Diabetic foot ulcers
Foot complications are one of the most serious and costly complications of diabetes. Up to 15 per cent of diabetics are likely to develop a foot ulcer at some stage in their lives. The three main causes of diabetic foot ulcers are:
- poor blood supply (ischaemia)
The most common diabetic foot complication, neuropathy, is caused by damaged nerves in the lower extremity. The condition is permanent and can lead to loss of sensation and painful feet. The loss of sensation increases the risk of accidental injury. Treatment consists of attention to feet, self-care and custom-made footwear.
Poor blood supply (ischemia)
A very serious condition, ischemia is the main reason for amputations. Ischemia is caused by impaired circulation, which can be due to arteriosclerosis or occlusion of tissue. Impaired circulation causes reduced pulses – the foot is cold and blue – and this leads to tissue death and the eventual development of an ulcer. Your patient may need vascular surgery.
Diabetes can change the body’s ability to combat infection. Not only are the feet more prone to infection, it’s also harder to get rid of an infection once it’s there. So it’s crucial that you assess the patient regularly to prevent and react quickly to infections.
Due to changes in lifestyle and an increase in the mean age of the population, diabetes has increased dramatically over the past years. At present more than 246 million people are diabetic. According to www.idf.org, this is expected to rise to 380 million people worldwide by 2025. The consequences for society are enormous.
Treating the underlying causes of a diabetic foot ulcer and applying the best treatment should help it heal. Biatain foam dressings provide the best moist wound healing, and Biatain Ag is excellent for exuding wounds that may be at risk of infection.
Read more about wound care management.