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The high prevalence of foot ulceration in diabetics and potentially devastating consequences are well-known in the medical community. Diabetic patients frequently develop peripheral neuropathy, a condition that causes decreased sensation in the foot.
Diabetic ulcer injury usually occurs in regions of high pressure once we walk, commonly due to abnormal structure of the foot such as a hammertoe or bunion deformity.
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Many diabetics patients suffer from poor circulation to their feet, which makes wound healing difficult or sometimes impossible. When wounds become chronic, patients are at increased risk of disease.
Infection is more difficult to cure in diabetic patients because their body's immune system is not as capable of fighting bacteria.
The antibiotics that are typically utilized to fight infection are also somewhat less effective when blood flow to the area is poor. This unfortunately contributes to amputation for some patients with chronic diabetic foot ulcers.
The strict control of blood glucose levels together with maintaining a nutritious diet and exercise are essential to avoiding complications in diabetes. Your healthcare professional may recommend testing of the nerves and blood flow of the legs and feet to check for signs of neuropathy or poor circulation.
Diabetic patients must inspect their feet daily. As diabetics are susceptible to extremely dry skin, a good moisturizing lotion should be applied daily to reduce the odds of skin cracks. Any breaks in the skin, redness, swelling or pain should prompt an immediate visit to the podiatrist.
While techniques and technologies have improved in recent years, prevention remains the best tool in the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers.