Diabetic Foot Ulcers: Prevention, Diagnostics, Treatment, and Tips

People with diabetes are at high risk from various illnesses such as:

  • Cardiac ailments
  • Stroke
  • Eye Disease – loss of vision 
  • Nerve Damages - Neuropathy
  • Amputation of foot or leg
  • Kidney ailments
  • Peripheral vascular disease
  • Skin hyperpigmentation

 Diabetes mellitus is one of the major reasons for lower limb amputation. An innocuous cut or abrasion can bring about infection, ulceration  and eventually amputation of the lower extremity.

Why is the Foot at risk?

Consistent high blood sugar levels damage the body's nerves, creating a loss of sensation in the feet (neuropathy). Nerve damages can additionally cause burning pain in the extremities, arms as well as legs  Your general practitioner or Foot doctor needs to examine your feet on a yearly basis, which ought to consist of a sensory exam to look for loss of sensation.

If everyday foot checks are not done, little cuts or abrasions on the neuropathic foot can go undetected. The cut can quickly end up being infected, which consequently causes a ulcer and might ultimately result in the loss of the limb. The importance of everyday foot checks in  diabetics cannot be overestimated. 

Factors leading to Diabetic Foot Ulcers

A certain proportion of diabetics  develop foot ulcerations, several of which might lead  to amputation. If a person suffers from conditions such as vasculopathy or neuropathy, the foot is at a higher threat of ulceration. However there are lots of various other factors that can increase risk of ulcers such as: 

  • Cold feet or absent foot pulses
  • History of Foot Problems
  • Foot Deformities
  • Limited mobility
  • Poor circulation
  • Inappropriate shoes
  • Uncontrolled blood sugar levels

A painless abrasion or corn can steadily advance to a foot abscess, and also if left untreated, osteomyelitis( bone infection) might occur.

Your General practitioner or Podiatric doctor must examine your feet on an annual basis, which must consist of a sensory examination, plantar pressure mapping and identification of any foot deformities.


If you have Diabetes: 10 tips for healthy feet

Step # 1. Have your doctor examine your feet routinely

See your family practitioner routinely to be sure your diabetes remains under control. Have your doctor check out your feet at every visit.

Step # 2. Put on the right shoes and also socks

Don't put on footwear that fit snugly or pinch your feet. Pick thick cotton socks and also well-cushioned shoes with lots of room in the toes. (Look for footwear with a high toe box.) They will assist keep your feet healthy. Never go barefoot.

Step # 3. Examine your feet everyday

Take a look at your feet  thoroughly everyday to make sure you have no cuts, scratches or sores. Check out every part of your foot, even between your toes.

Step # 4. Treat cuts, scrapes as well as sores. See your medical professional if a wound does not recover

If you get a tiny cut, scrape or blister on your foot, clean the location carefully with soap and water. Do not break the sore. Place an antibiotic lotion on the wound several times a day. If the wound does not heal in a couple of days, see your physician.

Step # 5. Keep your feet clean

Gently clean your feet with soap and water every day. Rub your feet dry. Place on a hydrating lotion or lotion (for example, oil jelly). Don't put  much moisturizer between your toes.

Step # 6. Cut your toenails appropriately

Cut your nails directly throughout the top, to prevent ingrown toenails. Ask your doctor for help if your nails are as thick or if they crack when you attempt to trim them.

Step # 7. Deal with Athlete's foot

Athlete's foot is more common in people with diabetes. If you have athlete's foot, put on a different pair of shoes every other day. This allows your footwear to dry out. Always put on absorptive cotton socks. See your doctor if over-the-counter treatments do not cure your athlete's foot.

Step # 8. Get proper therapy for cracked skin, calluses and corn

Many people with diabetes mellitus have cracked skin, calluses or corns over the bony areas of their feet. Do not trim or reduce these spots at home with razor blades or other sharp devices. Ask your physician for help.

Step # 9. Stay clear of heating pads as well as warm water foot soaks

Because diabetes mellitus can harm the nerves in your feet, you may not be able to tell if something is injuring your feet. It's ideal not to utilize hot pad or hot water soaks, since you could scald your feet without realizing it.

Step # 10. Act to improve your blood flow

High blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking cigarettes can harm the blood flow in your feet and keep sores from healing. Ask your doctor for assistance if you have any of these issues.

Diabetic Foot Ulcers: Causal factors and treatment protocol

Foot ulcers are a common complication of diabetes mellitus that cannot be taken care of with techniques such as diet plan, exercise, as well as insulin treatment. Ulcers are formed as a result of skin tissue breaking down usually over pressure points of the feet.

They're most common under your big toe ,the toes of your feet and even the heel.

Patients’ with diabetes mellitus can develop foot abscess, however good foot care can help stop them. Therapy for diabetic foot ulcers varies depending on the underlying cause.

Recognizing symptoms of diabetic ulcer

Among the very first indications of a foot ulcer is discharge from your foot that might stain your socks or leak out in your shoe. Uncommon signs include swelling, irritation, redness, as well as foul smell from one or both feet.

One of the most visible sign of a foot ulcer is black tissue (called eschar) bordering the ulcer. This forms because of a lack of healthy and balanced blood flow to the area around the defect

Partial or total gangrene, which describes cells death as a result of infections, can appear around the ulcer. 

Indications of foot abscess are not always evident. Often, you won't also show signs and symptoms of abscess until the abscess has fully evolved.

Talk with your doctor if you begin to see any type of skin discoloration, particularly cells that has actually turned black, or feel any type of discomfort around a location.

Your medical professional will likely identify the severity of your abscess on a scale of 0 to 5 making use of the Wagner Abscess Category System:

  • 0: no open lesions; might have recovered lesions.
  • 1: shallow abscess without penetration to deeper layers.
  • 2: deeper abscess, reaching tendon, bone, or joint capsule.
  • 3: deeper tissues involved, with abscess, osteomyelitis, or tendonitis.
  • 4: gangrene in a portion of the forefoot or heel.
  • 5: substantial gangrenous participation of the entire foot.

 Causes of Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Ulcers in people with diabetes mellitus are most generally triggered by:

  • inadequate blood circulation
  • high blood sugar level (hyperglycemia)
  • nerve damages
  • inflamed or damaged feet.

Poor blood flow is a form of vascular illness in which blood does not flow to your feet successfully. Poor flow can likewise make it harder for ulcers to recover.

High glucose levels can reduce the recovery process of an infected foot abscess, so blood sugar control is essential. 

Nerve damages is a lasting result and also can bring about a loss of feeling in your feet. Damaged nerves can really feel tingly as well as uncomfortable. Nerve damages lowers level of sensitivity to foot pain as well as results in pain-free areas that can create ulcers.

Treating Diabetic Foot Ulcers

The basic principle is to reduce pressure over an ulcer. This is called off-loading. Stress from walking can make an infection worse and an ulcer broaden.

Your physician may recommend putting on orthotics to secure your feet:

  • shoes made for individuals with diabetes mellitus.
  • casts
  • foot braces
  • compression wraps
  • footwear inserts to stop corns as well as calluses
  • Physicians can also treat foot ulcers with a debridement, (elimination of dead skin).

Preventing foot problems

According to a 2017 review article in the New England Journal of Medicine, majority of diabetic foot abscess end up being contaminated. Roughly 20 percent of modest to serious foot infections in people with diabetes cause amputation. Precautionary care is essential.

Very closely monitor your blood sugar, as your chances of diabetic complications remain less when your blood sugar is stable. 

When to see a medical professional?

If you start to see blackened skin around an ulcer, see your doctor immediately . If unattended, ulcers can create abscesses and infect various other locations on your feet and also legs.

At this moment, ulcers can frequently just be treated by surgery, or replacement of lost skin by artificial skin alternatives.


When detected early, foot ulcers are treatable. See a medical professional right now if you develop a sore on your foot, as the chance of infection increases the longer you wait. Without treatment infections might require amputations.

While your ulcers recover, stay off your feet and also follow your treatment strategy. Diabetic foot ulcers can take a number of weeks to recover.

Ulcers may take longer to recover if your blood sugar is high.

Staying on a diet that assists you satisfy your glycemic targets as well as off-loading pressure from your feet is one of the most efficient means to permit your foot ulcers to recover.

When an ulcer has healed, consistent preventive treatment will certainly help you stop an ulcer from ever before returning.