Health problems affecting the legs and feet can be painful and debilitating for anyone. But for people with diabetes, they can be downright deadly. Diabetic individuals are extremely vulnerable to infection in the extremities as well as the development of foot ulcers. Making matters worse, diabetes can diminish the ability to feel pain or discomfort in the feet that would otherwise alert the person to the possibility of a problem. While diabetic foot ulcers are treatable, they can become much more painful and severe if not addressed quickly.
That’s why it is so critical to identify and treat diabetic foot ulcers as early as possible. People with diabetes need to stay vigilant and take proactive steps to ensure that their feet remain trouble-free. Fortunately, those steps are relatively simple.
What Are Diabetic Foot Ulcers?
Diabetic foot ulcers are open sores or wounds that typically appear on the sole of the foot. Several factors can contribute to the development of foot ulcers, including poor circulation, irritation, deformities, trauma, pressure or friction, and long-term diabetic conditions. Swelling, redness, and drainage are frequent and visible foot ulcer symptoms.
Approximately 15 percent of people with diabetes have foot ulcers. About six percent of people who develop a foot ulcer are admitted to the hospital because of infection or other ulcer-related complications.
Preventative Care for Diabetic Foot Ulcers
The key to diabetic foot ulcer prevention is understanding the risk. Knowing that you are particularly vulnerable to the issue should motivate you to be vigilant and take other preventative steps to reduce the likelihood of developing an ulcer.
Here are four simple ways to keep foot ulcers from becoming a severe problem:
- Inspect your feet each day and look for any cracks, cuts, or blisters.
- Wash your feet with mild soap and lukewarm water every day, paying close attention to the areas between your toes. Dry your feet thoroughly and use talcum powder to keep them dry.
- Don’t smoke.
- Wear shoes that do not cause irritation or friction and wear socks at all times.
Importantly, people with diabetes should have a podiatrist examine their feet at least once a year to check for:
- A history of prior foot ulceration or amputation
- A history of poor visual acuity
- Neuropathy and palpation of pedal pulses
- Elevated blood pressure
- Foot and toe deformities
Of course, regular monitoring of blood sugar levels is also an essential component of managing diabetes and minimizing the risk of complications, including those that can affect your feet.
Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) is a tested, approved, and easy-to-use transceiver device that helps those with diabetes control their condition and their lives without the need for inconvenient and burdensome finger-pricking multiple times a day.
Ask your doctor about CGM and contact us today to see if you qualify for CGM and access our guide to continuous glucose monitoring.