A diabetic ulcer is the major component of diabetic foot and is a major complication of diabetes mellitus. Some people with diabetes develop diabetic foot ulcers. It is prone to an infection which can be severe. When an area of skin has been broken down and can see the underlying tissue refers to skin ulcer. Skin ulcers usually occur on the feet or lower legs. Normally if the skin gets cut, it heals quickly but in the case of a diabetes patient, the skin will not heal and is prone to developing an ulcer. The ulcers are formed even after a mild injury.
Foot ulcers are developed if the person has diabetes due to the complications listed below.
- The sensation of the skin on your feet is reduced- The nerves of a diabetic person may not work normally because there will be a slight change in the blood sugar level and this would gradually destroy the nerves. This is one of the complications of diabetes known as peripheral neuropathy of diabetes. The nerves which take the signals of pain and sensation of the feet are affected usually. If the sensation of the feet is lost, then you will not know if your feet is injured. For instance, if you get cut o something sharp and develop blisters, you will not feel pain. Since you do not feel pain, you will not protect the wounds and hence the situations get This is how the ulcers are formed.
- The blood vessels which go to the feet are narrowed- diabetes can cause an increase in the chance of narrowing the arteries which are usually known as peripheral artery disease. Atheroma is the name given to the fatty deposits that cause this disease. This will reduce the flow of blood to different parts of the body. So normally, the arteries in the legs are affected and cause a reduced supply of blood to the feet. If the blood supply is minimal, the skin will not heal by itself and will become worse. So a minor injury will lead to the formation of ulcers in that particular area.
The best way to avoid foot ulcers is to control diabetes. Also the treatment for high cholesterol level, high blood pressure will reduce the risk of diabetic complications. Smoking should be avoided completely and this would help to avoid the development of foot ulcers.
Good care must be given to the feet and should protect them from the injury. This includes the following:
- Look carefully down and between the toes to know if there is any injury.
- Look out for athlete’s foot.
- Cut the nails in the proper manner.
- Wash your feet and dry them after cleaning.
- Make sure that you do not walk barefoot even at home.
- Always wear socks with the shoes.
- Wear the same type of socks which you usually wear even you buy a new pair of shoes.
- Check for any kind of sharp substances inside the shoes before you wear them.