How to take control of diabetic foot ulcers

MICHIGAN — If you have diabetes, it is important to take care of your feet. Did you know that diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs), open sores or wounds that form on the bottom of the foot, may be a costly problem for people who have diabetes?

About 25 percent of all people with diabetes will get DFUs in their lifetime, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association.  Additionally, 14 to 24 percent will lose a leg, foot or toe.

DFUs may take weeks or even months to heal. Experts at the National Institutes of Health say that finding and caring for DFUs early on can lower your chances of losing a limb by up to 85 percent.

Not only can DFUs be harmful to a person’s health, but they often affect his or her daily life. These sores form due to many reasons including:

  • Having diabetes for more than 10 years.
  • Poor blood flow.
  • Lack of feeling in the foot.
  • Friction or pressure.

There is a research study that could help people with DFUs get back on their feet. A Phase 3 study called STRIDE will seek to evaluate a topical study gel, DSC127, or placebo in treating non-healing foot ulcers in people with diabetes when applied once a day for up to four weeks.

Even with current treatments, foot sores can be slow to heal.

More than 100 locations are involved in the STRIDE study. If you have diabetes, are at least 18 years old and have had a foot sore for one month to one year, you may be able to enroll. To learn more or find a local research center in your area, go to gotfootsores.com. Research study participants will be seen by a doctor every week and will be given a topical study gel or placebo and lab services at no cost.

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