People with diabetes face frustration and concern when a chronic foot wound won’t heal. A wound that does not heal after several weeks is considered chronic. If you struggle with chronic diabetic foot wounds, you are not alone. Approximately seven million people in the U.S. suffer from chronic wounds, and most develop on the foot. An experienced foot wound podiatrist can determine why your foot wound is not healing and what treatment options will best suit your needs, helping you to avoid serious complications such as infection, gangrene, or amputation. Why chronic foot wounds don't heal

Reasons Why Diabetic Foot Wounds May Not Heal

There are many reasons why chronic diabetic foot wounds fail to heal, including:

  • Poor blood circulation. Diabetes can cause poor blood circulation, which can delay wound healing. Since it is harder for blood to circulate to the site of the wound, it is more difficult to fight off infection and heal the wound.
  • Neuropathy. High blood sugar from diabetes can cause nerve damage called diabetic neuropathy. Neuropathy does not cause pain but causes symptoms such as numbness and tingling, making it difficult to detect an injury on the bottom of your foot. If an injury is not treated in its earliest stages, it can be more difficult to heal.
  • Infection. If your wound is infected, it may be very difficult to heal. That's why keeping your wound clean and free from bacteria is important. If you think your wound may be infected, it’s important to see your doctor as soon as possible.
  • Wrong type of dressings. Some types of dressings used to cover a foot wound actually slow down the healing process instead of helping it along. Be sure to ask your podiatrist what type of dressing is best for your specific wound before using any type of cover or bandage.
  • Smoking. Smoking decreases the amount of oxygen that reaches your wound, which can delay healing. If you smoke and have chronic foot wounds, it may be one of the reasons your wound is not healing.

Signs of an Infection

Since a foot wound that does not heal is at risk for infection, a podiatrist must check any wound that develops on your foot. The following signs may indicate an infection:

  • Pain
  • Feeling tender or hot
  • Pus or liquid oozing from the wound
  • Discoloration
  • Foul odor

Treating Chronic Diabetic Foot Wounds

If you have diabetes, any type of foot wound can develop into something serious. It’s important that a wound not remain open or unhealed for longer than two weeks.

Consulting with a podiatrist at the first sign of a foot wound can help prevent it from becoming infected. A podiatrist will evaluate the wound and recommend treatment based on the severity and location of the wound. If the wound has become infected, medication such as antibiotics may be needed. In severe cases, hospitalization may be needed.

Foot Wound Prevention Tips

  • Always wear socks and shoes to protect your feet
  • Do a daily self-check of your feet to look for any injuries or abnormalities
  • Manage blood sugar levels
  • Trim your toenails by cutting them straight across, and never cut them too short
  • Keep your feet clean and well moisturized, but do not apply lotion between your toes
  • See a podiatrist regularly and at the first sign of a foot wound

Contact Our Texas Foot Wound Podiatrists

If you have chronic diabetic foot wounds, contact Alliance Foot & Ankle Specialists for a consultation today. We can discuss treatment options and create a plan based on your specific needs. To request an appointment, contact our Grapevine or Keller office by filling out our convenient contact form or by calling our office at 817-481-4000.