Diabetic Foot Ulcers- Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention
A diabetic foot ulcer is an open wound that occurs in over 30% of people with type 2 diabetes and is usually found on the soles of the feet or in-between toes. Foot ulcers occur from a number of factors including lack of sensation in the foot, poor circulation, trauma and irritations. People who have type 2 diabetes for many years can develop neuropathy, which is a reduced or complete lack of ability to feel sensations in the feet. The main cause is when blood glucose levels are raised and damage to the nerves have occurred. Sometimes nerve damage can occur without any pain and patients are unaware of the problem. It is important to have regular checks from your doctor and to assess the area daily.
People who have developed an ulcer will not feel much pain as they have usually lost sensation in the foot. The first signs you might notice is drainage from the ulcer weeping into your socks or redness and inflammation around the area. An odour may be present as well.
When treating foot ulcers it is essential to get on top of management as soon as possible to avoid an infection. When not treated promptly, an infection can lead to hospitalisation and possible amputation.
When treating a foot ulcer:
- Keep weight off the affected area
- Keep blood glucose levels under control
- Apply dressings and/or bacterial creams
- Monitoring the area daily and assessing the wound
It is important to make sure weight is lifted off the wound. Your podiatrist or doctor may provide you with crutches, special footwear or a wheelchair depending on the severity of the wound. This will help speed up the healing process as pressure and irritation has been reduced.
If you have noticed you have a foot ulcer, its important to be assessing the area daily and incorporating daily management strategies every day. If you notice the wound is not recovering, it is best to see your doctor.
There are many management strategies to assist in the prevention of a foot ulcer. Some of these include;
- Getting blood glucose levels at a normal rate
- Reducing additional risk factors such as smoking, drinking alcohol and high cholesterol
- Wearing the appropriate shoes and socks
- Knowing how to check your feet. e.g looking for cuts, bruises, blisters, etc.
Checking your feet/legs daily is super important. We always suggest using our Diabetic Foot Cream for this reason as it’s a natural approach to relieving discomfort in the foot. Although our cream cannot aid towards healing a foot ulcer, it can potentially help prevent one in the future. The cream aids in the early detection of triggers and the prevention of severe infections and amputations associated with Diabetic Foot Syndrome. It contains specific hydrating ingredients targeted to diabetic prone skin that increases skin hydration. It also contains essential fatty acids and antioxidants that help protect and support the structure of the skin and help to stimulate healthy skin metabolism.