longer a cut takes to heal. Diabetes Australia offers support if you want to quit smoking.

Visiting a podiatrist regularly can allow foot problems to be detected early. Podiatrists are trained to identify areas of numbness or muscle weakness, which are signs of peripheral neuropathy, during diabetic foot exams. They'll keep a record of the health of your feet, and early detection of foot problems can prevent complications from developing.

Treatment Approaches

Diabetic foot ulcers can be difficult to treat, and the recommended treatment approach will depend on the severity of your symptoms. Some ulcers will heal over time if they are lanced and cleaned regularly by your podiatrist. If you develop an infection, you'll require antibiotics and the infected ulcers will be kept covered with a gauze dressing to promote healing. If you have ulcers that haven't responded to these more conservative treatment approaches, you may need to have the ulcers surgically drained. Removing the pus within the ulcers can speed up the healing process, but they'll still have to be cleaned regularly until they are completely healed.

As diabetic foot ulcers can take months to heal, it's vital they are treated as soon as they develop to minimise the risk of infection. Check your feet daily, and if you notice any breaks in the skin that look inflamed, have your feet examined as soon as possible.  


12 August 2016

Picture Of Health: A Blog About Medical Matters

Hey there. My name is Wade, and I have been a first aid volunteer for the past twenty years. Most weekends you will find me at football games, rodeos, agricultural shows or fun runs. I really love being able to help at these events and provide the necessary level of assistance. As a first responder, my medical role is very limited, but, many injured people do contact me to give thanks after they recover. This has further sparked my interest in health and medicine. I love watching medical shows and reading basic texts to gain a greater understanding of particular medical problems. I'm sure there are others like me who take an amateur interest in health and medical matters. I started this blog to share intriguing information I come across. I hope you find my topics fascinating and instructive. Thank you for dropping by.