We’re not going to post the photo of a ten-day-old diabetic foot infection directly, out of respect for some of our more squeamish readers. After all, it is shockingly gruesome! It is almost beyond comprehension just how rapidly diabetic foot damage can spread once the blistering begins.
If you are curious and would like a punch in the gut to fully comprehend the gravity of diabetic foot ulcers, then by all means, click here to see the photo. If you’d rather not see it, we understand. We will at least tell you about what happened to the poor 50-year-old man who suffered the lesions on his feet.
Photos Illustrate the Danger of Undiagnosed Diabetes
A 50-year-old Swiss man noticed that his new shoes had rubbed the tops of his feet raw. He took photos of the injury each day, thinking that it would eventually “clear up on its own.” By day ten, he admitted himself to the University Hospitals of Geneva, Switzerland.
The obese man had not been diagnosed with diabetes, but a lab test revealed that he had a blood sugar level of 10.5%!
To give you an idea of how severe this man’s undiagnosed diabetes was, consider that:
– Normal levels are less than 5.7%
– Pre-diabetes levels are 5.7% to 6.4%, and
– Diabetes levels are 6.5% and higher.
In addition to the necrotizing infection on his right foot, doctors also found that the man:
– Had peripheral neuropathy, meaning that his unregulated elevated blood sugar levels progressed to the point of causing nerve damage to the foot, which limited his ability to feel his condition worsening.
– Was afebrile, meaning that he did not exhibit the typical fever that usually accompanies a serious foot infection.
– Did not have leukocytosis, an above-average white blood cell count indicating inflammation.
– Was not suffering from a bone infection.
Even so, his necrotizing abscess had grown quite serious in a very short amount of time.
How Does Diabetic Foot Damage Spread?
According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the progression of the diabetic foot wound went as follows:
– Day 1: The man suffered from erythema, a hypersensitive skin condition characterized by redness or rash.
– Day 3: Blisters appeared.
– Day 6: A necrotizing abscess developed.
– Day 10: The diabetic foot wound required surgery.
To treat the man, surgeons performed a debridement procedure to remove tissues containing the gram-negative Enterobacter cloacae and Streptococcus agalactiae strains of bacteria. He was then treated with antibiotics for three weeks. After a three-week followup, the swelling went down, the man lost a considerable amount of weight, and he suffered no recurrence.
Bacteria Is A Scary Thing When You Have Diabetes!
Exposure to bacteria is especially scary when you have diabetes. Every 30 seconds, someone in the world with diabetes has a lower limb amputated, according to Diabetes UK. Since diabetes leads to poor circulation and a reduced capacity to feel foot injuries, diabetics are more likely to end up in the hospital with a foot ulcer than with any other complication. The poor circulation also makes it difficult for wounds to heal, thus exposing the body to more potential bacteria.
The SteriShoe UV shoe sanitizer is one useful weapon in the fight to prevent diabetic foot ulcers like this one. Our patented, clinically-tested, podiatrist-recommended device uses UV-C light to eliminate up to 99.9% of all bacteria in your shoes with one 45-minute pass. Learn more and buy online here!