Don’t force your feet to prevent pain and to relieve the pressure from ulcers. This is called “offloading,” and it’s helpful for all types of diabetic foot ulcers.
Pressure from walking or standing can make an infection worse and cause more damage, and this would cause the ulcer to expand. Doctors can remove foot ulcers with the removal of damaged tissues, dead skin, or foreign objects that may have caused the ulcer.
Your doctor or health professional may recommend wearing certain items to protect your feet:
- Diabetic Shoes
- Diabetic Socks
- Foot braces
- Compression wraps
- Shoe inserts to prevent corns and calluses
Infections are a serious complication of foot ulcers, and it requires immediate treatment and not all infections are treated the same way, so it is best to seek professional help in the early stages and if you have experienced symptoms of diabetes. Tissue that is surrounding the ulcer may be sent to a lab to determine which antibiotic should be recommended and used. They will check what the best antibiotic that will help your infection is. For really serious infections, your doctor or health professional might order an x-ray so that they can check if the infections have reached your bones.
Infection of a foot ulcer can be prevented with the following:
- Disinfecting the skin around the ulcer, keeping your skin clean to keep it away from unwanted bacterias that can cause more damage.
- Footbaths, cleaning your foot thoroughly can help prevent it from getting grimy.
- Keep the ulcer dry with frequent dressing changes.
- For enzyme treatments, you should ask your doctor for what is the best treatment that can be used for your infection.
- Dressings containing calcium alginates inhibit bacterial growth.
Your doctor may prescribe medications like antibiotics, antiplatelets, or anti-clotting medications to treat your feet wounds, sores, any open skin damages if the infection progresses even after preventive or anti-pressure treatments. This will depend on the infection that you have. Many of these antibiotics attack Staphylococcus aureus, a bacteria known to cause staph infections or B-haemolytic Streptococcus that is normally found in your intestines. Talk with your doctor and health professionals about other health conditions you have that might increase your risk of infections that are caused by these harmful bacterias, including HIV and liver problems.
In some cases, your doctor may recommend that you seek surgical help for your ulcers. A surgeon can help reduce pressure around your ulcer by shaving down the bone or removing foot abnormalities such as bunions or hammertoes. If you have an ulcer, you will not likely have surgery, but if there is no other treatment option that can help your ulcer heal, surgery can prevent your ulcer from becoming worse or leading to amputation.
Here are some tips on how you can prevent foot problems.
- Washing and keeping your feet clean every day
- Keeping toenails properly trimmed but not too short
- Keeping your feet dry and moisturized
- Changing your socks frequently
- Seeing a podiatrist for corn and callus removal
- Wearing proper-fitting shoe
Properly manage your blood sugar and always check your blood sugar level because the chances of having diabetes complications are low when your blood sugar is stable.