Diabetes today affects many people in the world. You surely have a relative or acquaintance who suffers from this disease. One of the complications associated with this condition is called diabetic foot.
This consists of an infection of the deep tissues of the foot, which is related to neurological alterations or different degrees of peripheral vascular disease (disorders of the circulation).
Dr. Wagner et al. Made a classification for this complication according to the degree of complexity of the lesion presented.
Wagner Classification of Diabetic Foot
- Grade 0: absence of ulcers in a high risk foot.
- Grade 1: superficial ulcer that compromises the entire thickness of the skin but not underlying tissues.
- Grade 2: deep ulcer, penetrating to ligaments and muscles but not compromising the bone or the formation of abscesses.
- Grade 3: deep ulcer with cellulitis or abscess formation, almost always with osteomyelitis.
- Grade 4: localized gangrene.
- Grade 5: extensive gangrene that compromises the entire foot.
Gangrene is the putrefaction of dead tissue, at this stage the affected area gives off a very unpleasant odor, it is deadly if it is not attended immediately.
In severe cases, where foot infection has become widespread and with the intention of safeguarding life, the doctor decides to amputate the affected limb . Therefore, special care is required in diabetic patients to avoid this situation.
Why this complication occurs?
A person with diabetes, in addition to all the problems caused by the disease, has circulation problems and loss of sensibility in the members. The secretion of normal sweat and natural lubrication of the skin is also affected in the foot of a diabetic.
What is mentioned in the previous paragraph makes it difficult to perceive the moment in which an injury can occur, with the consequent infection of the wound . The early detection of any injury is very important.
Diabetic foot is a complication of the disease, not all diabetic people suffer from this condition.
In case the infection is treated through antibiotics, poor circulation plays a transcendental role since, due to difficulties with blood flow, the medication can not reach the compromised area correctly.
Your doctor will choose the appropriate way to treat an existing injury trying to stop its evolution. To prevent of course removing the patient a part of his body, with all the emotional burden it would imply for him and his family. But in serious cases there is no other option.
A small wound can evolve into a big problem. Therefore it is recommended to patients or in case they are of a fairly advanced age that a family member can corroborate at least 3 times a week that the area of the feet and nails do not present any lesion, even if it seems so.
The loss of sensitivity in many cases prevents the person from perceiving that they have been hurt. Humidification is of course vitally important.
Dry skin is more likely to crack and become a gateway for germs that can cause an infection . Using moisturizing creams and performing gentle massages to increase blood flow in the area is very beneficial. Do not place creams between your fingers.
Proper hygiene of the foot and nails is also appropriate, avoiding the appearance of fungi. The feet should be carefully dried especially between the fingers.
Regarding the use of footwear:
Use proper footwear, which should not be too fair or too wide, do not walk barefoot, if possible use different shoes every day, the fingers should not be tight and the heel area should not cause injuries, preferably use closed shoes .
Before placing them on the inside check that there is nothing that can hurt, from a thick seam to a foreign body. Avoid very tall or pointed shoes.
The stockings should be made of an absorbent material to keep the feet dry and free of fungus. Neither should they be tightened in the area of the fingers or the ankle, to prevent injuries and not aggravate existing circulation problems.
In this case the best treatment is the prevention of foot injuries. Diabetes is unfortunately deteriorating the organism of the sufferer. Therefore preventing complications is the best choice. A small lesion in the nails or foot can evolve into a serious infection that leaves no alternative but amputation.
Caring for the feet, controlling the level of blood sugar, visiting the doctor regularly and a special diet for those suffering from diabetes is essential for them to lead a harmonious life free of complications such as in this case diabetic foot.