* Affects 15% of diabetes patients
* Caused by blood vessel or nerve damage
* Can lead to ampution
Diabetic foot ulcers occur in approximately 15 percent of those affected by diabetes. They are sores on the feet caused by caused by nerve and blood vessel complications associated with the disease. Nerve damage caused by diabetes can result in a loss of feeling in the foot. As a result, patients often cannot detect injuries — cuts, bruises, scrapes — to their own feet and may develop blisters, ulcers, or loss of skin. In fact, diabetic foot ulcers often go undetected for long periods of time because patients cannot feel them.
Where the ulcers are caused by complications involving blood vessels, the lack of blood flow to the feet may cause ulcers. Wounds are also slower to heal. The risks of infection are high.
The risk of gangrene and, possibly, foot amputation significantly increases in patients where foot ulcers have developed.
Differential Diagnosis (Other conditions with similar appearance)
Deep skin and soft tissue infections
*Prevention is key
* Proper footwear
* Frequent inspection
* Antibiotics for infection
Preventing foot ulcers takes priority over treating them. If you are diabetic, it is important not to smoke. Inspect your feet frequently; keep your nails trims; and wear comfortable footwear. If you experience cracks, Athlete’s foot, or dermatitis, consult your doctor. Antibiotics can be taken for infections. Dead tissue should be removed and Wounds should be properly dressed.
It is doubly important when the foot ulcers are caused by nerve damage to inspect the feet frequently and wear the proper footwear, as you are often unable to feel your feet.