Diabetes, Foot Care and Foot Ulcers
Some people with diabetes develop foot ulcers. A foot ulcer is prone to infection, which may become severe. This leaflet aims to explain why foot ulcers sometimes develop, what you can do to help prevent them, and typical treatments if one does occur.
Why are people with diabetes prone to foot ulcers?
Foot ulcers are more common if you have diabetes because one or both of the following complications develop in some people with diabetes:
Reduced sensation of the skin on your feet.
Narrowing of blood vessels going to the feet.
Your nerves may not work as well as normal because even a slightly high blood sugar (glucose) level can, over time, damage some of your nerves (neuropathy). Read more about diabetic neuropathy.
If you have diabetes you have an increased risk of developing narrowing of the blood vessels (arteries), known as peripheral arterial disease. The arteries in the legs are quite commonly affected. This can cause a reduced blood supply (poor circulation) to the feet. Skin with a poor blood supply does not heal as well as normal and is more likely to be damaged.
What increases the risk of developing foot ulcers?
If you have reduced sensation to your feet (see above). The risk of this occurring increases the longer you have diabetes and the older you are.
If your diabetes is poorly controlled. This is one of the reasons why it is very important to keep your blood sugar (glucose) level as near normal as possible.
If you have narrowed blood vessels (arteries) - see above. The risk of this occurring increases the longer you have diabetes, the older you become and also Continue reading