f you are diabetic, even a minor foot wound can quickly lead to other health problems without prompt treatment.
If you're diabetic, trimming your toenails, wearing uncomfortable shoes, or scraping your ankle can open the door to a multitude of health problems. Foot wounds are expected to occur in approximately 25% of diabetics. They are usually slow to heal and susceptible to infection, which can result in major complications and costly, extended treatments. The Norridge Foot Clinic wants their diabetes patients to be able to quickly recognize symptoms and seek treatment for foot wounds.
How foot wounds form
Certain health issues can make foot wounds extremely challenging to treat. The injuries listed above, for example, are negligible in people with normal blood flow. For those with poor circulation or neuropathy, often found in diabetics, complications often occur following even minor injuries. When circulation problems are combined with elevated blood glucose levels, feeling is diminished (or completely absent) in the extremities and the healing process is slowed considerably. This puts the wound at risk for ulceration and infection.
Symptoms of diabetic foot wounds
While pain is usually an indicator of a problem, reduced feeling in the feet also weakens pain receptors; therefore, discomfort is not a reliable sign for diabetic foot wounds. Many patients first notice discoloration on their socks from drainage. The area around the wound may be inflamed and, if it has been left to progress, a foul odor may be present. Any time a diabetic person injures their foot, even if it seems insignificant, should immediately contact their Norridge podiatrist.
Patients who are at risk for foot wounds should avoid walking barefoot, practice excellent hygiene and inspect the feet and ankles daily for any changes. Foot wounds that are treated in the early stages are much more easily managed. Contact the podiatry team at Dr. Laura Pickard's office for any further questions or to schedule an evaluation.