Frequently Asked Questions on Diabetes Foot Care

What is a Diabetic Foot Ulcer?
A diabetic foot ulcer is an open sore or wound that occurs in approximately 15 percent of patients with diabetes. A diabetic ulcer is commonly located on the bottom of the foot. Of these 15% who develop a foot ulcer, six percent will be hospitalized due to infection or other ulcer-related complication.
Diabetes is the leading cause of non-traumatic lower extremity, and approximately 14 to 24 percent of patients with diabetes who develop a foot ulcer have an amputation. However, the development of a foot ulcer is preventable through proper care and precaution.
Is there a special kind of footwear available for those with diabetes?

Yes! Certain types of shoes, socks, and custom orthotics are created especially for those with diabetes. People with diabetes should never go barefoot and should make sure to keep feet protected to reduce the risk of cuts and scrapes on the feet, which can lead to foot ulcers.

What type of foot complications could a person with diabetes possibly experience?

Diabetics may experience the following symptoms:

  • A loss of feeling in your feet
  • A change in the shape of your feet
  • Foot ulcers or sores that do not heal

Keep your blood glucose (sugar) in good control and take care of your feet every day to avoid serious foot problems.

How do blood sugar levels affect your feet?

High levels of sugar in the blood can cause arteries and blood vessels to harden and narrow, restricting blood flow. This could lead to nerve damage causing numbness, burning, and pain, as well as decreased wound healing ability. In worse cases, it may turn into severe ulcers and tissue decay that may require amputation.