Dangers of Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Diabetic foot ulcers are a common complication for those who do not adequately manage their diabetes. In fact, between ten to fifteen percent of people diagnosed with diabetes experience foot ulcers. The lack of diabetic management through diet, exercise, and insulin treatment can both cause and exacerbate the issue. So what are the dangers of diabetic foot ulcers?

Dangers of Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Diabetic ulcers are most often found under your big toes and on the balls of your feet. They result from the skin tissue breaking down which exposes the layers underneath, even going as far as the bone. Some of the dangers of diabetic foot ulcers are infection and even amputation if left untreated. Below you will find more information on diabetic foot ulcers and the risks they pose to your overall health.

Causes of Foot Ulcers

There are a variety of factors that can place you at a higher risk for foot ulcers, including poor quality shoes, ill-fitted shoes, poor foot hygiene, heart disease, kidney disease, obesity, and alcohol and tobacco use. The following are the most common causes of foot ulcers.

Nerve Damage:

This can cause a loss of feeling in your feet as nerve damages reduces your sensitivity to foot pain. If you cannot feel pain from the wound it can result in an ulcer if left unchecked.

Poor Circulation:

Poor blood circulation to your feet can make it difficult for wounds to heal. This can result in the wound progressing into an ulcer if left untreated for too long.

High Blood Sugar:

This is also referred to as high glucose levels or “hyperglycemia” and it can impact the healing process of a wound. This is one of the many reasons why it is crucial to manage your blood sugar if you have type 2 diabetes, as your body will have a more difficult time protecting itself against infection.

Failure to Examine:

For those with a diabetes diagnosis, examining your lower leg and feet is vital. Due to the complications of the disease, you may not feel wounds on your feet. This can lead to diabetic ulcers growing deeper and larger on your feet, but also poses a major risk for infection. This is dangerous as it can lead to amputation if left untreated for too long.

Diabetic Foot Treatment

The dangers of diabetic foot ulcers can be life-threatening if left untreated. Without intervention issues such as a bone infection, limb-threatening foot infections, cellulitis (a serious bacterial skin infection), and even gangrene can occur. Diabetic foot treatment involves both prevention and restoration. The type of treatment depends on the location of your ulcer, your current health status, and whether your ulcer is currently infected. However, there are a variety of treatment options to address both the prevention and restoration of your diabetic foot ulcer.

In terms of protection, a medical provider may prescribe diabetic shoes, casts, compression wraps, foot braces, and custom shoe inserts. In regard to prevention, treatment options include medication, debridement, surgery, and fat pad augmentation. Medication often includes antibiotics due to infection. Debridement removes the dead skin, foreign material, and infection. Surgery can often relieve pressure around the ulcer as amputation is not always necessary. Fat pad augmentation restores the fatty cushion that helps reduce the pressure and potential for diabetic foot ulcers. The most important factor when it comes to healing your diabetic foot ulcer is getting diagnosed and treated as early as possible.

Los Angeles Podiatrist

If you are concerned you may have a diabetic foot ulcer, contact the experts at Jamfeet. The team at Jamfeet believe in comprehensive patient care and are focused on getting you back to full health. Contact the best Los Angeles podiatrist today for an appointment!