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Where You Got Your Wound—How Ulcers Form

Most people don’t like unexpected surprises, particularly unpleasant ones. For people with diabetes, a foot sore (known as a diabetic ulcer) is one such surprise that is depressingly too common, especially after a long day of standing or walking. Where do they come from? And what is the protocol for diabetic wound care?

Anybody with diabetes is susceptible to ulcer formation, particularly on their toes or the bottom of their feet, due to two of the disease’s trademark complications: peripheral nerve damage and restricted blood flow in the lower limbs. The nerve damage serves to mask pain, preventing your brain from detecting injuries when they occur. Meanwhile, poor circulation delays the healing processes and greatly impairs your body’s ability to fight off an infection.

There are, however, a number of other possible causes and risk factors that can lead to a diabetic ulcer, or make it more likely that you’ll develop one. High blood sugar and obesity are two of the most common, due to their effect on circulation. Smoking, alcohol abuse, and other medical issues such as heart or kidney disease can have a similar affect.

But if these conditions all explain how or why an initial injury becomes an ulcer, where does the initial injury come from? Again, that can vary, but one of the most common problems is actually improper footwear. If you have diabetes, you probably already know how important it is to wear shoes to protect your soles from cuts, scrapes, and puncture wounds. But shoes that are too tight or don’t fit properly can cause issues of their own—for example, friction on the tops of your toes can cause irritation, swelling, corns, or sores, and those issues can quickly become wounds without immediate treatment.

Regardless of where your ulcer came from, however, there’s only one correct response: call Gulf South Foot & Ankle for immediate diabetic wound care. Although your case may seem minor, even little nicks and scrapes can lead all the way to infection and even amputation without treatment. Simply put, it’s not worth the risk. Give us a call at (504)-708-4810 to set up an appointment in our Metairie, LA office.

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