People who have diabetes are faced with many challenges to their health due to the abnormally high levels of blood glucose. Foot problems are the most common reasons for hospitalization for diabetics, especially because a suppressed immune response and nerve damage often leads to small injuries worsening. One complication diabetics face is foot ulcers, which are open sores or wounds that form frequently on the bottom of the feet. The wounds can become inflamed, red, and cause burning, itching, or pain.
Ulcers can form for a number of reasons:
- Peripheral neuropathy – Loss of sensation in the extremities can occur due to nerve damage, which makes it difficult for diabetics to notice and feel injuries. These injuries, which may start out small, can develop into ulcers.
- Poor circulation – When blood flow is restricted to the extremities, wounds like ulcers are less likely to heal.
- Irritation – Excessive pressure or friction from shoes, or trauma to the foot can also cause ulcer formation.
- Preventing infection through daily disinfection, frequent bandage changes to keep ulcers dry, and managing blood glucose levels.
- Removing dead tissue.
- Staying off of feet to reduce pressure.
- Diabetic shoes, casts, or compression wraps may be used to help aid healing.
Since there are several stages of severity for ulcers, it is important to always seek the help of an experienced podiatrist to diagnose and treat them. Diabetics should not only see a foot care specialist whenever they notice a foot or ankle issue, but they should make appointments regularly to prevent any problems from forming. Dr. Gabriel Maislos of Houston Foot & Ankle Care has been treating diabetic patients in Southwest Houston for many years and has the skills and experience to help manage symptoms and treat foot problems associated with diabetes. Dr. Maislos and his dedicated staff also treat sports injuries, nerve-related issues, bunions, hammertoes, nail fungus, and heel pain. If you are diabetic or have a foot or ankle issue, please contact us or call us at (713) 541-3199 to schedule an appointment today!