Diabetic Ulcers

What Are Diabetic Foot Ulcers?

Ulcers and sores on the feet pose a unique threat to diabetics. Diabetic ulcers are those which develop on the foot of a person with diabetes. For diabetic patients, foot ulcers are one of the most frequent causes of hospital visits. Ulcers can be problematic and take weeks, or even months, to heal. The ulcers do not usually cause pain however they can lead to additional issues. Since these issues can cause many problems it is especially important for diabetics to take care of their feet.

What Is Done for a Diabetic Ulcer?

Foot ulcers are typically caused by a great deal of pressure being exerted on a particular region of the foot. So the first step will be to discontinue the pressure. Then, to view the ulcer and rid the area of any dead tissue, the area will be cleaned in a medical procedure referred to as debridement. In most cases, the tissue is excised and the ulcer itself is cleaned with a sterile solution. To keep the ulcer clean and free from pressure, patients may need to wear special shoes, a brace, or even a cast. Wheelchairs or crutches could also be required. This can encourage healing.

Patients will also be given instructions for caring for the wound including:

  • Keeping blood sugar levels managed
  • Bandaging and cleaning the ulcer when appropriate
  • Cleaning the ulcer each day with a special dressing
  • Taking fewer steps throughout the day
  • Avoiding walking barefoot unless the doctor gives permission
  • Using the dressings provided by the doctor
  • Keeping skin around ulcer clean and dry

When Should I Call the Doctor?

Come into the office to speak with the doctor if you experience symptoms such as:

  • Redness and swelling
  • Growing warmth at site
  • Additional drainage
  • Increased discomfort or firmness around the ulcer
  • Pus or odor
  • Fever or chills

Patients should also call the doctor if the ulcer becomes very white, blue, or black.

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