What to Expect at Home
If you have diabetes, you have an increased chance of developing foot sores, or ulcers, also called diabetic ulcers.
Foot ulcers are a common reason for hospital stays for people with diabetes. It may take weeks or even several months for foot ulcers to heal. Diabetic ulcers are often painless.
Whether or not you have a foot ulcer, you will need to learn more about taking care of your feet.
Debridement is the process to remove dead skin and tissue. Your health care provider will need to do this to be able to see your foot ulcer. There are many ways to do this. One way is to use a scalpel and special scissors.
- The skin surrounding the wound is cleaned and disinfected.
- The wound is probed with a metal instrument to see how deep it is and to see if there is any foreign material or object in the ulcer.
- The doctor cuts away the dead tissue, then washes out the ulcer.
- Your sore may seem bigger and deeper after the doctor or nurse debrides it. The ulcer should be red or pink in color and look like fresh meat.
Other ways to remove dead or infected tissue are to:
- Put your foot in a whirlpool bath.
- Use a syringe and catheter (tube) to wash away dead tissue.
- Apply wet to dry dressings to the area to pull off dead tissue.
- Put special chemicals, called enzymes, on your ulcer. These dissolve dead tissue from the wound.
- Put special maggots on the ulcer. The maggots eat only the dead skin and produce chemicals that help the ulcer heal.