Caring For and Preventing Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Diabetes


Diabetic foot ulcers are one of the most common complications affecting diabetic patients. A recent review article outlines preventative measures that can decrease the odds of developing foot ulcers.

Diabetic foot ulcers, especially on the bottom of the foot, are a common problem in diabetics. Up to 26.1 million diabetic patients worldwide are estimated to have foot ulcers in their lifetime. Without proper care, ulcers often lead to amputation. A recent review outlines several medical care methods that can improve the odds of completely healing from diabetic foot ulcers.

Primarily, it was emphasized that a previous diabetic foot ulcer was the biggest determining factor of the occurrence of another ulcer. In order to prevent recurrence, an emphasis should be placed on specialized protective footwear and be educating the patient on the importance of such footwear.

However, simply wearing footwear is not enough to prevent wear and tear that can lead to ulcers. A healthy individual would normally feel pain if a sore develops on the foot. However, in diabetics, there is often an underlying nerve problem that can prevent the feeling of pain. Patients would benefit from the ability to detect a rise in temperature of worn areas of the foot, which would indicate that they are at high risk of developing a second ulcer. With this information, preventative actions can be taken to allow healing to occur.

If preventative measures fail, surgical intervention is recommended to manage underlying problems that lead to repeated ulcers. Altogether, these steps would significantly improve the odds of complete healing and prevent further ulcers from developing.

Written By: Harin Lee, BSc



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