Diabetes is a severe medical condition that results when the body cannot produce the required amounts of insulin. Even if insulin is produced, the pancreas cannot use it effectively. Diabetes needs to be effectively managed, or else it can give rise to many complications like heart attack, blindness, kidney failure and foot ulcer. Many of these complications are life-threatening, while others, like diabetic foot ulcer, can leave the person crippled.
People who have diabetes are prone to getting foot ulcers. If the medical condition is not treated on time, it can become serious and even lead to foot amputation. However, diabetic foot ulcer can be prevented with proper care and treatment. Therefore, if you detect any signs of an ulcer, it is imperative to meet a doctor at Max Healthcare and avail suitable treatment.
Defining a diabetic foot ulcer
A diabetic foot ulcer is a common diabetes-related ailment and mainly occurs on the big toes and the foot’s bottom part. The ailment is an open recurring wound that does not heal. A diabetic foot ulcer can cause infection, and its non-healing nature will result in surgical amputation of the foot, if not treated on time.
Some common symptoms of a diabetic foot ulcer:
Specific symptoms can indicate that the person is experiencing a diabetic foot ulcer. Some of these symptoms are:
Drainage from the foot is one of the most prominent symptoms of a diabetic foot ulcer. If a diabetic person’s socks or shoes get soiled by drainage, there is a probability that it is an ulcer.
Irritation, redness and swelling are a few other symptoms that are an early indication of the disease.
If the complications assume a serious proportion, the person may experience partial or complete gangrene or black tissue around the ulcer.
Treatment of diabetic foot ulcer
If any symptoms are found, it is imperative to see the doctor. The doctor will do an examination, and if diabetic foot ulcer is diagnosed, necessary treatment will be recommended. Surgery is usually the last stage of treatment. Before that other methods will be employed and these include.
Off-loading is a procedure where the doctor will suggest the patient to use footwear and accessories specifically designed to take pressure off the feet and protect it. Specific items that the doctor will recommend include foot braces, shoe inserts, casts and specially designed shoes, to name a few. The doctor may also advise you to stay off your feet as much as possible and extensively use a wheelchair or crutch. These devices will take away the pressure from the foot and help it heal faster.
Debridement is another procedure that is widely used by the healthcare staff. A diabetic foot ulcer is caused by dead skin or foreign objets. The doctor removes these dead tissues with debridement and enables the ulcer to heal. Debridement is a highly specialised procedure performed by experienced doctors at well-known hospital chains like Max Healthcare.
Medication is another effective diabetic foot ulcer treatment. Antibiotics, anti-clotting medications and other diabetic foot ulcer medications can play a pivotal role in treating the disease.
Surgery is usually performed when other forms of treatments prove to be ineffective. By correcting foot abnormalities, the doctor will remove or heal the ulcer. Besides this, the doctor may also shave down the bone. Both methods are effective and can help the patient recover from a diabetic foot ulcer.
Preventing diabetic foot ulcers
A foot ulcer can become infectious and give rise to serious complications. That is why it is imperative to take precautions to prevent a diabetic foot ulcer. Some preventive measures that you can take include:
- Avoid unhealthy habits like smoking
- Keep your feet clean. Wash them thoroughly daily
- Do not keep long toenails
- Make sure that your shoes are comfortable and fit you properly
- If you have corn or callus, get them removed.
- Do not wear dirty socks; change them frequently.
- Keep your weight in check.
If you find any symptoms like pus discharge from the foot, redness in the foot, pain etc., it is imperative to contact a doctor. If the ulcer is neglected, it may become serious and even lead to foot amputation.
To prevent a diabetic foot ulcer from occurring, it is vital to check your feet every day. If you notice any symptoms, bring them to a doctor’s notice. If treated early, it is possible to prevent the ulcer. However, it would help if you also took certain precautions like cleaning your feet regularly, changing socks frequently and avoiding habits like smoking, alcohol, etc. To get treated for a diabetic foot ulcer, book an appointment with a doctor at Max Healthcare, one of India’s leading hospital chains.