Diabetic foot ulcers are chronic open wounds that can result in limb amputation. If you have a diabetic ulcer, contact Annette Kietur, M.Ed., MSN, FNP-C, WCC, DAPWCA, at Getting Well in Peoria, Arizona. Annette provides expert wound care for patients with diabetic ulcers. She specializes in treating these challenging wounds, reducing your risk of infection and helping promote healing. Call the office to discuss your diabetic ulcer treatment needs or book an appointment online today.
Diabetic foot ulcers are often caused by a combination of side effects of poorly controlled diabetes: neuropathy, peripheral vascular disease and poor foot care. Wounds present on the foot and are usually caused by an increase in pressure — mostly from footwear — or trauma related to the patient not having sensation.
According to the National Institute of Health 15-25% of all diabetics will develop at least one diabetic foot ulcer in their life. Diabetes is, along with peripheral vascular disease, trauma and neuropathy, the leading cause for amputation in the United States.
Diabetic ulcers develop because of two common problems affecting people with diabetes. The first is poor circulation. The high blood sugar levels diabetes causes damage your blood vessels, reducing blood flow and depriving the lower limbs of oxygen, nutrients, and cells that heal injuries.
The second problem is diabetic peripheral neuropathy. This is nerve damage that also happens due to high blood sugar. It can cause pain, tingling, prickling, and burning sensations in the feet, but it’s the numbness that increases your risk of diabetic ulcers.
If you can’t feel your feet properly, you might not notice a cut, blister, ingrown toenail, or infection. Because the blood supply in your feet is poor, the damaged skin fails to heal, and instead of repairing itself, the skin degrades. The result is a sore that worsens and deepens over time.
Due to the high risk of amputation, a diabetic foot ulcer is always an urgent situation.
Diabetic ulcers usually require collaboration between at least four parties — patients, vascular specialists, orthotists, and wound care specialists. Annette ensures the patient undergoes a proper evaluation and receives treatment based on best practice guidelines for diabetic wounds.
If you have diabetes, following your doctor’s advice on managing your condition is vital. This reduces the damage to your nerves and blood vessels, preventing new ulcers from forming and helping existing ones to heal. Diabetes treatment might include lifestyle changes, medications to regulate your blood sugar levels, and regular checkups.
Diabetic ulcer treatment typically starts with debridement, where Annette cleans the wound to remove any bacteria and removes dead and infected tissue. Next, she applies advanced dressings to keep the ulcer clean and help with tissue repair.
Most importantly, finding the reason for the wound is key. Usually patients need to be fitted for shoes and inserts that perfectly match their foot, which is done by specialists for orthotics.
If you have diabetic ulcers and are homebound, Annette provides mobile wound care services, with in-office consultations available by appointment. Call Getting Well or book an appointment online today.