Spotting warning signs of diabetic foot ulcers and asking for help may be an obvious course of action for some people. But for others, it could be that they aren’t in any pain and haven’t noticed. They may be elderly and can’t communicate effectively. Or they think it’s just another wound that will heal on its own with time. This is why National Foot Health Awareness Month is so important. Beyond diabetic foot ulcers, this initiative shines a much-needed light on the importance of overall foot health, the challenges millions of people face every day, and tips to help everyone keep their feet in the best possible condition.
According to a study by the American Podiatric Medical Association, 77% of Americans say they have experienced foot pain, but only one-third seek expert care. As you can imagine, these issues include temporary pain related to poorly fitting shoes, plantar fasciitis, bunions, etc. But many are due to underlying health problems such as diabetes, obesity, peripheral neuropathy, and vascular issues leading to chronic wounds such as diabetic foot ulcers.
Sadly, chronic wounds affect 6.5 million patients annually and result in $39 billion being spent annually to treat them. At StrideWoundCare, we agree it is important to educate the public through critical awareness efforts such as National Foot Health Awareness Month while being at the forefront of wound care treatment options.
Looking for treatment options for your diabetic foot ulcer? Our experts at have a variety of approaches to meet your unique needs. Call 214-285-9200. Appointment
Are You Experiencing Signs of Diabetic Foot Ulcers?
- Irritated toes and feet
- Warmth around the wound
- Large open wounds on the big toes and balls of the feet
- Callused or thickened skin surrounding the ulcer
- Unusual odor from the feet
- Stains on socks or insides of the shoes
Your Feet Come First
With 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than a hundred muscles, tendons, and ligaments, our feet are the foundation for the rest of our body. They allow us to bear weight (1.5 times a person’s body weight with every step), transmit force, and perform everyday tasks we take for granted—standing, walking, running, jumping, dancing, kicking, climbing, and exercising. Feet are a complicated structure that makes daily life easy when they work and feel good.
Most adults understand the importance of foot health. Yet, the APMA adds that foot care continues to fall behind heart, eye, teeth, skin care, and nutrition. In other words, we don’t think about our feet nearly enough. This is one reason why efforts such as National Foot Health Awareness Month are so important.
While it is difficult to determine exactly who started National Foot Health Awareness Month, it is clear that everyone from the APMA to podiatrists, vascular specialists, wound care facilities, orthopedic surgeons, and other healthcare providers across the country have hopped on the bandwagon. Collectively, these organizations and others offer guidance on everything from proper athletic footwear and how to get involved in walking days to prescribing custom orthotics, evaluating foot biomechanics, treating underlying conditions that lead to foot pain, and more.
At StrideWoundCare we add to those efforts with innovative mobile and clinic foot wound care for a variety of skin and wound conditions.
Your Feet and Diabetic Foot Ulcers
Diabetic skin ulcers are painful, slow-healing sores that don’t show improvement within four weeks to three months and result from complications from diabetes. The annual incidence of diabetic foot ulcers worldwide is between 9.1 to 26.1 million. These are common among patients who aren’t managing their diet, exercise, and insulin treatments properly. As a result, skin on the big toes and balls of the feet begin to break down and create large, open wounds.
It is worth noting that non-healing diabetic ulcers and sores are frequently caused by one or several conditions that are vascular in nature, meaning that your body isn’t circulating blood the way it should. This includes diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, kidney failure, and even peripheral arterial disease. While these conditions seem entirely unrelated, they all have the ability to impair blood circulation and lead to nerve damage.
Diabetic foot ulcers can occur in patients of any age but are most prevalent in patients ages 45 and over. Latinos, African Americans, and Native Americans have the highest incidences. Because all patients with diabetes have the potential to develop foot ulcers throughout their lives, it’s important they put extra care into their foot and physical health by eating well, using medical-grade skincare products, exercising often, and performing regular checks on their toes and the bottoms of their feet.
The good news is that diabetic foot ulcers can be treated if caught early.
- Topical and oral medications — Antibiotics or antiseptics are used to decrease infection or keep an infection from getting worse or spreading. As a result, the ulcer has an improved chance of healing.
- Specialized dressings and therapies — Specialized dressings are tailored to your feet and wound, giving you the best chance of recovering in the shortest time possible.
- Minimally invasive and microsurgery — There are situations where surgical methods may be necessary to give your diabetic foot ulcers the best chance to heal. With minimally invasive surgeries, there is little to no cutting and scarring, no general anesthesia required, and a shorter recovery period.
Do you have a diabetic foot ulcer that won’t heal? Call 214-285-9200 or request an appointment for an expert that can help! Appointment
How Can I Manage My Foot Health at Home?
Caring for your feet and keeping them healthy is something that you can do very easily from home, possibly eliminating dangerous complications. A few tips from podiatrists include:
- Monitor your diabetic condition — This includes checking your blood sugar daily and eating healthy.
- Keep your feet clean and dry — Wash and scrub your feet thoroughly, including between toes, when bathing. This decreases the chance of various infections and helps keep existing wounds clean.
- Examine your feet daily — Check for cracks, peeling, injuries, etc. And if you see something, don’t ignore it. This is particularly important if you have diabetes and are susceptible to diabetic foot ulcers.
- If you’re diabetic, schedule an appointment with a podiatrist or other professional — These professionals can regularly check the blood flow in your feet to determine if you are at risk for diabetic foot ulcers.
- Avoid walking barefoot — Walking without shoes on increases your chance of stepping on a piece of glass or something else that could break the skin and lead to additional issues.
- Exercise regularly — Getting up and moving is a great way to promote blood flow throughout the body. Experts suggest walking for at least 30 minutes a day to keep the heart pumping.
- Maintain a healthy weight — As you carry around less weight, you are not as susceptible to circulatory problems, heel and foot pain, arthritis, and stress fractures that can eventually lead to immobility and potential foot ulcers.
- Wear comfortable sneakers — This is especially true if you will be walking a lot or exercising regularly. Replace your shoes regularly every six months or so.
StrideWoundCare Treats Diabetic Foot Ulcers
We understand that knowing the best course of action for diabetic foot ulcers can be challenging for patients living with discomfort for an extended period. The good news is that treatment is within reach. Even diabetic foot ulcers that become infected and resist traditional treatment, and ones that require serious intervention to prevent complications, are treatable by the right medical experts.
Our wound healing experts offer advanced solutions to treat and prevent open wounds, guard against infection, and get you back to enjoying life. In addition, we can recommend support services—such as nutritional support, quitting smoking, or managing blood vessel conditions—to give you the best possible outcome.
At StrideWoundCare, we create a treatment plan that meets your individual needs while keeping you involved in the process. A comprehensive approach in developing a complete care plan to heal your diabetic foot ulcer achieves the best results to improve your quality of life.
For a consultation with one of our experts, please contact us at 214-285-9200 or complete the appointment form.Appointment
Prior to starting any new treatment or questions regarding a medical condition, always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health provider. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
StrideWoundCare serves the D/FW area including Plano, Frisco, Allen, McKinney, Irving, Grand Prairie, Denton, Flower Mound, Sherman, Dennison, Richardson, Garland, Highland Park, University Park, Park Cities, HEB, Hutchins, Duncanville, DeSoto, Cedar Hill, Lancaster, Cockrell Hill, Dallas, Mesquite, Lewisville, Craig Ranch, Arlington, Fort Worth, Addison, Carrollton, and all North Texas.