If you have diabetes, there are many potential risks you could be faced with at some point. One of those is developing a wound that will not heal on your lower extremities. Healing may be affected by infection, poor blood flow, and problems with the nerves. These symptoms can take time to notice because diabetes can reduce the feeling you have in your lower legs and feet.
What are diabetic ulcers?
A diabetic ulcer is a wound that occurs on the feet, heel or toes of people with diabetes. Many times, there is little to no feeling in the feet or to the ulcer itself. The skin on the legs and feet may be dry and flaky. You may notice drainage from your foot that might stain your socks or leak out in your shoe. Unusual swelling, irritation, redness, and odors from one or both feet are also common early symptoms.
How to take care of your diabetic ulcer?
- Maintain good blood sugar control
- Inspect your feet daily
- Avoid over-the-counter products to treat your feet
- Trim your toenails straight across only
- Avoid cutting on your ulcers or callouses yourself
- Dress your ulcer as ordered by your doctor
- Wear shoes that protect your ulcer and do not cause rubbing or pressure
- Notify your physician if the ulcer becomes red or develops drainage, swelling or warmth to the area, or if you develop a temperature over 101 degrees F
- Wear off-loading shoes, boots or casts, as directed by your doctor, to assist in healing your ulcer
What if the ulcer does not heal?
Your doctor may start other treatments. You may require special devices to help heal the ulcer or surgery may be done to help repair the ulcer. In most cases, if proper treatment plans are followed, healing will take place.
However, you may have an ulcer that has not started to heal in two weeks. It may not completely heal in six weeks. If so, your ulcer might need special care. Ask your regular doctor if a the Center for Wound Care & Hyperbaric Medicine at Conway Medical Center might be the right option for you.
A Healing Touch
The Center for Wound Care & Hyperbaric Medicine at Conway Medical Center has been providing a healing touch to patients suffering from a variety of wounds for many years. Every patient’s wound is unique and we’ll help educate you on your wound and your plan for healing. For more information call 843-347-8347.
Source: Healogics, Inc. “Patient Ed-Diabetes Hndt 5/16 v001”