Every minute, three people with diabetes have foot amputation because of unhealed wounds. The Northwest Foot and Ankle Institute team, including board-certified podiatrists Michael Czurylo, DPM, and Hyowon Choi, DPM, has extensive wound care expertise. They can use a variety of advanced techniques to help you heal rather than amputate. Call the Bellingham, Washington, office, or request an appointment online today.
Foot ulcers are areas of broken skin that create an open wound. Up to 25% of people with diabetes have one or more foot ulcers during their lifetime. Foot ulcers can appear anywhere on the feet but are most common on the bottom.
People with diabetes are prone to foot ulcers for a few reasons. Nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy) decreases sensation in the feet, which means foot damage often goes unnoticed and untreated.
Vascular disease (peripheral artery disease) reduces blood flow to the feet, which means poor wound healing. Poor immune system function, another common diabetes problem, can worsen the situation further, as it means your foot ulcers can quickly get infected.
When you live with diabetes, any wound can become serious. If you develop any open wound, contact Northwest Foot and Ankle Institute right away.
If you have a new scrape, bruise, or other foot injuries that don’t involve broken skin, watch the wound very closely for signs of skin breakdown. Don’t hesitate to contact your podiatrist if it doesn’t heal quickly.
It may seem like your body will naturally heal the injury, but with diabetes, the healing process is often so slow that it worsens instead. That’s why professional wound care is so critical. Your podiatrist can prevent further damage and accelerate the healing process.
At Northwest Foot and Ankle Institute, your podiatrist creates a personalized plan for the fastest possible wound healing.
By healing your wound quickly, it deters infection from setting in and can help you avoid amputation later. Up to 85% of foot amputations are preventable, and wound care is a central part of that preventive care.
In debridement, your podiatrist removes dead tissue, as it can inhibit healing.
Offloading means relieving pressure from the foot ulcer. This may include custom orthotics, special diabetic shoes, and other medical footgear like braces.
Your podiatric specialist typically applies topical ointments, creams, or other products to encourage healing and then dresses your ulcer with sterile materials.
For infected ulcers, you’ll likely need antibiotic medication topically and orally.
Managing the cause of your poor healing — diabetes — is crucial as well. Monitor your blood sugar and follow your doctor’s advice to maximize your health and healing.
For wound care help, book your visit to Northwest Foot and Ankle Institute by calling the office, or request an appointment online today.