Why Diabetic Foot Ulcers Are So Dangerous (and What to Do About Them)
If you or a loved one has diabetes, you already know about the large impact it can have on daily life. Even in the best-case scenario, regularly checking your sugar, regulating your diet and exercise, and following up with your medical team become important habits.
But when diabetes isn’t well regulated, your risk of developing much more serious complications increases substantially. Such is the case with diabetic foot ulcers—a common problem that should never ever be underestimated.
What Are Foot Ulcers?
Foot ulcers are sores that fester and develop across the foot, usually (although not always) as a complication of uncontrolled diabetes.
Maybe your ulcer started as a cut or a popped blister that never healed. Or perhaps the skin slowly broke down due to excessive, repeated friction and pressure. Structural foot defects, poorly fitting footwear, or athletic overuse can all play a role, too.
But whatever the cause, most ulcers will continue to worsen if they don’t receive treatment. That’s because diabetes reduces blood flow to the feet, which in turn limits the supply of oxygen and nutrients and impairs swift healing.
Even worse, if you aren’t paying attention, it may take hours or even days for you to notice there is even a problem. That’s because diabetes is also linked with peripheral nerve damage that can blunt your ability to feel your own feet.