Diabetic Foot Care Advice

The aim of this blog is to help members of the public to understand their feet better. However the information on this blog should never be regarded as medical advice. Readers with foot problems are strongly encouraged to visit their GP if not the podiatrist for further medical assessment and treatment.

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Thursday, February 21, 2008


Gangrene refers to the death and decay of tissue. It is caused by an interruption of blood flow to the effected part of the body. Gangrene can also be the result of bacterial infection or frostbite. It most commonly affects the toes, fingers, and limbs. It most commonly affects the elderly.

Certain diseases increase a person’s risk of developing gangrene. People with diabetes or atherosclerosis are in particular danger of developing gangrene. For people with diabetes, their feet are susceptible to infection and gangrene because their ability to sense a foot injury is impaired. If they get a cut or sore on their feet and it is left untreated, gangrene may develop.
Gangrene causes the effected skin to turn blue or black. It causes a foul odor and severe pain or numbness. If the infection causes the gangrene spreads throughout the body, it can cause septic shock.

Gangrene will progress if left untreated. The physician will need to surgically remove the dead tissue. In some cases, amputation is necessary. Antibiotics are administered intravenously to fight the infection if there is one present. If gangrene is treated quickly, the prognosis is good.

There are things that people can do to prevent gangrene. To prevent gangrene from frostbite, people should wear warm clothing, including thick socks, when they must be exposed to cold. After returning indoors from cold-weather conditions, people should check their feet for any areas that have become pale, hard, cold, and numb. They should call their doctor immediately if they have those symptoms.

People with diabetes should check their feet daily. Anyone with a wound to their foot should wash their feet with soap and water at least daily to prevent infection unless a doctor says otherwise. Wounds should be kept clean and dry throughout the day. If the wound becomes infected, seek medical attention in order to avoid further problems such as gangrene.


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