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Endocrinology

Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Who Can Get a Diabetic Foot Ulcer?

Anyone who has diabetes can develop a foot ulcer. Ulcers form due to a combination of factors, such as lack of feeling in the foot, poor circulation, foot deformities, irritation (such as friction or pressure from ill-fitting shoes) and trauma, as well as duration of diabetes. 

How Can a Foot Ulcer be Prevented?

The best way to treat a diabetic foot ulcer is to prevent its development in the first place. Check your feet every day.

  • Check your feet daily – even check between your toes.
  • Call your doctor right away if you see an open sore, redness, swelling or the foot feels warm.
  • Do not home treat. 
  • Wash your feet daily with warm (not hot) water and mild soap.  Use a moisturizing cream to soften dry skin.
  • Avoid between the toes

Wear the correct size shoes

  • Shoes that rub or don’t fit properly cause calluses, blisters, and foot ulcers. 
  • Ill- fitting shoes is one of the biggest causes of foot problems in people with diabetes.

Cut your nails straight across. If you have poor vision do not cut your own nails. Make an appointment with a foot doctor (podiatrist).

See a podiatrist on a regular basis

He or she can determine if you are at high risk for developing a foot ulcer and implement strategies for prevention.
You are at high risk if you:

  • have neuropathy
  • have poor circulation
  • have a foot deformity (i.e. bunion, hammer toe)
  • wear inappropriate shoes
  • have uncontrolled blood sugar

What is the Value of Treating a Diabetic Foot Ulcer?

Once an ulcer is noticed, seek podiatric medical care immediately. Foot ulcers in patients with diabetes need to be treated immediately to reduce the risk of infection and amputation.

Check the Community Health Events Calendar for diabetes related programs.