Diabetic patients should see their podiatrist at least once a year. Diabetics are prone to foot problems, and if these issues are left untreated they can result in serious health issues that could even include amputation. About 65,000 feet are amputated every year due to diabetes complications.
Diabetic foot ulcers occur in around 15 percent of all people who suffer from diabetes today. In most cases, diabetic foot ulcers start on the bottom of the feet. While an ulcer can become so infected that it may result in amputation, that does not have to be the case. The podiatrist can treat the diabetic foot ulcer, but it does require specific wound care. Even cuts and scrapes that seem minor should be seen by a podiatrist if a person is diabetic. With early treatment, the ulcer may never develop.
Diabetic foot ulcers may not have obvious symptoms. This is because many people who have diabetes suffer from neuropathy. This means that they may not have the foot sensation that lets them know there is a problem. Diabetic patients should watch for any signs of drainage in their socks, whether clear or bloody. If feet are swollen or unusually red, it may indicate foot ulcers.
Antibiotics are often part of diabetic wound care. Patients may need to use orthotics, which will relieve pressure from the wound. The podiatrist may need to debride the area, removing the dead skin. Application of special topical medications, followed by dressings, is a common type of diabetic wound care. Regardless of the approach taken, it is always important for the patient to closely monitor their blood glucose to keep their diabetes in check.