According to the Cleveland Clinic, approximately 10% of diabetic individuals will develop a diabetic foot ulcer at some point in their lives. Diabetic foot ulcers are a potentially serious medical condition that can ultimately result in the amputation of the affected foot.Learn more about diabetic foot ulcers and how to prevent them from developing in the first place.
How to Prevent Diabetic Foot Ulcers
Diabetic foot ulcers are open wounds that commonly occur on the bottom of the foot. One of the reasons diabetic foot ulcers are so dangerous is because many diabetic individuals cannot always feel the pain associated with them due to neuropathy. This can cause diabetic foot ulcers to become more serious when they are not noticed or treated right away, and further illustrates why it’s vital for diabetic individuals to take certain measures to prevent these ulcers from developing in the first place.
These preventative measures may help diabetic individuals protect their feet from developing ulcers:
- Visit a podiatrist on a regular basis. Visiting podiatrists for regular check-ups can help ensure diabetic foot ulcers are prevented or treated as soon as possible. A podiatrist can also provide helpful tips for keeping feet healthy.
- Cut out unhealthy habits. Certain activities that reduce circulation, such as smoking, drinking alcohol, and more, can make it more likely for diabetic foot ulcers to develop.
- Keep feet dry and clean. Keeping feet dry can keep blisters or other deformities from developing. Make sure to dry your feet thoroughly after getting out of the shower or going swimming. Change socks regularly so they do not get too saturated with sweat. Even small abrasions can later develop into dangerous ulcers.
How to Treat Diabetic Foot Ulcers
Diabetic foot ulcers can still form even after taking these preventative measures. In this case, patients should seek medical care as soon as possible and receive proper treatment.
There are a variety of treatments for diabetic foot ulcers. The most common treatments include the following:
- Relieve pressure from the affected area, also known as “off-loading.”
- Remove dead skin and tissue, also known as “debridement.”
- Apply medication or dressings to the wound.
Sometimes, these treatments are not effective. If a diabetic foot ulcer has not healed in four weeks, a podiatrist may order alternative treatments, such as cellular skin substitutes or hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
Wounds on the feet are unique because the skin on the foot is thinner and infections can get to the muscle and bone more easily. This is why it’s vital for diabetic foot ulcers to be prevented and, failing this, to be treated quickly and effectively.
Suffering From a Diabetic Foot Ulcer? We May Be Able to Help
Diabetic foot ulcers are serious medical conditions that are entirely preventable. It’s important that podiatrists thoroughly examine their patients and implement any prevention strategies or apply proper treatments for diabetic foot ulcers.
If your doctor failed to treat a diabetic foot ulcer adequately, and this ulcer later developed into a serious medical condition, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice claim. Our Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys can help sort out the details and determine if you’re eligible for compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and more.