Approximately 5% of individuals who are diabetic develop foot ulcers every year. One out of every five of those cases will ultimately reach the point where amputation is necessary. We don’t want that to be you!
Diabetic wounds play a major role in the process, so let’s make sure you understand what diabetic wounds actually are and how they develop. This is a good starting point in making sure you are able to stay safe and not have to worry about a possible limb amputation.
To put it simply as possible, wounds are injuries to body tissue. They can have two different potential starting points –either an external or internal origin. When you hear the word “wound,” you most likely think about external ones. In addition to cuts, these include scrapes, burns, and essentially any damage that is inflicted by forces outside the body.
Wounds of an internal origin are those created by your body. They may come from external stressors—like friction from an ill-fitting shoe or unevenly-distributed forces caused by a gait abnormality—but your body ultimately creates them. Examples of these include blisters, corns, and calluses.
If it helps, you can think of a diabetic wound as being any kind of irregularity. Any lump or puncture is a possible concern. (Discoloration, drainage, and heat are also quite concerning, as these are signs of an infection. If you are diabetic and observe any of these, seek immediate medical care at the nearest hospital.)
Part of the problem with diabetic wounds is peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage). This is a fairly common issue for those who have diabetes. The disease affects the body’s ability to regulate glucose levels. When blood sugar levels are too high for extended periods, it can harm nerve tissues, and that can take away your ability to feel a wound.
Unnoticed and left untreated, a diabetic wound will break down and become a foot ulcer. This raises the risk for gangrene (tissue death), which cannot be cured and will require an amputation to prevent it from spreading.
If you have diabetes, you absolutely must have a diabetic foot care plan in place. Your plan serves to protect your feet from issues happening in the first place, and also to ensure that you discover any problems at the earliest opportunity (before they become major complications). Hopefully you already have a foot care plan, but Richardson Podiatry Center can help if you need one.
Contact us today if you need to schedule an appointment for diabetic wound care—or even if you would just like more information—and one of our staff members will be glad to assist. Either give us a call at (972) 690-5374 or take advantage of our online form to connect with us.