Conditions We Treat

Diabetic Ulcers

Diabetes is a complex, chronic illness that increases your risk of a variety of medical conditions. If you don’t properly maintain your diabetes, you could be at an increased risk of developing diabetic ulcers. Toe and foot ulcers in diabetes patients can be dangerous, as they are slow to heal, susceptible to infection, and can cause major complications without proper wound care.

Diabetic Ulcers in leg.

At Mobile Wounds, we specialize in bringing advanced wound care services to our patients in the comfort and privacy of their own homes. We can help you avoid complications of diabetic ulcers by providing diabetic foot ulcer treatment and education and instruction in properly caring for your wound. Keep reading to learn more about how to care for and prevent diabetic ulcers in San Antonio, TX, and call us to schedule an appointment for wound care services.

What Are Diabetic Ulcers?

Diabetic ulcers are one of the most common types of non-healing wounds in diabetes patients. An ulcer is a wound in your skin that is deep and slow to heal. Ulcers are very susceptible to infection and can require wound care multiple times per day. People who have diabetes are much more likely to develop ulcers on their feet and toes. Most of the time, this is because they can develop neuropathy or numbness in the feet. They may also have poor blood flow to their limbs. It may be hard to tell if they have an injury on their leg, foot, or toe. If a wound goes undetected and untreated, it can result in infection, complications, and amputation.

How Do I Know if I Have a Diabetic Ulcer?

A diabetic ulcer is an open wound that is large and shallow or deep. They are often irregular shapes or have irregular borders. They are typically yellow, pink, purple, red, gray, or black. A black ulcer indicates that the tissue has died and is experiencing necrosis or gangrene. The skin around the ulcer may be dry, cracked, scaly, red, or have a rash. When the ulcer gets worse, you might see a ring around the center of the wound that feels hard, brown discoloration, a foul odor, and drainage.

How Can I Perform Diabetic Wound Care at Home?

Before beginning any at-home diabetic foot ulcer treatment, you must visit your physician. Your physician will evaluate your overall health, determine the underlying cause of the ulcer, evaluate its severity, and check for infection. They may also clean and debride the wound, dress it for you, and prescribe antibiotics. If the ulcer is not serious enough to require surgery or a hospital stay, you will be given wound care instructions for home care. The best ways to treat diabetic ulcers at home are:

  • Clean the ulcer at least once daily with soap and water. Your physician may recommend another type of cleanser. Do not soak your wound in a bath, pool, or hot tub, or use Epsom salts or hydrogen peroxide.
  • Keep your ulcer loosely covered with an antimicrobial dressing. Keeping a wound uncovered can increase your risk of infection and slow the healing process.
  • Apply antibiotic gel or cream or take antibiotic pills as your physician recommends.
  • Manage your diabetes, maintain a healthy diet, and keep your blood sugar under control.

What Are Common Diabetic Foot Complications?

Being aware of the complications of diabetic ulcers can ensure you’re able to get the help you need before an issue gets worse or more dangerous. The most common complications of diabetic ulcers are:

  • Diabetic Foot Infections – The most common complication of a diabetic ulcer is infection. The ulcer can get infected if it goes unnoticed or untreated for too long if it is not cared for properly, or if bacteria gets in the wound. You may have an infection if you have swelling around the wound site, yellow liquid oozing from the wound, discharge, a foul odor from the wound, fever or chills, and hot, tight, red skin around the wound.
  • Abscesses – If an infection isn’t treated, you may develop an abscess. An abscess is an accumulation of pus under the skin. It will look swollen, bulbous, larger than usual, and may have a small hole where it oozes pus.
  • Sepsis – Sepsis can occur if an infection gets deep enough to enter your bloodstream and can be life-threatening. Symptoms of sepsis include trouble breathing, blue or blotchy skin, sweating, lightheadedness, shivering, disorientation or confusion, and a fast heart rate.
  • Deformity – If you have long-term uncontrolled diabetes or a long-term diabetic foot infection, the muscles and bones in your foot can weaken. This can cause deformity and possibly even fractures or dislocations of the foot.
  • Gangrene – Gangrene or tissue necrosis can occur when an infection causes a loss of blood flow to the foot. The initial signs of gangrene are loss of sensation in the affected area, blisters, swelling, severe pain followed by numbness, cool or cold skin, thin and shiny skin, a foul-smelling discharge, and black tissue.
  • Diabetic Foot Surgery or Amputation – If you have a severe enough infection or gangrene, you may need surgery to remove infected or necrotic tissue. If you have neuropathy, peripheral arterial disease, or gangrene, you may need to have your foot amputated.

What Are Some Diabetic Ulcer Prevention Tips?

If you are at risk of diabetic ulcers, you can take measures to reduce your risk. Your physician will give you instructions for managing your diabetes and lowering your risk of ulcers. You should:

  • Keep your blood sugar under control.
  • Get daily exercise.
  • Maintain a healthy diet.
  • Check your skin every day for cuts, wounds, sores, blisters, calluses, white spots, redness, and cracks. You should also feel the area for warmth or to see if it is colder than usual.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Manage your blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • Care for your toenails.
  • Avoid walking barefoot or wearing uncomfortable or poorly fitting shoes.

Call Today for Mobile Wound Care for Diabetic Ulcers

Proper wound care is crucial for preventing complications in diabetic ulcers. At Mobile Wounds, we specialize in advanced wound care for chronic, slow-healing wounds, including ulcers. If you are having trouble caring for your diabetic ulcer yourself, our team will come to your home and provide wound care in the comfort and privacy of your home. We specialize in innovative and advanced wound care techniques, including the use of advanced skin substitutes for the accelerated healing of venous, arterial, and diabetic ulcers. Call us or find a provider to schedule an appointment.

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Common Conditions We Treat