Diabetes can damage the nerve endings and blood vessels in your feet. That means you are less likely to notice when your feet are injured. A small skin problem like a callus, blister, or cracked skin can turn into a larger sore, called a foot ulcer. Foot ulcers form most often on the pad (ball) of the foot or the bottom of the big toe. You can also get them on the top and bottom of each toe.
Foot ulcers can get infected. If the infection is severe, then tissue in the foot can die. This is called gangrene. In that case, one or more of the toes, part or all of the foot, and sometimes part of the leg may have to be removed (amputated).
Your doctor may have removed the dead tissue and cleaned the ulcer. Your foot wound may be wrapped in a protective bandage. It is very important to keep your weight off your injured foot. After a foot ulcer has formed, it will not heal as long as you keep putting weight on the area.
Always get early treatment for foot problems. A minor irritation can lead to a major problem if it's not taken care of soon.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: December 7, 2017
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
& Thomas M. Bailey, MD, CCFP - Family Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & David C. W. Lau, MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology
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