When you think about living with diabetes, you probably imagine watching your sugar intake or taking insulin shots. Actually, though, one of the biggest parts of protecting your health through diabetes starts with your feet.
If you aren’t checking your feet regularly, you could develop ulcers without knowing it. Worse yet, your foot ulcers could be slow to heal and could get infected.
That’s why Samantha Childers, DPM, and Ricky Childers, DPM, offer diabetic foot care at our North Central Texas Foot & Ankle offices in Roanoke and Decatur, Texas. With our expertise in regenerative medicine, we have a new way to help slow-healing ulcers. It’s called biological skin equivalents.
Why foot care matters for diabetes
Before we talk about how to heal your foot ulcers, let’s talk about why that healing matters.
You might not think a nick or scrape on your foot would be a big deal. Sure, you got a blister or scratched your foot against that chair leg. But your body will heal it, right?
It should. But when you have diabetes, the high levels of sugar in your bloodstream can slow your healing response and allow wounds to progress further than they would in someone without diabetes. To make matters worse, neuropathy can cause numbness in your foot, so much so that you don’t realize the seriousness of the wound.
When that small injury turns into a slow-healing wound, medical professionals call it a diabetic foot ulcer. Roughly 15 percent of people with diabetes will get an ulcer.
This isn’t just an inconvenience or a localized discomfort. Left unchecked, your ulcer can get infected and lead to an amputation.
Getting your ulcer the care it needs
To prevent you from finding yourself in that situation, Drs. Childers apply regenerative medicine. This means we tap into your body’s healing capacity to promote repair of the ulcer.
Specifically, we often use biological skin equivalents. As the name suggests, these ulcer treatments are the same as your skin on a cellular level. These living cells grow in a lab to create a patch we can place over the ulcer.
This does two things. First, the patch delivers occlusive properties, meaning it bandages the ulcer and protects it from the outside world. This helps to reduce your risk of an infection, the leading cause of diabetic amputations.
Second, because the patch is biologically equivalent to your skin, your body reads it as skin and goes to work integrating it. This stimulates your healing response, helping your body do the critical work of repairing the ulcer.
If you have a foot wound that’s a couple of weeks old and doesn’t seem to be healing, call or message one of our offices to schedule an appointment today. Our team can help you find the right treatment to help your ulcer heal.