Philadelphia Podiatry Associates
Podiatrists located in Philadelphia, PA
If you’re diabetic, you are at a higher risk of developing foot ulcers, which can lead to serious infection and other complications when left untreated. At Philadelphia Podiatry Associates, Dr. David Geltzer and Dr. Neil Rapoport offer comprehensive foot care services to people with diabetes including wound care. If you live in or around Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and are concerned about diabetic foot ulcers and wound care, call or book an appointment online today.
Wound Care Q & A
What is a diabetic foot ulcer?
A diabetic foot ulcer is a wound that develops on the bottom of your foot. Approximately 15% of diabetics suffer from a foot ulcer at least once. Diabetic foot ulcers are also the most common non-traumatic cause of lower limb amputation today.
What causes ulcers and wounds to develop on the feet?
Foot ulcers are a common complication of diabetes because the disease affects your circulation and can cause numbness. As a result, if you have a small injury or break in the skin on your foot, you may not know that you are injured or seek medical care for your foot.
These injuries could start as simply as a blister from too much friction inside of your shoe or a small tear in your skin if you step on something sharp. Since your body doesn’t circulate blood to your extremities effectively, the tissue on your foot doesn’t have the oxygen and nutrients necessary to heal and the wound becomes worse over time and you are at a higher risk of developing an infection.
How are wounds treated?
Dr. Geltzer and Dr. Rapoport treat foot wounds with a variety of methods including:
- Debridement, which is the removal of dead skin and tissue
- Helping you to take pressure off of your foot
- Total contact cast, special footgear or braces
- Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
- Wound care products, such as growth factor gels (derived from bovine and sheep products, or amniotic material) or collagen topicals.
- Skin grafts using cultured skin or human amnion/chorion membrane
- Crutches or even a wheelchair to protect your foot from unnecessary pressure, friction, and irritation.
You’ll need to keep your wound covered and clean with regular application of topical medications. For more severe wounds and conditions, surgery may be necessary to remove damaged or infected tissue. Dr. Geltzer and Dr. Rapoport will do their best to help you to heal without resorting to surgery.
How can I prevent foot wounds and ulcers?
Dr. Geltzer and Dr. Rapoport will provide you with personalized advice on how to best protect your feet. If you are at a higher risk of developing foot ulcers and wounds, you should have regular appointments with your podiatrist to closely monitor the condition of your feet. You should also learn to check your own feet for signs of injury and commit to wearing correctly fitting and supportive shoes. You should also take care to maintain healthy blood sugar levels, and seek treatment for any injuries or infections immediately.