Diabetic Foot Ulcers: Why You Should Seek Expert Care

Diabetic Foot Ulcers: Why You Should Seek Expert Care

Ulcers 一 slow-healing wounds that form on your legs or feet 一 are a common diabetes complication. As many as 25% of people with diabetes experience an ulcer at some point. Diabetes compromises your circulation, and poor circulation makes it difficult for wounds to heal.

Diabetic ulcers aren’t the only type of ulcer that can form in your foot. Venous ulcers can also form on your legs and feet because of venous insufficiency. In both cases, however, ulcers can lead to serious complications if they’re not treated.

Our experienced team at Vascular Specialists understands how difficult it can be to manage an ulcer on your own. If you develop a foot ulcer, we encourage you to visit any of our locations — Tinley Park and Evergreen Park, Illinois, and Munster, Indiana — to get the wound care you need.

In the meantime, let’s review the top three reasons why you should seek expert care for ulcers.

Why you need expert care for your ulcer

Ulcers in diabetics require expert care for a variety of reasons:

The wound can quickly become infected

During the normal wound-healing process, adequate blood flow brings the necessary oxygen, growth factors, and nutrients needed for healing. In the third phase of wound healing, the rebuilding phase, your body uses oxygen-rich blood cells to repair tissue and create new tissue.

When blood flow is compromised due to either diabetes or venous issues, your ulcer doesn’t get enough of the healing factors. This means the open lesion doesn’t heal quickly. 

The longer it takes to heal, the more likely it’ll become infected. Ulcers that are infected may ooze, smell foul, and cause pain. You may also notice increased swelling, warmth, and redness. 

An untreated foot ulcer can lead to gangrene

Infections aren’t the only complication of ulcers. Gangrene refers to tissue death, either due to infection or poor blood flow. 

Gangrene is serious and requires medical treatment. Potential treatments for gangrene include debridement (removing dead tissue), antibiotics, vascular surgery to repair damaged blood vessels, skin grafts, or, in serious cases, amputation.

Without treatment, you increase your risk of amputation

Ulcers play a big role in the current amputation rates. According to a November 2022 study, up to 24% of people with diabetes who had ulcers required at least a minor amputation.

Professional and advanced wound care techniques

While you can treat small wounds at home with routine first aid, a diabetic ulcer isn’t one of those basic wounds. It requires much more than a bandage and an antibacterial ointment. Properly treating an ulcer may involve:

Our team also provides tips for caring for your ulcer, such as elevating the wound and properly managing any underlying condition that increases your risk of ulcers. 

If you have a venous ulcer caused by venous insufficiency, we can treat the root problem to reduce your risk of a future ulcer. At our Vein Care Institute, we treat varicose veins, spider veins, and other venous conditions.

Do you need treatment for an ulcer? Don’t postpone getting proper diabetic foot care! Give us a call at 815-824-4406 or book your consultation online.

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