The first thing you notice may be a small spot of blood or yellowish fluid on your sock when you remove it at night. When you investigate, you find an open sore on your foot. It may not be painful, and it might not have been there this morning. The skin could have been tender for days and just today opened up and started to bleed. One thing is for sure: now that you know it is there, you need to pay attention to it and practice proper wound care so you don’t experience serious complications.
Rating the Risk
Foot ulcers can happen to anyone with a restricted healing capacity, but they are quite common in people who have diabetes. The disease can lead to a combination of poor circulation and damaged nerves that don’t work properly. These team up and may make you unable to feel an injury like a cut, scrape, or puncture, and then unable to heal quickly from it because the tissue is not getting the nutrients it needs.
Other factors include poor-fitting shoes that rub your feet in spots and lead to blisters, being overweight and putting extra pressure on your feet, and alcohol or tobacco use.
Sensing the Signs
As we said, there may be no pain, but the area may appear red or swollen, and if it has not been treated and gets worse, it may develop an odor as the flesh gradually deteriorates. If the wound becomes infected, you may notice green or yellow pus as well.
A non-healing sore can develop fairly quickly from a simple cut or scrape when diabetes is in the picture. That is why it is so important to check your feet often if you have the disease—to make sure nothing is going on. Get help at the first sign of any break in the skin, so you can head off further damage and infection.
Turning to Treatment
These non-healing foot sores must be treated if you are to avoid complications like tissue death and possible amputation. Foot ulcers are the leading cause for amputation in diabetic individuals, so it is crucial to have good care.
Podiatrists now understand that wounds heal faster if they are kept moist and covered with a dressing. Wet dressings contain medications that fight infection and promote healing, while protecting flesh from invading bacteria. If needed, we may do skin grafts and other treatments to help the wound close as quickly as possible.
Other factors for faster healing include adequate circulation in the limb, and excellent control of your blood sugar levels. If you follow a diabetic foot care plan, eat well and exercise to keep your blood moving, you have a better chance of preventing foot ulcers.
Finding Diabetic Wound Care in the Oakland Area
Yuko Miyazaki, DPM understands treatment for diabetic feet and how it can protect you from serious consequences. We’ll also explain preventive measures you can take such as lowering blood sugar, increasing your circulation, and reducing friction and pressure from shoes. If you have developed an open sore on your feet, call our office on Colby Street in Berkeley, CA at (510) 647-3744 to set up an appointment. We will evaluate the seriousness of your situation and start the treatment process right away, so your feet will heal and not limit your activity longer than necessary.