(Canton, MA, Tuesday, November 5, 2019) – If you are one of the 30 million Americans living with diabetes, you may be at risk of developing a serious, non-healing diabetic foot ulcer (DFU). While many DFUs can be managed with proper care, sometimes these wounds can worsen, leading to infection and even amputation.
In fact, diabetic foot ulcers are a leading cause of amputation in the United States.
As we recognize American Diabetes Month this November, it’s important for anyone who has diabetes – or loves someone who does – to learn about diabetic foot ulcers, how to prevent an ulcer from occurring in the first place, and what kinds of treatment options are available.
A diabetic foot ulcer is an open sore or wound that occurs in approximately 10 percent of people with diabetes. Poor circulation, high blood sugar, nerve damage, and irritated or wounded feet are the most common causes of DFUs. Anyone who has diabetes can develop a DFU, but some people are more at risk. Native Americans, African Americans, Hispanics and older men are more likely to develop DFUs. People who use insulin to control their diabetes, or who have diabetes-related kidney, eye, or heart disease, are also at higher risk.
If you have diabetes, or vascular disease, you should establish a routine of checking your feet daily for cuts, bruises, cracks, blisters, redness, ulcers, or any other sign of abnormality. Another way to reduce your risk of developing a DFU is to see a podiatrist on a regular basis. If you suspect a foot ulcer has formed, you should make an appointment with your doctor immediately. Many foot ulcers will heal with early and effective treatment from a trained specialist. Delayed treatment can increase the risk of infection and amputation, so it is important that you seek medical attention right away if you develop a DFU.