Kent Jarvis, DPM
Board Qualified Podiatrist located in Humble, TX
About 15% of people with diabetes develop a diabetic foot ulcer. Approximately 6% of those individuals require hospitalization due to infection, gangrene, or other related complications. At his Houston-area practice, Kent Jarvis, DPM, provides safe and effective care for diabetic foot ulcers. To schedule an appointment at The Woodlands or Atascocita, Texas, location, book online or call to speak with a staff member today.
Diabetic Foot Ulcer Q & A
What is a diabetic foot ulcer?
A diabetic foot ulcer is a slow-healing, open wound that develops on the balls or soles of your feet.
If you have diabetes, you’re also more likely to experience nerve damage (neuropathy) and poor circulation. When combined, these factors make it difficult to sense pain caused by cuts, lacerations, or puncture wounds. If you injure yourself and don’t realize it, the area may become infected, increasing your risk of more serious complications.
Who is at risk of a diabetic foot ulcer?
Anyone who has diabetes is at risk of experiencing a diabetic foot ulcer. However, several factors may increase your risk, including:
- Being Native American, Black, or Hispanic
- Being a man
- Insulin use
- Being overweight
- Using tobacco
- Drinking alcohol
You’re also more likely to experience a diabetic foot ulcer if you’re living with diabetes-related kidney, eye, or heart disease.
What should I do if I have a diabetic foot ulcer?
If you have diabetes and an open wound forms on your foot, it’s important to seek professional medical help right away. The sooner you receive diagnosis and treatment, the less likely you are to experience infection or amputation. In addition, working with Dr. Jarvis can significantly lower your health care costs over time, while improving your mobility and quality of life.
How is a diabetic foot ulcer diagnosed?
To diagnose a diabetic foot ulcer, Dr. Jarvis reviews your medical history, physically examines your foot, and asks about your lifestyle and symptoms, including when the ulcer first formed, if you take insulin, and how often you inspect your feet.
Typically, these steps are enough to make a diagnosis, but if Dr. Jarvis is concerned about an infection or other potential complications, he might order laboratory testing.
How is a diabetic foot ulcer treated?
Treatment for a diabetic foot ulcer depends on its location, size, and severity. Following a comprehensive exam and discussion, Dr. Jarvis might recommend:
- Oral or topical antibiotics to prevent infection
- Taking pressure off the wound — a process called “off-loading”
- Removing dead skin or infected tissue (debridement)
- Applying medication or dressings to the ulcer
- Stem cell skin substitute graft
You might also benefit from healthy lifestyle changes, including regular blood glucose monitoring, daily foot inspections, and at-home wound care.
Ultimately, the goal of treatment is to ease pain, encourage healing, and prevent further complications.
To receive treatment for a diabetic foot ulcer, request a consultation at the practice of Kent Jarvis, DPM. Call to speak with a member of the support staff or book online today.