What are diabetic foot ulcers; Causes and treatment?
Diabetic foot disease is a serious complication that appears after a period of diabetes, and if it is not treated properly, it leads to more complications that may reach the extent of amputation of the foot. Diabetic foot ulcers are open wounds or ulcers that do not heal spontaneously. In this article, we will discuss about this injury and the right ways to treat diabetic foot ulcers and the causes that lead to infection in order to avoid it, and who is the best doctor to treat diabetic foot?
What are the causes of diabetic foot ulcer disease?
Diabetes is the main cause of this infection, as diabetic foot ulcer is a complication of diabetes, as we mentioned, but there are many direct causes of infection, and these reasons are:
• Dysfunction in the sensory nerves, as this leads to a complete lack of feeling for the occurrence of superficial wounds in the foot, which may be exacerbated by diabetes.
• Peripheral nerve infections, which in turn lead to a gradual loss of feeling in the feet.
• Arterial and blood vessels occlusion, that feed the feet, which result from circulatory problems resulting from complications of diabetes, and these problems directly lead to non-healing of wounds if they occur.
What are the symptoms of diabetic foot ulcers?
• Severe pain when standing or walking.
• The temperature difference in the area of the feet and the normal body temperature.
• Gradual loss of feeling in the feet.
• Non-healing of wounds in the feet.
• Numbness and swelling in the feet.
• Change in color and redness of the feet in this area.
In the case that one or all of these signs and symptoms occur, the patient must visit the specialized doctor for the necessary examinations and tests, where the doctor applies a clinical examination on the foot and applies several tests to find out and determine the cause of the injury, and thus choose the optimal treatment method for the patient.
Diabetic foot ulcer treatment:
In treating diabetic foot ulcers, doctors rely on many therapeutic methods that help in relieving the symptoms, the most important thing is treating diabetic foot before the situation worsens and serious complications occur on the foot that may lead to amputation.
The main goal of treating foot ulcers is to speed up their healing in the least amount of time possible. The faster the wound heals, the lower the chance of infection.
There are several key factors for the proper treatment of diabetic foot ulcers:
• Applying medications and dressings: One of the important steps in dealing with diabetic foot ulcers is the use of dressings and topical medications after removing the dead skin. These products range from saline to advanced dressings, containing antibiotics, silicone, honey, etc. Each of them has proven their effectiveness in healing multiple foot ulcers to varying degrees, but the skills and the experience of the vascular surgeon will have a good opportunity in choosing the optimal medical replacement for each ulcer, and he may use more than one type in the same ulcer.
• Prevention of infection: There are several important factors to prevent ulcers from becoming infected, the most important of which is maintaining blood glucose level, keeping the ulcer clean, cleaning the wound on time, and not walking barefoot.
• Controlling blood glucose level: This step is one of the most important and urgent therapeutic steps to control diabetic foot ulcers, as doctors rely on various medications that help to control blood glucose level and bring it to the normal limit, and this inevitably leads to the beginning of ulcer treatment, by helping its recovery and minimizing the incidence of complications.
• Improving blood circulation: Circulation disorders are one of the factors that cause diabetic foot, as blood does not reach the foot in a normal and correct manner, so doctors rely on medicines that improve blood circulation and control blood pressure.
• Reducing pressure and load on the affected area: Especially in cases of ulcers on the bottom of the foot, by wearing special supportive shoes or specialized casts or using a wheelchair or crutches, as these devices reduce pressure and irritation in the ulcer area and help in speeding up the healing process .
These treatment steps are non-surgical, as they do not depend on surgical intervention, but in the absence of improvement in the case of the foot, surgical intervention is required by treating and improving the deformity of the foot resulting from ulcers, as well as treating the diabetic foot through the process of removing the inflamed tissues that cause ulcers. Surgical intervention may include skin grafts to create a suitable environment for the wound to heal.
There are many factors that help in increasing the chances of recovery from diabetic foot ulcers, such as:
• Paying attention to personal hygiene of the feet, especially nail clipping.
• Avoiding drinking alcohol or smoking.
• Using of high quality medical shoes.
• Avoiding obesity and overweight, which is one of the dangerous factors that exacerbate the development of diabetic foot ulcers; Therefore, the patient should eat healthy food free of triglycerides, which lead to hypertension or hypercholesterolemia and presence of harmful fats in the blood.
• Periodic follow-up with the physician as soon as superficial or deep wounds occur in the foot, in order to treat these wounds quickly before severe complications occur in the foot.
• Avoiding bacterial infections that may infect wounds in the feet.
It should be noted that not all ulcers are infected, however, if a doctor diagnoses an infection, a specialized treatment program that includes antibiotics and wound care will be necessary.
What is the importance of treating diabetic foot ulcers?
As soon as you notice the ulcer, you should seek medical care from the most skilled vascular surgeon, ProfessorDr. Hossam El-Mahdy, as diabetic foot ulcers must be treated for several reasons:
• To reduce the risk of infection and amputation.
• To improve job and quality of life.
• To reduce health care costs by minimizing complications and risks to which the patient may be exposed.
Diabetic foot ulcer healing factors:
Healing time depends on a variety of factors, such as the size and the area of the wound, the level of pressure applied to the wound while walking or standing, the presence of swelling, the degree of circulatory activity, blood glucose level, wound care, and what is applied to the wound; So healing may occur within weeks or may require several months.
What tips can you do to reduce your exposure to diabetic foot ulcers?
- Carefully examine the foot for cuts, bruises, cracks, blisters, redness, ulcers and any sign of abnormality.
- Inform the doctor as soon as possible of any problems discovered.
- Wear appropriate shoes and socks.
- Follow regular medical care.
Dr. Hossam El-Mahdy, Professor of Vascular Surgery, Diabetic Foot Treatment, and Laser Treatment of Varicose Veins at Faculty of Medicine of El-Kasr Al-Ainy , is considered one of the best doctors in this field. He has extensive experience in treating diabetic foot ulcers using modern scientific methods.
The Merge between Experience and Skills in perfect proportions is the reason of Prof. Dr. Hossam El-Mahdy's success, and that is exactly what he presents to you through his proven surgical excellence, to allow you to have healthy blood vessels.