What is the best way to heal a diabetic ulcer?
Q: What's the best way to heal a diabetic ulcer?
A: A diabetic foot ulcer is a common and dangerous complication of diabetes. An ulcer forms because of increased pressure beneath the foot. This excessive pressure leads to a breakdown of the skin and forms an ulcer. While there are all types of advanced wound dressings, which serve an important purpose, none are as important as controlling the pressure that has caused the ulcer to form in the first place.
It makes sense if you think about it. The pressure beneath the diabetic foot ulcer is the cause and the wound is the result of that pressure. To successfully treat the ulcer, we need to heal the wound while simultaneously controlling the pressure. Unfortunately this important element of wound care is overlooked by many practitioners and resisted by many patients.
Offloading a wound properly requires some inconvenience and disruption in your lifestyle. Different doctors use different methods to remove the pressure from a wound. Some apply casts, others use a cast boot, still others use a specialized healing shoe. There are even times where surgery may be needed to remove the pressure from the ulcer site. Adding padding to your existing shoes, or even using diabetic shoes, is not sufficient to keep the pressure away.
After your diabetic foot ulcer is healed, you are not completely out of the woods. It is vital to continue to control the pressure to prevent the wound from returning. This is where a diabetic shoe is appropriate.
Of course, the best way to treat a diabetic foot ulcer is to prevent one from forming. Every person with diabetes should be seen regularly by a podiatrist to identify and manage risk factors and ensure you are wearing the proper shoes. If you or someone you love has diabetes, especially if you are concerned about a diabetic foot ulcer forming or not healing, contact Dr. Kevin McDonald for an immediate appointment. Just say "I'm diabetic and have a problem" and we'll get you in right away.