Understanding The Symptoms Of Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Last updated on August 3rd, 2023

People with diabetes are commonly diagnosed with foot problems. Have you ever felt that distressing fear of losing a toe, foot, or leg because of diabetes? The good news is that you can lower your risk of diabetes-associated foot issues by giving your feet the care and attention they deserve daily. Management of blood sugar levels may help keep your feet healthy.

What Is The Impact Of Diabetes On Your Feet?

Gradually, diabetes may result in nerve damage, also known as diabetic neuropathy. This may result in pain and burning sensation and make you feel like you’ve lost your feet. When you lose sense in your feet, you might not feel a blister on your foot or a stone inside your sock, which may cause sores and cuts. And these sores and cuts may become infected.

Diabetes may also reduce the amount of blood flow in your feet. Insufficient blood flow to the legs may reduce the healing power of a sore or an infection. Sometimes, a nasty infection also becomes difficult to heal, and infection may cause gangrene.

Foot ulcers and gangrene that fail to heal even with treatment may lead to amputation of your foot, toe, or part of your leg. A surgeon might carry out an amputation to prevent the spread of a nasty infection to the body and to save your life. Appropriate foot care is very crucial to avoid severe infections like gangrene.

Causes And Risk Factors of Early-Stage Diabetic Foot UlcersCauses And Risk Factors of Early-Stage Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Diabetic foot ulcers may occur because of many factors, such as:

Poor Foot Care

Early-stage diabetic foot ulcers may develop due to negligence of foot hygiene, wearing incompatible footwear, and failing to deal with minor injuries.

Poor Blood Circulation

Diabetes may affect blood vessels, impeding blood flow to the extremities. Impaired blood flow poses a significant challenge to the healing process of wounds. And this increases the risk of infections.

Read More: Chart For Normal Blood Sugar Level For Adults with Diabetes

Foot Abnormalities

Structural deformities in feet, like bunions or hammertoes, may cause rubbing against footwear and pressure points. This increases the chance of developing ulcers.

Diabetic Neuropathy

In other words, nerve damage is due to high blood glucose levels. It may give rise to loss of sensation in the feet, making it challenging to detect irritation or injuries.

Recurrent foot ulcers may indicate a more severe medical condition. These conditions can be early-stage diabetic feet or peripheral nerve damage. Undiagnosed or unmanaged diabetes may result in irreversible damage to the peripheral nerves. So, why not reverse your type 2 diabetes to minimise the related complications like foot ulcers? Breathe Well-being is one such “NATURAL DIABETES REVERSAL PLATFORM”. You can take the help of their customised nutrition plans, 1-1 sessions on nutrition, and exercises by specialised coaches and dieticians. Many diabetic patients have noticed remarkable changes in their overall health. This is very inspiring, isn’t it!!

Common Foot Problems In People With DiabetesCommon Foot Problems In People With Diabetes

In people with diabetes, the below-stated common foot problems may cause infection and serious complications, like amputation.

Athlete’s Foot

An athlete’s foot is a fungus that results in redness, irritation, and cracking. Infection may result due to the entry of germs through the cracks in your skin. Medications that kill the fungus responsible for treating an athlete’s foot can be pills or creams.

Fungal Infection Of Nails

Discolouration of nails infected by a fungus may result, or the nail may get separated from the rest of your nails. In a few cases, your nail can crush as well. Such infections are referred to as fungal infections, which may be challenging to treat. You might require prescription medications to be taken orally.

Read More: HbA1c (Hemoglobin A1c) A1c Chart, Test, Levels, & Normal Range


Corn is an accumulation of hard skin near a bony region of a toe or between toes. Corns may occur due to the pressure from shoes that rub against your toes or result in friction between your toes. Ensure to manage them appropriately. After a shower, it is better to use a pumice stone to remove the accumulated tissue gently. Avoid using OTC remedies to dissolve corn. Avoid cutting or removing corns with a sharp object.


It may occur when your shoes rub the same spot on your foot. Blisters may result when you wear shoes that do not fit properly. While treating blisters, it’s mandatory not to “pop” them. Also, using an antibacterial cream and cleaning the tissue is recommended to protect the skin and avoid infection.

Ingrown Toenails

This occurs when the nail edges start growing into your skin. This results in pain and pressure along the nail edges. Nail edges might cut into your skin as well. This may cause pain, inflammation, redness, infection, and drainage. Pressure from shoes is the most common reason for ingrown toenails. Other causes can be inappropriately trimmed nails, recurrent trauma to the feet from walking, running, or doing aerobics, and crowding of the toes. If you experience an ongoing issue or if you experience a nail infection, you might require a health provider’s care.

Read More: Top 10 Natural Remedies For Diabetes?

Dry Skin

Dry skin may crack, allowing germs to enter the skin. It is recommended to use moisturising lotions and soaps to keep your skin hydrated and soft. Speak to your doctor about which soaps or lotions to use.

Diabetic ulcers A foot ulcer is nothing but a deep sore or a break in the skin. They may also become infected. Foot ulcers may occur due to minor scrapes, slow-healing cuts, or due to rubbing of loose-fitting shoes. It’s good to treat them as soon as you observe them.

Early Signs Of Early-Stage Diabetic Feet

Early-stage diabetic foot ulcers may exhibit the following signs and symptoms:

Redness And Inflammation

Diabetic feet may appear inflamed and reddened.

Wounds Or Open Sores

Blisters or small, shallow wounds might be visible on the foot, predominantly on pressure points such as the sole or sides of the feet.

Thickened Skin Or Calluses

Too much pressure on particular regions of the foot may bring about calluses or solidified skin to develop. This can be a precursor to the formation of ulcers.

Drainage Or Foul Odour

An infected ulcer can produce pus or lead to a foul smell.

Thus, early-stage diabetic feet can be a warning that something big, like chronic infection, is happening within the body. You must know that changes like inflammation inside the leg can lower your quality of life. However, the good news is foot ulcers can be easily managed by following specific tips. People with diabetes have tested out all these tips in the past, and have helped them relieve their ulcers. Why not start them now? Get help from the Breathe Well-Being’s expert health coaches and get started!

Ways To Treat Diabetic Foot UlcersTreat Diabetic Foot Ulcers

So, as already discussed, early-stage diabetic feet may be a severe and disabling complication of type 2 diabetes. But the good news is that it can be managed effectively with care and treatment. Also, many might have one question: Can diabetic foot be reversed? So, let’s dive in and find some ways to deal with early-stage diabetic foot ulcers and try for improved foot health.

As it is not possible to naturally renew the damaged nerve tissues. Yet, there are some ways by which early-stage diabetic feet can be reversed. These ways are:

  • Treating nerve pain
  • Regulating the levels of blood sugar
  • Regularly evaluate the feet to find out if they are free of sores, infections, or wounds.

Adequate blood sugar management plays a crucial role as it helps to prevent any extra damage to a person’s nerves. There are some ways by which anyone can manage their levels of blood sugar:

  • Include fibre-rich foods in your diet. These foods help to keep your blood sugars at a steady state.
  • Consume foods consisting of healthy fats, like those derived from nuts or olive oil.
  • Choose lean proteins like chicken and plant-based proteins like tofu and beans.
  • Include more and more vegetables in your diet.
  • Do not eat sugary foods, like sugary drinks, syrups, sodas, fruit juices, candy bars etc.
  • Do not eat processed foods like processed snacks etc.
  • Exercise at least five times weekly, half an hour every time. Exercises may include weight training or aerobic activity.
  • Monitor the blood sugars according to the doctor’s advice and record the levels. This aids in detecting the patterns and any sudden changes in sugar levels.
  • According to the doctor’s instructions, take antidiabetic medications like insulin or metformin (Glucophage).
  • So, in a nutshell, if a person has diabetes, it becomes essential to remain proactive about blood sugar levels, and regular tracking of levels becomes critical.

Read More: What Is Type 2 Diabetes Management?

Taking Action

If you are unsure of an early-stage diabetic foot ulcer, here are a few essential steps to take:

Apply Dressings

Follow your doctor’s guidelines on dressing the wound. It includes using sterile gauze, bandages, or dressings to protect and support healing.

Clean The Area

Regularly wash the affected foot using mild soap and lukewarm water. Do not scrub the wound, as it may result in added damage.

Read More: Know About Madhunashini Vati For Diabetes.

Offload Pressure

If required, reduce pressure on the affected foot by wearing suitable footwear, orthotic devices, or assistive devices such as walkers or crutches.

Blood Sugar Control

Make sure you manage your diabetes efficiently by monitoring your glucose levels, using prescribed medicines, and following a healthy diet and exercise regime.

These tips help eliminate diabetic foot complications and improve a patient’s overall quality of life. Proper management of blood sugars is crucial for preventing serious complications.

Read More: Top 10 Homeopathic Medicine For Diabetes.

How To Prevent Future Diabetic Ulcers?How To Prevent Future Diabetic Ulcers

Prevention is the key to lowering the risk of recurrent diabetic foot ulcers. Below are a few preventive measures:

Practice Proper Foot Hygiene

Wash your feet daily in warm (not hot) water. Remember to dry them thoroughly (particularly between the toes), and use moisturiser to increase skin hydration.

Check Your Feet Regularly

Check your feet for any symptoms of redness, injury, inflammation, sores, blisters, or corns.

Trim your Toenails Wisely

Cut your toenails and avoid cutting them too short to prevent cuts or ingrown toenails.

Read More: How To Stimulate Your Pancreas to produce insulin in the Body?

Wear Suitable Footwear

Opt for shoes that fit well, and offer good support. This helps to avoid pressure points. Do not wear high heels or tight shoes.

Never Go Barefoot

It is recommended to wear shoes and socks or slippers, to prevent injury. Ensure there are no pebbles or other objects inside your shoes and that the lining of the boots is smooth.

Regular Foot Exams

Schedule regular exams with your doctor to detect potential early problems.

It is possible to prevent any severe foot complications in people with diabetes. Regular foot care at home and monitoring blood sugar levels should be your best bet in preventing foot problems. And to avoid the risk of such a significant diabetes complication, it is essential to control blood sugar levels. Diabetes reversal is one such great way of managing high sugar levels. Yes, diabetes reversal is possible now!! Breathe Well-Being has helped many people with diabetes eliminate the complications that diabetes brings in. So, without any delay, enrol yourself in Breathe Well-Being’s plan! Book a Consultation to Naturally Reverse Your Diabetes.


Why Does Diabetic Neuropathy Deteriorate At Night?

At night, there’s a variation in the body temperature. Most people tend to sleep in a cooler room. Damaged nerves may read the temperature changes as pain or tingling. This increases neuropathy.

How Can You Keep Your Feet Cool at Night?

Below-stated ways can help you cool down your hot feet at night. You can:

  • Keep an ice bucket along the bed
  • Put your feet in it while they get hot
  • Freeze socks and wear them on your feet while sleeping
  • Put a fan at the foot of the bed so that breeze hits the feet.

What Foods Are Not Good For Neuropathy?

Foods that have the potential to increase pain in neuropathy can be:

  • Caffeine
  • Nuts
  • Eggs
  • Citrus fruits
  • Corn
  • Wheat
  • Meat of all types
  • Dairy products


What is the Process Of Cleaning a Diabetic Foot Ulcer?

Washing the wound well with saline or clean tap water is important. Apply an antibiotic ointment over it so that the wound remains moist. Take a bandage and cover the wound to control drainage and protect it.


What Is The Healing Time Of a Diabetic Foot Ulcer?

Diabetic foot ulcers may take a long time to heal, nearly three months. You would require checking in often with the concerned doctor to ensure that the healing process remains on track. In a few cases, you might require special shoes to lower pressure on the wound.

Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal 


This site provides educational content; however, it is not a substitute for professional medical guidance. Readers should consult their healthcare professional for personalised guidance. We work hard to provide accurate and helpful information. Your well-being is important to us, and we value your feedback. To learn more, visit our editorial policy page for details on our content guidelines and the content creation process.

Leave a Reply

Download Free Diabetes Diet Plan