Diabetic foot ulcers manifest as wounds on diabetic patients. Many patients who suffer from this condition require proper diabetic ulcer treatment. Sadly, this is a leading cause of complications that lead to limb amputations among diabetic patients.
In some instances, patients with severe nerve damage on feet fail to treat the small wounds before they deteriorate into ulcers because the sores are not painful.
Healthcare experts advise diabetic patients to be on the lookout for foot ulcers. Treatments differ from one patient to another because the doctor has to understand the cause.
A.Causes of Diabetic Foot Ulcers
The primary predisposing factors to diabetic foot ulcers include:
1. Poor Circulation
Diabetic patients may suffer from poor blood flow to the feet area. Inefficient blood circulation also delays the healing process of the ulcers.
2. High Blood Sugar
High blood sugar decreases the average healing ability of the body. Consequently, healthcare professionals recommend diabetic patients to maintain their blood sugar at normal levels to allow the ulcers to heal quickly.
3. Nerve Damage
Damaged nerves sever pain sensitivity in the foot region. Since patients cannot feel pain, small sores can multiply into large painless wounds that grow into ulcers.
4. Irritated or Wounded Feet
Diabetes causes dry skin. Consequently, the patients are vulnerable to developing cracks on the feet. The cracks then fester into ulcers.
Diabetic patients should be on the lookout for the following symptoms of foot ulcers:
1. Oozing Liquids
Since the foot sores are probably painless due to nerve damage, healthcare experts recommend that patients should be on the lookout for unexplained liquids in their shoes and stains on socks. Other signs of ulcers include odors, swelling, redness, and feet irritation.
2. Eschar (BlackTissue)
One may develop black tissue around the ulcer. The eschar forms due to reduced blood flow into the wound region. Consequently, the tissue around the ulcer dies and results in a black skin tissue characterized by numbness, pain, and a smelly discharge.
Given that foot ulcers could be painless, the symptoms only become apparent once the ulcer becomes infected. Patients should contact their healthcare providers if they develop discolored skin on their feet. The discolored section may also experience mild pain.
Doctors examine the sores, establish the cause, and then recommend the best treatment. The most common recommendation for festered wounds is removing the infected tissues to promote quick healing.
2. Regular Cleaning
After debridement, doctors recommend proper cleaning (with soap and water) of the wound to encourage faster healing. Medical experts discourage the use of everyday wound cleaning products because they may aggravate the sore.
Patients should cover the clean wound to protect it from airborne germs and other forms of infections. Home medical care providers can help patients and guide them on how to take care of diabetic sores.
4. Walking Aid
Doctors discourage patients from exerting pressure on the wound as they walk. Instead, one should use walking aids such as crutches and wheelchairs. Reduce walking is also recommended.
5. Adhering to Medication
Patients must follow the doctor’s instructions, follow the dosage, and stick to the routines given. For instance, cleaning the wound at home must be accomplished daily.
When treating the foot ulcers, blood sugar medication must be taken accordingly. Well-controlled blood sugar allows the ulcers to heal quickly.
How to Prevent Diabetic Foot Ulcers
Patients should consult their doctors regularly for advice on how to live with diabetes. One of the subjects that should be discussed is the prevention of foot ulcers.
Here are some tips on how to avoid foot ulcers.
- Neuropathy tests to be sure that feet nerves are healthy
- One must exercise to ensure proper blood circulation
- Treating feet conditions such as athlete’s foot
- Wearing safe shoes
- Keeping blood sugar at a healthy level
Patients should regularly check their feet for sores and seek advice from a medical expert on how to treat them. Most importantly, doctors recommend that patients should seek diabetic ulcer treatment even if the wound is painless.