Orange County Diabetic Ulcer Treatment

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1533 E 4th St,

Santa Ana, CA 92701

Table of Contents

What Is A Diabetic Ulcer?

A diabetic ulcer is an open sore that diabetics sometimes develop on their legs or feet that don’t heal easily due to poor circulation. They can also form on a person’s hands, in one’s stomach, or in certain locations of the skin. Because wounds require regular blood flow to heal properly, sometimes diabetic ulcers can get larger or worse before they get better. They can become infected, and if the circulation in the afflicted area is poor enough, it can result in gangrene, and thus warrant an amputation.

Given that diabetics cannot produce their own insulin, they often experience periods of high blood sugar. If blood sugar is high enough for long enough, it can damage blood vessels, in particular those that reach extremities. In such cases, routine damage in remote areas such as feet doesn’t get repaired through regular blood flow. Moreover, high blood sugar can also damage nerves in extremities, sometimes making it difficult for the patient to detect the extent of the problem. Diabetic ulcer treatment is essential because If untreated, the damage slowly grows, resulting in an open wound, or ulcer.

woman suffering from a diabetic ulcer

How Do You Treat Diabetic Foot Ulcers?

The scope of care will depend on how much damage has occurred prior to treatment. There are a few basic principles common to treating external ulcers, and we list them here in brief. Not every ulcer will require every one of these remedies.

Infection Control

Most of the work involved in controlling infections happens at the wound site, and was covered in the section above on Bandaging/Cleaning. However, sometimes the infection makes its way into the blood, major organs, or other parts of the body. As such, it can be necessary to use other antibiotics, taken orally or intravenously. Proper rest, nutrition, and hydration also play a role in containing infections.

Debridement/Surgery

Debridement is the process of removing necrotic tissue from the body. In mild cases, the tissue is in a local area, at the surface of the skin. In those cases, the physician must cut at the surface, removing mostly skin. If the necrosis has reached deeper into muscle or soft tissue, then that tissue must be removed as well. If the bone has been compromised, then it must be carefully examined for infection. If there is permanent damage to the bone or foot, amputation may be necessary. As with any invasive procedure, debridement requires utmost care to avoid infection. Once the necrotic tissue has been removed, the patient will need to manage the wound and their environment to ensure it will heal. Healing sometimes takes considerable time, so the patient must remain committed to restoring the afflicted area.

Bandaging/Cleaning

After debriding the ulcer, it becomes an open wound requiring a proper dressing. Breathable bandages enable oxygen to reach the ulcer, which facilitates healing. Each wound must be properly wrapped to avoid infection or further damage. Likewise, the patient must change the bandage regularly according to the doctor’s instructions. After removing the bandage the wound must be cleaned. If antibiotic ointment or moisturizer is required, the patient must follow the precise instructions given by the provider. After the wound is cleaned, it must be wrapped once again per the doctor’s standard.

Offloading

After treating the wound, the patient should avoid putting pressure on it. Pressure restricts blood flow to the afflicted area, causing healing to take longer. To avoid it, foot ulcer patients may require a wheelchair, crutches, a walking boot, looser clothing, specialized casting, or other accommodations. And given the long time sometimes required for healing, the patient may need to adapt to using these tools for some time.

Blood Sugar Regulation

As with all diabetes-related problems, the patient must learn to regulate his or her blood sugar within a normal range. High blood sugar (hyperglycemia) will give rise to the same conditions that allowed the ulcer to develop, thus making the ulcer worse, or enabling new ones to form. By keeping it within a normal range, the blood vessels that service the afflicted area will slowly repair themselves, and the tissue will eventually regenerate.

How Long Does It Take For A Diabetic Ulcer To Heal?

There is no easy answer. It depends on the size of the ulcer, and the depth of the necrosis. If the damage is extensive, such as when a bone becomes infected, or when amputation is necessary, complete healing may never occur. But with proper wound care, the patient can often return to daily activity in a relatively short amount of time.

What Kinds Of Diabetic Ulcers Are There?

There are several kinds of diabetic ulcers, but here we break them into three primary groups:

Neuropathic ulcers

There form in areas with peripheral diabetic neuropathy, but no ischemia caused by peripheral artery disease. (The nerves are damaged, but the arteries are still able to supply the area with fresh blood.)

Neuroischemic ulcers

These can form in areas afflicted by both peripheral neuropathy and ischemia resulting from peripheral artery disease. (Neither the nerves nor the arteries are functioning adequately.)

Ischemic ulcers

These form because peripheral artery disease is present without the involvement of diabetic peripheral neuropathy. (The arteries have become damaged and are unable to provide normal circulation to the area, but the nerves are functional.)

Symptoms Of Diabetic Ulcers

Look for signs of bleeding or infection on or around the person’s feet. Blood or discharge, an infectious odor, or sections with yellow discoloration can reveal that an infection has taken hold. If any areas have turned black, that indicates gangrene, or tissue death. The same rules apply if the infection is present in a different location, such as the hands, legs, or anywhere on the skin.

Choose Wound Care OC For Diabetic Ulcer Treatment

If you suffer from diabetes, you probably have come to understand how the illness can cause poor circulation and nerve function. But not everyone understands this. When seeking treatment for diabetic ulcers, you need someone at the forefront of treatment. In Orange County, Wound Care OC is the place for you. We will eliminate all traces of dead tissue and infection, dress the wound so that it can heal on its own, and help you to maintain your health and avoid future complications. Choose Wound Care OC for diabetic ulcer treatment and Arterial ulcer treatment when you need help for any diabetes-related wound or sore. We’ve got you covered.

Orange County diabetic ulcer treatment doctors

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