Keeping Foot Ulcers Under Control
AT NY Foot Health, we know that diabetic foot ulcers are one of the most dangerous conditions associated with diabetes. Foot ulcers can be slow and difficult to heal and may become infected, requiring hospitalization. In about 14-24% of patients who get a foot ulcer, amputation ends up being required. In fact, 85% of diabetes-related amputations are preceded by a foot ulcer.
Knowing what increases the chances of developing a foot ulcer and taking steps to prevent them can greatly reduce your risk for this dangerous complication.
Who Gets Ulcers?
The following factors point to an increased risk for a foot ulcer—some of them can be changed and others cannot:
Native Americans, African Americans or Hispanic
Diabetes-related kidney, eye and heart disease
Take Good Care
Fortunately, there is much that can be done to prevent foot ulcers. It starts with a good care regimen and keeping your diabetes under control. Steps to do this include:
Regular visits with your podiatrist and other physicians who are managing your diabetes. (If you need a podiatrist, we can help you find one with our online directory.)
Inspecting your feet regularly for redness, signs of sores or blisters, changes in shape or size, bruising, etc.
Paying attention to changes in sensation in your feet like numbness, burning or tingling (these can indicate possible neuropathy).
Control blood sugar levels.
Wear shoes that do not cause any friction or pressure on the feet. Inspect the insides of your shoes for rough stitching or loose fabric. Be sure the toe box is roomy, and the shoe is made out of a soft, flexible material.
Avoid going barefoot.
Knowledge is power when it comes to preventing and caring for diabetic foot ulcers. Never wait to seek medical advice if you are a patient with diabetes and have a concern about something on your feet. To learn more about good diabetic foot care and other podiatric conditions, contact us and subscribe to our free e-newsletter.