Unfortunately one in four patients suffering from high level of blood glucose runs a risk of diabetic foot ulcer. Starting from a small patch on the skin on the slightest provocation this injury may become rather dangerous as far as at final stages of foot ulcer a lower limb amputation can be needed.
What does diabetic foot ulcer look like
Diabetic foot ulcer (picture 2) is an external open sore that answers the medical treatment with a significant difficulty. It becomes as a red sore on the skin accompanied with diabetic foot discoloration and located commonly on the big toe or pad but not limited to. It can damage any place lower the ankle and continuously grow in size.
Why does it appear? It starts because of trauma of any nature. A diabetic can struggle in tight shoes or get minor cut, or even have just closed wound – any mentioned reason is enough for diabetic ulcer of foot to progress.
What does a foot ulcer look like? This is a crater going deep into the flesh exposing tendons and reaching bones in severe cases. It is usually surrounded by rough skin. The most unpleasant thing with all the above is infection that is ready to develop into osteomyelitis, abscess and in the long run into gangrene.
Among the signs of infection there are unpleasant odor and foul drainage. The liquid is checked for mal cultures. If the nerves are healthy a patient feels pain especially if ulcer of heel (pictures at the bottom) happen to be when it is impossible to avoid touching the damaged place. If the nerves do not function properly, a person with this health condition can even be unaware of the problem.
Foot ulcer stages pictures
The diabetic ulcer develops gradually. The earlier treatment starts, the more chances a patient has to keep it under control and prevent severe course of disease. In general this condition is regarded as poorly healing or even non-healing.
There are six key stages of foot ulcer (picture 3) following the degree of injury.
- Undamaged skin. Continuous redness on the skin can be found.
- Formation of superficial blisters. The skin is cracked in the place of ulcer.
- Deep damage. The skin is completely broken and liquid is trickling from the wound from time to time. The breaks involve muscles, tendons and bones.
- Abscess or osteomyelitis. Diabetic ulcer of heel (pictures below) or other part of foot is infected.
- Forefoot gangrene. Lack of blood flow is observed leading to death of tissues and gangrene that must be immediately treated.
- Whole foot gangrene. The life threatening state requires amputation of damaged foot.
If a patient watched diabetic diet and take care of his feet, he can prevent such disease development.
Diabetic toes pictures
We should mention that 10 % of people suffering from high sugar level in blood have swelled diabetic feet with joints turned out of shape including diabetic toes (picture 4). The patient is unable to sense pain because of damaged nerves. This condition is known as “sensory diabetic neuropathy”, due to which it is rather difficult to notice the trauma on feet. Thus, there is a very high risk to get diabetic ulcer toes. Any injury of dry skin and fissures can set things going.
In order to reduce risk and avoid gangrene toe (pictures in gal.), it is recommended to wear comfortable shoes, keep toes clean and dry, watching the places between them where the sores usually appear. The hammertoes can cause difficulties during walking and damage the skin with all the consequences. Such an ulcer of diabetic toe (pictures below) can be as dangerous as the injury of heel and other parts of feet. The skin here is very thin being inclined to furunculus and ulcus, so the slightest fissure can become the open door for diabetic infection of toe (pictures in gallery), which can lead to gangrene.
Diabetic toenails pictures
There are so called diabetic toenails (picture 5) showing sign of the disease. They can be eggshell, cracked, or of yellow color. And it should be remembered that even a slight damage becomes a disaster when infection penetrates inside. The diabetic toenails can be cut, or for example it can be nail fungus or ingrown nail, which must be treated in a proper way: soften and cut them without touching the corners, then smooth the edge using a nail file. Failing to meet the above requirements can cause the serious problems. To avoid the consequences like diabetic ulcer of toe (photos in gallery) it is recommended to go to the doctor to take care of them. There are a lot of cases when patients have toes amputated because of complications of this kind.
Toe amputation pictures
Taking into account all the above there is no doubt that a diabetic foot ulcer must be taken seriously. It is important not to waste time and start treatment as soon as possible but not later than 6 weeks after it appears. Otherwise there is a chance that the sore won’t heal. The doctors do everything to avoid amputation of toe (picture 6), which is quite possible because of negligence.
So, what does an ulcer look like? It is any sore or wound unable to repair. The stages of foot ulcer are described before in this article. And at the last of them the tissue dies and amputation of big toe (pictures below) is the only way out.
Unfortunately there are a lot of other complications of this disabling condition like diabetic dermopathy in addition to diabetic foot ulcer, the vital information of which we do our best to offer here. There is also diabetic retinopathy (images in gallery), affecting eyes, leading to mild vision problems at the beginning and after all even stealing the vision. That is why the patients must pay attention to all the deviations from the norm in the organism.