Diabetic Foot Ulcers

One of the most common wounds we see at Avella Wound Care in Phoenix are diabetic foot ulcers. This post will briefly explore the background of how these wounds occur, and what can be done to prevent them.

Diabetes can cause foot ulcers in a few different ways.

One of the main ways is through neuropathy, or nerve damage. Diabetes can damage the nerves in the feet and legs, which can cause a loss of sensation or feeling in those areas. As a result, a person with diabetes may not feel a cut, blister, or injury on their foot, and may continue to walk or put pressure on the affected area, leading to further damage and eventually a foot ulcer.

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Another way diabetes can cause foot ulcers is through peripheral arterial disease (PAD). This is a condition in which the blood vessels that supply the legs and feet with oxygen and nutrients become narrowed or blocked. As a result, the affected tissues may not receive enough blood flow to heal properly, which can lead to the development of ulcers.

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Additionally, people with diabetes are at increased risk for infections, and an infection in a cut or wound on the foot can quickly progress to an ulcer if not treated promptly.

The clinicians at Avella Wound care in Phoenix are deeply familiar with prevention and treatment of diabetic foot ulcers. There are a few basic steps that a diabetic can take to help avoid the formation of a foot ulcer or wound. 

Daily inspections of the bottom of the foot for any signs of redness, swelling, cuts, blisters, or other injuries. If you have difficulty seeing the bottoms of your feet, use a mirror or ask someone for assistance. It is much easier to heal a foot wound when it is small and has not become infected.  Keeping your feet clean and dry can help prevent infections. Wash your feet daily with warm water and mild soap, and dry them thoroughly, especially between your toes. 

  Wear shoes that fit properly and provide adequate support and cushioning. Avoid shoes with pointed toes, high heels, or tight-fitting shoes that can cause blisters and calluses. Establishing care with a podiatrist is extremely valuable in maintaining the health of your feet. As the adage goes " An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure". Avella Wound Care collaborates with many podiatrists in the Phoenix area, and happily refer patients for podiatric care. 

And finally, health maintenance. Keeping stable blood sugar levels can help prevent nerve damage and reduce the risk of developing foot ulcers.  Avoid smoking, as nicotine causes vaso-constriction, or narrowing of the blood vessels. Any reduction of blood flow to the feet increases the likelihood of a foot ulcer, and decreases your bodies ability to heal itself. 

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Posted on in Non-Healing Wounds, Wound Care Education.