Diabetic Foot: An Emerging Pandemic, the causes and how to prevent it

Diabetic Foot: An Emerging Pandemic, the causes and how to prevent it


People with diabetes, have blood sugar levels that are higher than normal.  And over a period of time, this can lead to foot ulcers. Foot ulcers also happen due to poorly controlled diabetes. Ulcers are formed due to the breaking down of skin tissues and further exposing the layers underneath. Most commonly it happens under the big toes and balls of the feet and also affects the feet down to the bones.

People who have diabetes are at the risk of developing foot ulcers and foot pain. But if good care is taken it can help prevent them. Depending on the various causes of foot ulcers and pain the treatment too varies. One needs to talk to the doctor to be sure that it’s not a serious problem as infected ulcers can often lead to amputation if neglected.

Best Diabetes Doctor in Hyderabad

Diabetic ulcers are most commonly caused by:

  • High Glucose Levels: If one has high glucose levels it can slow down the healing process of an infected foot ulcer. Hence managing sugar is very important. It’s harder for people who have type 2 diabetes for fighting infections from ulcers.
  • Poor blood circulation: Sometimes, poor circulation of blood makes it difficult for ulcers to heal faster. Poor blood circulation, a form of vascular disease, where blood flow to the feet is not efficient.
  • Nerve Damage: If blood sugar levels are not controlled, it can lead to nerve damage in people who have diabetes. People who suffer from nerve damage, even a small cut or surgical wound on the foot can often unnoticed and if left untreated it can lead to infection and longer time in recovering from foot ulcer recovery.


Often ulcers can be identified by a lump that is often painful and also by the drainage that happens from the affected area.  It is common to have dry skin in diabetes and the skin also is prone to cracking. There are also chances of corns, calluses and bleeding wounds happening.


Drainage from the foot is one of the first signs that you should look out for. It may stain the socks or leak into your shoes. Other common early symptoms of foot ulcer to look for are irritation, unusual swelling, redness and odors from one or both the feet.

A serious foot ulcer has a black tissue surrounding the ulcer. This is due to the absence of healthy blood flow to the area around the ulcer. Tissue death due to infections can also appear around the ulcer. Pain, odorous discharge and numbness may also happen in this case.

You may not always observe the signs of foot ulcers, as they won’t show any symptoms of ulcers until it has become infected. You need to see a doctor if you start seeing any skin discoloration, especially if the tissue has turned black or feels any pain around an area that appears irritated or callused.

Risk Factors

People who have diabetes are all at the risk of foot ulcers. Following are some factors that

Increase the risk of foot ulcers.

  • Poor hygiene
  • Poorly fitted shoes
  • Eye disease from diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Heart Disease
  • Tobacco use

Main Tips for preventing diabetic foot ulcer

The best way to avoid diabetic foot ulcer is to watch out and prevent wounds. Daily foot care can prevent half of the non-traumatic loss of toes.

Inspecting your feet daily

If you are diabetic, it becomes very important that you inspect your feet every day for any cuts, blisters, red spots, swelling and any other abnormalities. Trim regularly your toenails straight across so that ingrown toenails can be avoided. You also should get your feet regularly inspected by your doctor once in a year.

Protection to your feet from infection

An important thing to follow every day for your diabetic foot care routine is to thoroughly wash your feet. Washing feet in the lukewarm water and then drying it thoroughly is an important step. See that you do not apply lotion between toes, as this could tend to have bacterial growth. Putting on socks and shoes even if staying at home can help avoid injuries and stepping on something that is sharp.

Manage your sugar levels.

You can prevent foot ulcers and most of the other diabetes-related complications if you keep your sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels in check. For that, you need to work with your doctor for a self-management plan that would include a healthy diet, regular exercise and taking regular medication.

How Ravi Hospital can help?

If you have diabetes foot ulcers and suffer from any other diabetes-related wounds, you should never take chances. If you notice any signs of infection, you should consult a doctor immediately. At Ravi Hospital we have the most experienced diabetes doctors in Hyderabad.

Though Diabetes is known as a common disease now, we understand that every individual comes with a unique problem and we take care of and treat them accordingly. Our specialists in the hospital are quite up to date with the latest techniques and medical approaches.

The hospital is also equipped with some of the best facilities and infrastructure to handle all kinds of serious illnesses. We have an excellent team of experienced and trained specialists who help manage all types of diabetes effectively. We are also open 24/7 for emergency or critical care.

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