Foot & Leg Ulcers in Diabetes – You Need to Know!
Leg ulcers are a side effect of diabetes that can be very bad. But if you take care of the disease properly, you can prevent bad things from happening or even stop the ulcer itself from coming.
What is Foot and Leg Ulcers in Diabetes, and how do they show up?
A diabetic ulcer is a type of lesion that can affect skin, subcutaneous, and bone tissues. Diabetic ulcers happen due to a lack of blood flow or oxygen to the tissues. It is hard to heal on your own, so you need help as soon as it happens. People with diabetes are more likely to get this problem, especially over time. The risks are:
- Lack of control over your blood sugar
- Constant high blood sugar
- The presence of other diabetes-related problems (such as retinopathy, nephropathy, and neuropathy)
- Foot deformities
- Anteriority of an ulcer or an amputation in the past.
Often, this lesion happens due to nerve damage and affects the lower body, especially the feet, most of the time. They usually happen in the plantar area, but they can also happen in the apical area of your finger. It can also happen in the heel or the ankle, but it’s more common in the lower legs.
3 Things that cause Leg Ulcers in Diabetics!
A foot ulcer is a terrible side effect of having diabetes. 85 per cent of amputations are caused by ulceration before they happen. If treatment has progressed, people with diabetes still don’t know much about this “plantar perforating disease.”As a person with diabetes, you might get a sore on your foot.In people with diabetes, foot ulcers happen because of three things:
- People who have nerve damage (neuropathy) lose feeling, deformities, and dry skin.
- Damage to the blood vessels in the leg (arteriopathy): the diabetic’s foot isn’t getting enough blood, which can cause it to die.
- The ulcer gets worse because of a second infection. It ranges from grade 1 (a clean ulcer) to grade 4 (a dirty ulcer) (infected ulcer with fever).
Minor trauma, such as not wearing the right shoes, walking barefoot, or having nails that hurt, can be a trigger. It is because the patient doesn’t pay attention to these superficial injuries. After all, they don’t feel them. It is why 40% of diabetic foot ulcers discover by accident.
What Happens in the Case of a Diabetic Ulcer?
An infection or a fistula can then form, which can cause necrosis in that part of the body, which means that that part of the body will not be able to do the things it used to do. It is hazardous.
People who have a lot of infections may need to have their limbs amputated if the infections keep getting better. It is why it’s essential to see a doctor who specializes in diabetes and treat the ulcer right away and effectively.More than 9,000 people have their limbs amputated each year in France because their diabetic feet do not get suitable treatment.
How to Take Care of and Prevent Diabetic Ulcers?
- The first thing you can do to lessen your chances of getting this complication is to make sure you do all the proper checks and follow the advice of specialists, like podiatrists. The recommended minimum number of times to get checked is once a year.
- As a rule, the treatment for this disease is to apply a dressing and bandages to the part that needs protection so that it will last. In addition, the use of specific therapeutic footwear is essential.
- If the patient is in pain, the doctor may give the patient painkillers or analgesics. Also, the patient may need antibiotics to keep them from getting an infection.
- People who have horrible infections can also have surgery to remove the infected part.
Because diabetes causes ulcers, the treatments for these ulcers are different and change based on how bad they are. So it’s good to get help from a doctor who can treat the area with the right solution, apply the proper dressing, and help the patient deal with the things that led to the ulcer.
If you have diabetes, ask your doctor for help. Please find out how to avoid severe problems like diabetic ulcers and follow all the rules to help you better deal with them.
A Standardized Treatment for Diabetes Leg Ulcers
We should treat diabetic foot ulcers in a particular place, such as a hospital. It includes cleaning the wound, making dressings, taking antibiotics, and a very strict discharge from the hospital or doctor.
The discharge is done by not putting the ulcer on the ground. For this, we require bed rest, crutches, or other aids like orthopaedic shoes or casts. These shoes are made of resin or plaster and cover the whole foot and leg up to the knee. Inflatable pads are inside to protect the bottom of the foot from getting hurt.
When you walk, the pressure spreads out over the entire arch of your foot, and a lot of them moves up because the system is so rigid.You can even use these shoes with socks that can tell when there are changes in pressure or temperature.
The Bottom Line
People with diabetes often refrain from going to the doctor, even though the speed of care is essential for the treatment to work. 30 per cent of people see a doctor after 1 to 6 months, and 14 per cent after 6 months. 50 per cent thought the condition was not as bad as it was. However, 27 per cent of patients say that their doctor never checks their feet, and that’s not much better.
In this case, the patient didn’t know enough about what was going on. However, patient education is critical when it comes to prevention. To prevent a diabetic leg ulcer, you should always take care of the following:
- Loss of sensitivity;
- A daily self-examination of the feet (possibly with a mirror);
- Wearing suitable shoes, reverse seam socks changed every day;
- The prohibition of barefoot walking;
- Hygiene: daily washing, rigorous drying and application of a moisturizing cream;
- Nail clipping, possibly by a podiatrist.
- Finally, in the event of a wound, even minimal: washing with soap and water, cover with a sterile compress, eliminating the cause of the injury (for example, new shoes). And above all, immediate consultation!