Diabetic foot ulcers can lead to amputation.
Diabetic foot ulcers are fairly common, with between 15 and 25 percent of those with the condition experiencing them, according to the International Journal of Preventive Medicine. However, they can also be extremely complex, chronic wounds that take a long time and a lot of attention to heal. In the worst cases, diabetic foot ulcers can lead to amputation. As such, diabetics and their medical providers need to be on top of foot health. Here, we’ll examine some things people with diabetes can do to prevent foot ulcers.
Understand diabetic neuropathy
One major reason people with diabetes are susceptible to ulcers and other wounds on their feet is diabetic neuropathy. This condition causes your feet to become numb, which means you may not even notice when something is hurting you. This can be very dangerous, as a variety of factors combine to put you at risk for wounds that can worsen significantly if they are not immediately treated. You may not feel wounds or burns on your feet, so you will need to do a thorough check of your feet every day to see whether there are any wounds. Try to do this at the same time each day, perhaps in the shower or right before bed. Remember that there could be a serious problem you will not feel, so act accordingly.
Do what you can to improve circulation
Diabetic foot ulcers are also related to poor circulation due to a variety of causes, from arterial diseases to poor nutrition and smoking. If at all possible, it is a great idea to address these causes. You can do a variety of things to improve circulation, from adhering to your diabetes treatment regimen to quitting smoking, even if your circulation will remain less than ideal after the improvement. Getting better by any amount can decrease your risk for complications.
Treat your feet well
Another way to prevent ulcers and the wound care they require is to take care of your feet. You should cut your nails straight across to prevent ingrown toenails, keep your feet clean and moisturize them, treat any small injuries and athlete’s foot immediately and seek proper treatment for any issues you discover during routine foot checks. According to American Family Physician, these are just some of the things you can do to keep your feet healthy.
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