Diabetic foot ulcers usually occur on the bottom of the foot and are the most common complication associated with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. The primary cause is diabetic neuropathy (damage or malfunction in the nerves brought on by diabetes). Of all those who develop foot ulcers, around 6% will need hospitalization due to infection in the ulcer or other ulcer-related complication.
Risk Factors for Diabetic Foot Ulcers
As mentioned, diabetic neuropathy is the most prevalent cause of diabetic foot ulcers. This condition is due to various neurovascular and metabolic factors and is characterized by loss of feeling or pain in the feet, toes, arms, and legs due to poor circulation and nerve damage. As the condition progresses, sores and/or blisters may appear in the numb areas of the feet and heels.
Other risk factors include:
- Poor glycemic (blood sugar) control
- Cigarette smoking
- Diabetic kidney disease
- Poor circulation
- Previous foot ulcers or amputations
Common Symptoms of Diabetic Foot Ulcers
Any diabetic patient who notices any of the following symptoms on their feet should contact their doctor immediately:
- Open lesions
Prevention of Diabetic Foot Ulcers
Although there are treatment options for diabetic foot ulcers, the focus should be on prevention by taking the following precautions.
- Check your feet for ulcers every day.
- Always keep your feet clean using only mild soap and water
- Dry your feet well to ensure you don’t leave them moist, which can cause serious problems.
- Keep your feet from drying out and cracking, which leaves openings for bacteria.
Treatment Options for Diabetic Foot Ulcers
The proper treatment option will depend on the severity of your condition and your medical history.
The first step in treatment is to relieve the irritation and pressure causing the ulcer. This may mean wearing specialized footgear or castings or using crutches or a wheelchair to help speed the healing process. Your doctor may also prescribe antibiotics and request a blood test to assess circulation in your feet.
Stem Cell Therapy
Stem cell therapy (aka regenerative medicine) is a promising therapeutic solution for treating diabetic foot ulcers. This revolutionary technology uses the body’s natural healing response in the infected tissue using stem cells. Stem cells are cells from which all other specialized cells are made.
Surgical Treatment for Diabetic Foot Ulcers
Although most diabetic foot ulcers can be treated using non-invasive methods, sometimes surgery is necessary. Examples of surgical treatment for foot ulcers include excision or shaving of bone, as well as the correction of deformities like bunions, bony bumps, and hammertoes.
Hyper Healing Wound Care utilizes cutting-edge technology in ulcer care, including genetic skin, skin grafts, local skin, and muscle flaps to close wounds. Contact us today to learn more about the prevention of diabetic foot ulcers.