Diabetic Foot Ulcers: Causes and Treatment
Dealing with a diabetic foot ulcer is one of the most painful experiences. This is because the foot is an area where there is a lot of pressure placed on the foot and when the pressure gets too much, that is when the ulcer will develop.
The ulcer is a hanger that forms in the skin just under the surface of the skin. Depending on the severity of the wound, the surgeon might need to amputate part of the foot.
There are several reasons why diabetic foot ulcers develop
One of these reasons can be from a complication of an infection. When the skin begins to heal improperly, the edges can curl up and form a callus. If this happens, then the edges will be very sensitive to any kind of friction or rough treatment. This will cause them to become painful, itchy, and can even be extremely painful at times.
In addition to infection, the formation of a callus on the skin of the foot can also be caused by the failure of the immune system to fight off the infection. Often the nerves in the feet become infected and can no longer receive the messages that they need to remain healthy.
When the nerve becomes infected, it can start to send out messages to the rest of the body, and these messages can become erroneous. As a result, the patient will begin to feel pain and experience other symptoms that are similar to those associated with diabetes.
When the diabetic foot ulcer reaches a point where the nerves are so damaged that there is no longer any protection against infection, the damage is irreparable and cannot be repaired.
What really Caused Diabetic Foot Ulcers
It is important to have a good understanding of what causes a diabetic foot ulcer before you get to the decision of having any sort of amputation performed. First of all, there are many different surgical procedures that can be performed to get rid of the wound.
These procedures are commonly known as “cement stripping”, “pneumonectomy“, or “plantar augmentation”. These surgical methods will not permanently remove the foot wound, but they will prevent any potential infections from occurring and will make the wound smaller. These surgical procedures may be covered by some insurance policies.
There are also diabetic ulcers that occur as a result of foot injuries
These ulcers are known as plantar injuries, which usually result from a recent fall or sports injury. These injuries will often result in inflammation and swelling of the foot. At this point, the tissues become irritated, and a bacterial or fungal infection can begin to grow.
Diabetic ulcers occur when the blood supply to certain areas of the body is reduced. When this occurs, the body cannot obtain the nutrients that it needs to survive. This in turn will cause the tissue to begin to die.
The first indication that an ulcer is developing is usually just a slight tingling sensation in the affected area. Over time, the ulcers will develop into what is called peripheral neuropathy, in which the patient will experience numbness, paralysis, and decreased ability to perceive pain.
Peripheral artery disease, or PAD, is one of the leading causes of serious complications in diabetics. This is primarily due to the fact that it increases the risk for developing diabetes and can also lead to the development of heart disease and hypertension.
When peripheral artery disease is present, the risk for developing ulcers increases fourfold. The reason that PAD causes ulcers is due to the fact that it reduces the flow of blood to the extremities. As a result, the extremities lose their ability to heal, and ulcers begin to form.
Surgical procedures can be used to reverse these conditions
In addition to reversing the underlying arterial and venous abnormalities that are responsible for ulceration, such surgeries can also reverse the effects of PAD.
In fact, more than half of all individuals with diabetes and/or peripheral artery disease can successfully be treated with surgical procedures to reverse these diseases. If you are experiencing ulceration, infection, or if you have been diagnosed with peripheral artery disease, speak with your physician today.
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