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How should I treat a diabetic foot ulcer?

Foot ulcers are open sores on the ball of the foot or on the bottom of the big toe. Although a sore on your foot may not seem like a major issue, it is one of the more serious diabetes foot problems.

Many people ignore these sores because they don’t hurt. However, if the person has diabetic nerve damage, the lack of painful sensation doesn’t mean that the ulcer is not serious; it means the person is in pain, but he or she cannot feel it. Some people may have suffered enough nerve damage that they do not notice the ulcer until it has grown quite large or has become infected, which can lead to gangrene or even the loss of a limb. 

You can help foot ulcers heal more quickly by:

  • Staying off the affected foot. Standing or walking on an ulcer can cause it to open further, spreading any infection deeper into your foot.
  • Control your diet. High blood glucose levels make it harder for wounds to heal and hinder your body’s natural ability to fight infection.
  • Treat your foot carefully. Once your foot heals, the scar tissue over the wound may be weak and brittle. Moisturize your feet daily and consult your podiatrist as to which shoes are best to prevent ulcers from returning. 

If your ulcer is not healing, you should consult your doctor to find out if nerve damage or poor circulation is causing a problem. If you have developed a severe infection, you may need surgery to remove any dead or festering tissue, and you will likely need antibiotics as you recover.

To get your personalized diabetic foot diagnosis, contact our experienced podiatrists at Healthmark Foot and Ankle Associates today at 610-565-3668 in Media or 610-933-8644 in Phoenixville.