Diabetic Foot Ulcer
Alternate Names : Diabetic Foot Wound, Diabetic Neuropathic Ulceration, Mal Perforant Ulcer, Diabetic Dermal Ulcer, Diabetic Dermal Wound
What are the treatments for the condition?
There are 10 major areas of treatment:
monitoring of peripheral vascular disease, which causes
decreased blood flow to the feet. Monitoring includes regular measurement of
oxygen levels in the skin, blood flow in the veins of the legs, and pulses in
the legs and feet. In some cases, imaging with special dyes and X-rays will be
monitoring of diabetic
or nerve damage from diabetes, in the feet
correcting risk factors. A person who
smokes should quit smoking. A
diet for diabetes should be carefully followed for blood
sugar control. Blood pressure and
cholesterol levels can be controlled with medication.
doing regular exercise for a person
diabetes, to improve circulation to the feet. The healthcare provider
may also prescribe special support hose to improve blood flow from the legs
to the heart.
aggressively treating any sign of skin damage. The treatment may consist
simply of local wound care and antibiotics. Infections, especially bone
infections, must be treated surgically. It is very important to
avoid pressure on the ulcer during healing because new tissue is delicate.
Prescription inlays, or shoe inserts, can be used to relieve pressure on the
treating any fungal infections of the foot, such as fungal nail infections, with prescription medications
the healthcare provider
wearing well-cushioned walking shoes, athletic shoes, or special
prescription shoes as recommended by the healthcare provider
following a team approach to care. The team may include the person with
diabetes, the primary care physician, the physician's assistant, the diabetes educator,
the nutritionist, the surgical specialist and, if needed, a physician specializing in
performing daily foot care for a
with diabetes. In addition, the healthcare provider should examine the
person's feet at each visit.
learning about diabetes on an
ongoing basis. The individual must assume responsibility for self-care and
learn how to prevent ulcers.
What are the side effects of the treatments?
All medications have side effects. For example, some of the medications used to
treat diabetes may cause low blood sugar, known as hypoglycemia, which is potentially fatal. Surgery can cause
bleeding, infection, and allergic
reaction to anesthesia.
What happens after treatment for the condition?
After a person gets a diabetic foot ulcer, he or she will be at risk for further
skin breakdown and infection for the rest of his or her life. Informed
self-care and monitoring are the best tools available to prevent skin
lesions from becoming life- and limb-threatening infections. A neglected blister or callous is the most common reason for amputations in people with diabetes.
How is the condition monitored?
A person with diabetes needs to
foot care guidelines and monitor blood sugar levels for the rest
his or her life. Foot inspection and monitoring of diabetes, as well as any
blood pressure or high
cholesterol, is also done by the healthcare provider.