Learn The Facts About Foot Ulcer Treatment

Important in preventing infection or possibly gangrene, foot ulcer treatment for diabetics involves both doctor’s care as well as home care for the affected patient. Because a diabetic condition inhibits wound healing due to a blood containing high levels of glucose, proper treatment of any open wound occurring to a diabetic’s skin is vital to reducing bacterial growth. Additionally, many diabetics have difficulty maintaining adequate blood circulation to extremities due to peripheral neuropathy if they do not adequately manage high blood glucose.

Peripheral neuropathy occurs when excess glucose within nerve cells produces abnormally large molecules or sorbitol, which cannot exit cells due to their size. As a result, these super-sized molecules bring water into nerve cells that makes the cells swell, eventually enlarging them to the point of bursting. This leads to nerve damage and the inability of many diabetics to feel their feet and hands. Where no sensation exists in the feet, diabetics remain unaware of painful sores that deteriorate into ulcers necessitating foot ulcer treatment.

Diabetic Foot Ulcers

An ulcer is an open sore that does not heal, or partially heals but keeps reopening and becoming infected. In diabetics, a foot ulcer predominantly affects the bottom of the foot, with almost six percent of diabetics suffering from foot ulcers needing hospitalization due to a severe infection.

Some diabetics are more prone to experiencing foot ulcers than other diabetics. Insulin users appear to have the highest risk of developing ulcers, with diabetics suffering from eye, heart or kidney disease representing the second highest group at risk. Additionally, alcohol and tobacco use exacerbates foot ulcer growth as well as being overweight.

A foot ulcer is characterized by the appearance of a swollen leg, itching and burning sensations, rash-like bumps, brown or red skin discoloration and scaly, dry skin. Ulcers are not always painful, which is why so many diabetics who suffer from nerve damage simply do not realize the severity of the ulcerous condition until it is too late and foot ulcer treatment can no longer save the foot.

Doctors identify three different kinds of foot ulcers: venous statis ulcers, neurotrophic ulcers and arterial ulcers. Poor circulation, numbness, deformities that cause improper walking, trauma and consistent pressure from ill-fitting shoes or too-tight socks produce neurotrophic ulcers. Obtaining immediate treatment once a foot ulcer is detected facilitates healing and prevents exposed flesh from gangrenous bacterial infection.

Treatment

Doctors initiate treatment for foot ulcers by implementing several techniques that include:

  • Remove all pressure from the foot.
  • Debride the area, removing dead tissue and skin.
  • Apply strong antibiotics either topically or orally.
  • Make sure the patient’s glucose level is stabilized and remains that way.
  • Instruct the patient in properly bandaging and cleaning the foot ulcer daily.
  • Recommend special shoes or socks for diabetic patients dealing with nerve damage.

In cases of severe ulceration, doctors may include crutch or wheelchair use as one aspect of foot ulcer treatment

Watch the video and know about the diabetic foot ulcer treatment

Prevention of Foot Ulcers

Prevention of Foot UlcersFortunately, following these guidelines can prevent the majority of foot ulcers:

  • Integrate a daily foot inspection into your diabetic care routine. Check for any opening in the skin due to cracking, blistering or cuts and implement immediate treatment to prevent infection. Thoroughly washing the feet each day inhibits bacterial growth as well.
  • Wear socks and shoes specially made for diabetics.
  • Avoid walking outside barefoot
  • Make sure you are eating a diabetic diet.
  • Manage blood glucose levels properly
  • Stay at a healthy weight.
  • Exercise regularly, preferably each day
  • Don’t smoke or drink alcohol.
  • Wear shoes that fit properly.
  • Drink plenty of water.

“Allen, a 35 year old young man shared was very enthusiastic about his work and because of that he was ignoring his health. He was aware of the fact that he is suffering from diabetes but he was never very serious about that. He was actually handling the problem very casually.

 Since a long time he was facing some kind of foot problems like swelling, itching and pain in his feet. After checkup he came to know that he was having a foot ulcer problem. Doctor suggested that if he should follow some precautions in order to recover the problem. He started drinking lots of water, exercising regularly and wearing diabetes shoes.”

The risk of gangrene is high if you don’t initiate foot ulcer treatment in a timely manner. Symptoms of gangrene include severe pain, oozing of foul-smelling pus, the ulcer turning black in color and the affected individual feeling feverish and ill. Unless attended by physicians, a diabetic with a gangrenous foot ulcer may require amputation of that foot as well as the lower leg if the gangrene is allowed to spread.

 

 

Related News In:

1. BRI trials new treatment for notoriously difficult to heal diabetic foot ulcers

A RESEARCH trial to find out if a new patch made up of a patient’s own living blood cells and platelets can help heal diabetic foot ulcers is taking place at Bradford Royal Infirmary.

Healthcare professionals believe the new LeucoPatches, which are applied directly on to the wound,…(read more)

 

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