It’s important for people with diabetes to take care of their feet in order to avoid diabetic foot ulcers.

The proper care and treatment of feet is an important topic for those with diabetes.

People who have diabetes must take extra precautions when it comes to their lower extremities because the disease puts them at a higher risk for complications like diabetic foot ulcers. If left untreated, this can lead to foot or leg amputation. Diabetes Self Management said there are several reasons that this can occur and all relate back to high blood glucose levels:

High blood glucose levels can damage blood vessels, resulting in poor circulation to the feet. If a diabetic person gets a sore or cut on their foot, reduced blood flow slows the healing process.

High blood sugar levels prohibit white blood cells from fighting infections effectively.

Also, people with diabetes can develop neuropathy – or nerve damage – which reduces their ability to sense cold, heat, pressure and/or pain. The inability to sense a sore, blister or ulcer on the foot is called loss of protective sensation. When someone doesn’t feel that there’s a problem, they are less likely to treat it. That’s why it’s recommended that individuals with diabetes check their feet and lower extremities daily.

Treating diabetic foot ulcers properly

According to Diabetes Health, approximately 15 percent of those with diabetes will develop foot ulcers at some point in their lives. Ulcers are caused by a breach in the skin that fails to heal. They can happen because of an injury, skin infection, poor blood circulation or sensory loss.

If someone does suffer a foot ulcer, it’s crucial they see their clinician promptly for wound care treatment. This treatment may include wound debridement, which is the removal of dead skin from the troubled area. This helps reduce the risk of infection and promotes healing. Once this is done, the ulcer will need to be properly dressed. The doctor will make an assessment of the proper dressing option.

During the healing process, it will be important to change the wound care dressings according to the clinician’s instructions and keep follow-up appointments so the physician can monitor the healing progress.

Advanced Tissue is the nation’s leader in delivering specialized wound care supplies to patients, delivering to both homes and long-term care facilities.