Why Seeking Treatment for Diabetic Ulcers Is Crucial
Diabetes impacts an individual's life in many ways. While there are excellent tools to manage this chronic condition, unplanned symptoms still occur even when you’re doing everything right. Diabetes increases the likelihood of developing sores and ulcers, and it’s important to draw attention to preventative measures as well as where to seek treatment.
What Is a Diabetic Ulcer?
A diabetic ulcer is a wound that occurs on the feet, heel or toes in those who have diabetes. In many cases, individuals will have little to no feeling in their feet or of the ulcer itself. This makes it especially important to pay attention and look for signs of a developing diabetic ulcer on a regular basis.
How Does This Occur?
Diabetes increases your risk of developing ulcers from having high blood sugar. Over a long period of time, high blood sugar levels can cause damage to the nerves and blood vessels. This constricts the blood flow throughout the body, especially to the feet and limbs. The damage to the blood vessels and nerves makes it difficult for your body to heal sores and cuts, and more difficult for you to feel any indication of ulcers or infection. If preventative measures are not taken the tissue in the wound dies. In some cases amputation is the only treatment option remaining.
Preventing Diabetic Ulcers
Be on the lookout for warning signs. A pulse will be present in the foot and the skin can appear normal or be warm to the touch. The skin on the legs and feet may often be dry and flaky, which indicates a risk of a developing ulcer.
Diabetes is actually the leading cause of limb loss. Improved foot care for those living with diabetes can decrease the risk. It’s important to be aware, intervene early and seek specialized care. The most important things that help reduce the risk of developing diabetic ulcers are to:
- Look for changes in your skin that you’re not sure about. This can include: blisters, cuts, cracks, sores, discoloration, thick calluses, etc.
- Try to keep your blood sugar under control.
- Keep pressure off any sores or wounds, even if they do not hurt. Be sure to have your provider check these out and follow all medical advice.
- Maintain regular clinical visits with your providers and they will help you manage symptoms and follow preventative measures.
- Wear proper shoes that add cushion and stability. Take care of your feet in general and do not walk barefoot.
- Avoid smoking. Smoking can also damage blood vessels which further decreases blood flow.
Where to Seek Treatment
Community Health Network offers extensive advanced wound care treatment, including care for chronic conditions such as diabetes. Preventive measures, timely detection and treatment of any wound can reduce the risk of amputation and improve your quality of life. It’s important to know that chronic, non-healing wounds need advanced wound care.
You can find this wound care with little to no wait time at one of our Advanced Wound Centers across Central Indiana. Find a location near you and call to make an appointment with our team.