People with diabetes are at greater risk for developing limb-threatening ulcers or wounds. The problem is often worsened by nerve damage (diabetic neuropathy), which occurs in half of all people with diabetes and diminishes their ability to feel pain. As a result, many people with diabetes sustain foot wounds or injuries without knowing it and wait too long to treat their condition.
“If you’re a diabetic, you should be checking your feet regularly to identify potentially serious problems” and also have regular evaluations by a specialist, says America’s Foot Doctor Dr. Maasi J. Smith.
“In the last 10 to 20 years, we’ve seen an explosion of technology that enables us to better tailor wound care to the needs of each patient,” Dr. Smith says. Unfortunately, “sometimes patients seek help so late in the process, they already risk losing a foot or a toe.” Any wound that fails to heal within 30 days should be evaluated by a multidisciplinary team of wound-care specialists.