Diabetics are particularly prone to foot wounds – particularly when it comes to healing. In fact, diabetes is THE leading cause for amputations of the lower extremities in the United States. If that’s not scary enough, as many as 24% of diabetic patients who develop any type of foot ulcer will have an amputation. Dr Anthony Weinert, a Michigan foot doctor with practice locations in both Warren and Troy discusses the diabetic foot and diabetic ulcerations.
Anyone who has diabetes in any form can develop a foot ulcer – noone is excluded – however, men who are of Native American, Hispanic or African descent are more susceptible. Patients who are insulin-dependent and those who suffer from kidney disease, eye or heart disease as a result of their diabetes are at a higher risk for developing foot ulcers. Patients who smoke and/or are overweight are also at an increased risk.
The ulcers can form based on a number of factors: poor circulation in the area, how long patients have had the disease, lack of feeling in the foot, foot deformities or irritation to the area. The longer you have been diabetic, the more likely the nerves in the foot have been damaged thanks to your elevated glucose levels. This nerve damage will often happen with no pain to make the patient aware and problems can develop before you even realize.
If you discover you have a foot ulcer, there are certain things that must be done immediately to keep the situation from worsening:
- Prevent infection
- Take pressure off the area
- Remove any dead skin
- Medication and dressings
- Manage your disease
Not all foot ulcers will become infected but your podiatrist will need to determine if there is infection present or not. If there is an infection, treatment can vary from antibiotics to hospitalization. There are steps you can take to keep from infection from showing up, however:
- Keep your disease under control – manage your glucose levels closely
- If you have an ulcer, keep it bandaged with clean dressings
- Clean your wound and the area around it daily
- Don’t walk around barefoot
Remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure – this is especially true when it comes to caring for a foot ulcer you may develop as a result of your diabetes.
For more information on Bunions you can visit Dr Weinert’s website at www.stopfeetpainfast.com Dr Weinert is also a published author of “Stop Feet Pain Fast – A User’s Guide to Foot & Ankle Health” and be sure to request a FREE copy of his book while on his website. You can also listen to Dr Weinerts weekly radio show called Happy Feet Radio on iTunes which discusses foot health and wellness. You can also listen and download previous episodes of Happy Feet Radio and learn more about Dr Weinert by visiting www.docweinert.com