Diabetic foot care is essential for diabetics, but if you develop an open sore, it’s even more important. It may be tempting to cover the sore with a bandage and try at-home wound care, but resist the temptation! Diabetic ulcers can quickly lead to serious complications like infection, gangrene, and even amputations.
Professional podiatric care can help reduce your risk of these complications, and the earlier you seek treatment, the better. Read on as the board-certified wound care specialists and podiatrists at Diabetic Foot and Wound Center highlight 10 reasons why seeking immediate care for an open sore on your foot is crucial in preventing diabetes-related complications.
Reason #1: Ulcers have a high risk of infection
Open sores provide an entry point for bacteria and pathogens, and people with diabetes are particularly susceptible to infections. That’s because diabetes can weaken your immune system, and make it harder for your body to fight off infections. Even a minor sore can quickly develop into a severe infection without proper care.
Reason #2: Diabetes can delay wound healing
Diabetes affects your circulation, but your body relies on proper blood flow for wound healing. High blood sugar and high blood pressure can spell disaster for the circulation in your legs and feet. When high blood sugar levels damage your nerves and blood vessels, it can increase your risk of neuropathy (nerve damage) and peripheral artery disease (PAD).
Together, these issues mean that a diabetic foot ulcer (open sore) on your foot has a harder time to heal, and the longer it takes a wound to heal, the more likely you are to have complications.
Prompt podiatric care can help jumpstart your healing process.
Reason #3: Small sores can escalate quickly
A seemingly harmless sore can progress to a full-blown foot ulcer if left untreated. Diabetic foot ulcers are deep sores that can extend to the bone and may become chronic, difficult-to-heal wounds. Early intervention can prevent a full-blown ulcer.
Reason #4: Potential for gangrene
Gangrene refers to tissue death, and it's a severe complication that can occur if infections are left untreated. Diabetic individuals with poor circulation are at a higher risk of gangrene, which can necessitate amputation in extreme cases.
Both grade 4 and grade 5 ulcers gangrene, and you might suspect you have it if the sore looks black.
Reason #5: Neuropathy may make it hard for you to gauge the severity of the sore
Diabetic neuropathy can lead to a loss of sensation in the feet, and unfortunately, that can make it challenging to detect injuries or infections. Reduced sensation can make sores seem less serious if they don’t hurt. However, seeking immediate care helps mitigate the risk of complications related to reduced sensation.
Reason #6: Severe wounds can lead to foot deformities
Neglecting foot sores can lead to complications such as foot deformities. The altered mechanics of your foot can increase pressure and friction and cause further damage and discomfort.
Here at Diabetic Foot and Wound Center, our team cares for all foot-related diabetic complications from ulcers to deformities like Charcot foot.
Reason #7: Open sores lead to a reduced quality of life
Diabetes-related foot complications can severely impact your quality of life. Pain, limited mobility, and the need for ongoing medical care can significantly affect your daily activities and well-being.
Reason #8: Prompt care can help you avoid an amputation
The most severe consequence of untreated diabetic foot ulcers is amputation. Nearly 130,000 of the 200,000 annual amputations in the United States are related to diabetic complications. Early intervention, proper wound care, and infection control can help prevent the need for amputation.
Reason #9: Professional care gives you access to innovative treatments
Timely medical care can lead to better wound healing and reduce the risk of complications. Professional care also gives you access to treatments and medications that you just can’t do at home. This includes:
In many cases, you may benefit from a combination of treatments.
Reason #10: Prompt care gives you peace of mind
Seeking prompt podiatric care for an open foot sore provides peace of mind knowing that you are taking proactive steps to maintain your foot health and prevent serious complications
Walk-in care when you need it most
Getting medical care for an open sore on your foot doesn’t have to be hard. The Diabetic Foot and Wound Center offers walk-in wound care here in Bakersfield, California, so you can get the care when you need it most.
Questions? Give us a call at 661-238-7526, or just walk right in.