About one in 10 Americans has diabetes, a metabolic condition that changes the way the body processes and uses sugar. There’s no cure for the condition, and having diabetes increases your risk of a range of health complications from nerve damage to slow-healing wounds called ulcers.
Diabetic ulcers often start as small wounds like cuts or scrapes. These wounds don’t heal like they should, making them susceptible to infection and progressive deterioration. Eventually, the ulcer may develop gangrene or require amputation to save your life.
Diabetic ulcers are a common and dangerous complication of diabetes, but there’s a lot you can do to protect your health — and you don’t have to do it alone. Our team at Endocrine Associates of West Village provides comprehensive diabetes care and education.
Let’s start by taking a closer look at the risks of diabetic ulcers and the importance of seeking proactive care. Then, request your first appointment online.
When you have diabetes, high blood sugar levels can damage your blood vessels and nerves over time. This damage (called neuropathy) affects your circulation, which means that your arms, hands, legs, and feet may not get enough oxygen-rich blood.
Diabetic ulcers can develop almost anywhere on your body, including your hands or the folds of skin on your stomach. However, ulcers are most common on feet. An estimated 15% of people with diabetes get a foot ulcer at some point in their lives.
But why do ulcers form? Your body needs blood to heal wounds effectively, and poor blood circulation slows down your body’s ability to heal.
If you get a cut, sore, or other wound on your foot, it may heal very slowly or not at all. Plus, diabetic neuropathy and poor circulation reduce sensation in affected limbs. You may not feel pain if you suffer an injury, which means you may not treat it right away. The wound may get worse, and your risk of infection may increase, too.
Diabetes limits sensation in your extremities — especially your feet. You might not know if you get a cut, sore, or other wound until you already have an ulcer, but proactive diabetes care can help you stay on top of your health.
Our team at Endocrine Associates of West Village specializes in diabetes services that include foot exams and wound care. We recommend regular exams at least twice a year to identify sores and wounds as early as possible, and we tailor every patient’s care to meet their needs.
If you’re diagnosed with a diabetic ulcer, wound care is essential. And the sooner you start wound care the better, because it reduces your risk of serious ulcer complications.
Seeking early care promotes healing and preserves as much healthy tissue as possible. We perform wound debridement to remove infected tissue and thoroughly clean the area.
We monitor your wound and how it's healing, and we offer pain management techniques, specialized shoes, and more to promote recovery and comfort.
Along with debridement and monitoring, our wound care team works to prevent complications associated with diabetic ulcers.
Wound care can help you avoid infection or treat an existing infection. We teach you how to care for your wound on a daily basis to avoid more serious complications all with the goal of avoiding more advanced treatments, like amputation.
Diabetic wounds and ulcers are serious, but proactive care from diabetes professionals ensures you continue enjoying your best health. Contact us online to schedule your next diabetic foot exam.