Diabetic foot ulcers are a common complication of advanced diabetes that can happen to potentially anyone with the disease. When diabetes isn't well-controlled, it can lead to ulcers opening up in the skin, particularly in the legs, feet, and ankles. If someone you love has been recently diagnosed with this condition, it's particularly important that they get help with it. Here's why.
What They Are
Foot ulcers are essentially open, weeping wounds that develop on the feet and lower extremities. They're a known complication of having uncontrolled diabetes. Feet ulcers are essentially chronic wounds that don't heal up properly and need constant care as a result.
Foot ulcers may bleed and often 'weep,' or leak fluids. This can make them messy and unhygienic, which increases the risk of developing an infection. In fact, infection is highly likely with foot ulcers because they're essentially a chronically open wound.
The Trouble With Neglect
One of the biggest problems with diabetic foot ulcers is that the person who is suffering from them is often unaware that they even have them, or doesn't realize how bad they are. This is because foot ulcers often develop alongside diabetic neuropathy, which can sometimes be part of diabetic foot care. Neropathy is the malfunction or death of nerves that send pain signals to the brain. Without these pain signals, the person with the ulcers may go about their day completely oblivious to how badly they're injured. As a result, those who have diabetes often don't take care of their wounds very well. To make matters worse, many people who have diabetes are also overweight, and some extremely so. This can make it hard to even access the area where the ulcers are developing, and it will make it particularly difficult to put on bandages or medical stockings to prevent edema.
For these reasons, the best thing you can do if someone you care about has diabetic foot ulcers is to ensure that they see a doctor for it. Treatment of foot ulcers is possible and can potentially reverse the condition if adhered to. You also need to ensure that someone with diabetic foot ulcers is regularly screened for infections to ensure that they don't end up developing a life-threatening condition. Foot ulcers are not something that should be ignored or waited on. If you're not sure what to do, visit with your general practitioner and they will refer you to a specialist for your condition.