How can you prevent diabetic foot ulcers?
The soft tissue of the foot isn’t like that on other parts of the body. Preventive care is crucial on all levels. A diabetic foot ulcer is produced when there is a break in the skin. This leaves the body open to harmful bacteria. Once there is an infection, it can get to the muscle and bone very quickly. It’s extremely important that a wound is not left without treatment. As time passes, the chances of it healing decrease.
It has been estimated that approximately 14-24% of individuals that suffer from diabetic foot ulcers will experience amputations.
Maintaining appropriate blood sugar levels is one of the best ways to prevent an ulcer from developing. It will also help to heal existing ulcers more quickly. It’s equally important to pay attention to your feet. Regularly inspecting your feet can help prevent major complications as well as spot any problems as soon as they arise.
Are you physically unable to see the bottom of your feet? Place a mirror on the floor and hold each foot over it. If this doesn’t work for you, ask a family member to regularly check your feet.
Preventing diabetic foot problems may also include:
– Washing your feet every day
– Keeping your feet dry and moisturized
– Adequately trimming your toenails (but not too short!)
– Changing your socks frequently
– Seeing a podiatrist for corn and callus removal
– Wearing proper-fitting shoes
Even after a foot ulcer has been treated, it can return. If scar tissue from a previous ulcer becomes aggravated again, the affected area can become infected. To prevent this, your doctor may recommend that diabetic footwear be worn. The design of this specific style of footwear is such that soft foot tissues are less likely to become irritated and cause reoccurring ulcers to form.
Join us again next week for a look into preventative procedures that many Pedorthist take to help ensure diabetic foot ulcers do not return.
Family Health Team, (2018, April 24). Diabetic foot ulcers: why you should never ignore them. Health Essentials. Retrieved from https://health.clevelandclinic.org/diabetic-foot-ulcers-why-you-should-never-ignore-them/
The Healthline Editorial Team, medically reviewed by Steve Kim, MD, (2016, February 18). Diabetic foot pain and ulcers: causes and treatment. Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/diabetic-foot-pain-and-ulcers-causes-treatments#treatment
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