Looking After Your Diabetic Foot Ulcer

Your foot ulcer may appear painless, small and trivial, but it is a serious problem. Without good care it may not heal, and there is a risk that foot infection will develop. It is therefore important that ulcers are healed quickly.

Care of your foot ulcer:

  • Every step you take on your ulcer will delay healing. An ulcer cannot heal if it is constantly under pressure. It is important to limit the amount of walking you do. Try to rest with your foot elevated.
  • You may be asked to wear special shoes and/or insoles to take pressure off your ulcer. Wear them as instructed.
  • Never walk barefoot.
  • Always keep a sterile dressing on the wound. Do not leave your wound uncovered.
  • Do not ignore the other foot. Check both feet daily for any changes. If you are unable to see your feet use a mirror or ask someone to check your feet.
  • Ask advice from the diabetic foot care team about washing and bathing.
  • Check your foot daily for danger signs.

Danger Signs

  • Increase in the size of the ulcer
  • Increased swelling of the foot
  • Change of colour
  • Change of temperature
  • The ulcer smelling
  • New ulcers or blistering
  • Increase in discharge
  • Increased pain
  • If you begin to feel unwell (fever, shivery or flu like symptoms)
  • A sudden unexplained increase in blood sugar levels.

If you notice any of the above changes please contact your GP, podiatrist or the Diabetes Centre straight away.

Ulcers can deteriorate very quickly so take any changes seriously.

If the clinics are closed go to the nearest accident and emergency department at your local hospital.

After your ulcer has healed:

After your ulcer has healed, you will need to continue to take special care of your feet to prevent another ulcer developing. You should see a podiatrist regularly for foot care.