Symptoms of Type I Diabetes include:
- frequent urination
- excessive hunger or thirst
- unusual weight loss
What is a Diabetic Foot Ulcer?
While nonhealing wounds, or ulcers are commonplace in hospitals and nursing homes, people living in the community are also at risk and frequently will develop a diabetic foot ulcer. A diabetic foot ulcer is a wound that is located on the ball of the foot, the side of the foot, or beneath the big toe. They form as the result of decreased sensation caused by neuropathy, skin changes (dry, peeling, cracking), improper footwear, and decreased circulation to the leg and foot. Because of the underlying Diabetes, diabetic foot ulcers are often slow to heal and may go undetected for some time due to decreased sensation.
|Accessed from http://trialx.com/curebyte/2011/06/17/clinical-trials-and-related-photos-for-diabetes-foot-ulcers/|
At first, you may notice a reddened area that will not blanch (turn white) when you apply pressure to it with your finger. This is a Stage I ulcer. Stage II ulcers appear like blisters. A Stage III ulcer is open and crater-like.
Preventing Diabetic Foot Ulcers
There are several ways to help prevent Diabetic foot ulcers:
- Keep your skin clean and dry
- Do not apply lotion or moisturizers between your toes, as this may encourage infection
- Wear proper footwear that is not too tight, does not rub, and does not have complicated straps and buckles which create pressure areas
- Perform daily skin checks, looking for areas of redness, blisters, or open areas
- See your doctor regularly
Treatment of Diabetic Foot Ulcers
There are many treatment options for Diabetic foot ulcers, depending on the severity of the condition. These options include:
- keeping the wound clean and moist (new cells will not grow in a dry environment)
- using appropriate bandages and/or wound dressings
- antibiotics (topical solutions, silver nitrate, oral antibiotics, or IV antibiotics) to fight infection
- wound debridement by a Physical Therapist or other wound care specialist. This can be non-selective (i.e. pulsed lavage) or selective/sharp debridement using scissors, scalpels, tweezers, etc.
- negative pressure wound therapy (AKA wound vac)
- surgical debridement
|Suture set used for sharp debridement|
|KCI Wound Vac|