Beware of Diabetic Foot Ulcers and How to Quickly Heal Them

Share this:

Free Resource:
To Request an appointment with Dr. Schneider:

When you think of an ulcer, you may immediately think of a stomach ulcer. When I think of an ulcer, my first thought goes to a #DiabeticFootUlcer. Both are similar. The stomach ulcer is a hole in the lining of the stomach. A diabetic foot ulcer is a hole in the skin and soft tissue on the bottom of the foot. My name is Dr. Andrew Schneider, and I’m a podiatrist in Houston, Texas.

A diabetic ulcer is a serious and potentially devastating complication of diabetes. In fact, my goal in treating patients with diabetes is to ensure that a diabetic foot ulcer does not form. A diabetic foot ulcer is an open sore often on the bottom of the foot that does not heal well. People with diabetes are more likely to develop foot ulcers. This is because of the nerve damage called peripheral neuropathy and poor circulation that diabetics experience. The poor sensation does not let you feel the pain from excessive pressure on the bottom of your foot. The poor circulation allows the skin to break down and form the ulcer. Both are responsible for difficulty in healing a diabetic foot ulcer. Diabetic foot ulcers are dangerous. They can lead to infection which can extend into the bone. They also can lead to the death to the soft tissue called gangrene. Sometimes an infection or gangrene needs to be treated by amputating a toe, part of the foot, or sometime the entire foot to prevent it from spreading and causing a serious systemic infection.

When you notice a diabetic foot ulcer, you may want to treat it like any other cut, but this is very different. Where you may use hydrogen peroxide or alcohol to clean a cut, those solutions are very harmful for an ulceration. While they do kill the bacteria in the wound, they also harm the cells that are responsible to heal the wound. These are common ways to treat an ulcer, but they’re not very effective. They may prevent infection, but it’s not providing what an ulcer needs to heal completely.

When you come into the office with a diabetic foot ulcer, I need to assess it in a number of ways. I’ll measure the dimensions of the wound to serve as a reference to assess healing. I’ll look at the depth of the wound to make sure it’s not approaching the underlying bone. I’ll also assess if your blood flow is good enough and whether or not the wound is infected. My first priority is to address any infection. It is essential to ensure that any infection is treated. Otherwise it will be an impediment to healing the foot ulcer. I’ll then perform a debridement of the wound. That’s a procedure that’s done in the office where I remove any devitalized tissue that will get in the way of the wound healing. This is an important procedure that will be repeated regularly. I usually debride the wound at least every two weeks.

It’s then time to determine what’s the best wound dressing to get your wounds healed as quickly as well possible. Here, there are no shortage of choices. I can use an ointment that uses an enzyme to keep the unhealthy tissue away from the wound. Another ointment has growth factors in it to promote healing. There are wound dressings that are composed of collagen, which also promote healing. Other dressings are composed of alginates or foam to absorb any drainage coming from the wound. There are also specialty dressings. These are skin graft type dressings that serve as a biological dressing to the wound. Others use donated amniotic membranes to promote healing. I lately have been using a technology called Actigraft where we draw your own blood in the office and inject it into a mold that contains clotting factors. It clots and creates a biological dressing using your blood and your growth factors. The results have been phenomenal.

There are so many other dressings and modalities that can be used to heal a diabetic foot ulcer. That’s because none of them are one size fits all. Each solution is tailored to each individual circumstances and the wound’s properties. The other side of the coin, when it comes to healing, a diabetic foot ulcer is taking the pressure off of the wound after all it was pressure that caused the ulcer in the first place. This can be done using a surgical shoe, a fracture boot, a total contact cast, crutches, or a knee scooter. The pressure that you take off the wound is as important, if not more important, than what you put on the wound.

00:00 Introduction
01:15 What is a Diabetic Foot Ulcer and How It Develops
02:34 Treating a Diabetic Foot Ulcer
03:26 Assessing a Diabetic Foot Ulcer
04:17 Selecting the Proper Dressing for the Diabetic Foot Ulcer
05:36 Taking the Pressure off of a Diabetic Foot Ulcer
06:07 Determining How Long It Will Take for an Ulcer to Heal
07:11 How to Connect with Houston Podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider
Video Rating: / 5

Share this:


  1. Neil Jerome Compuesto

    its very depressing to have foot ulcer. Since I was 16 my wound wouldn't heal until now im 22.

    I want to die.

  2. Neil Jerome Compuesto

    its very depressing to have foot ulcer. Since I was 16 my wound wouldn't heal until now im 22.

    I want to die.

  3. x 73

    The information you have shared here I am grateful. And going to use it to help my older brother who suffers from diabetes. Thanks.

  4. Kashinath L

    Hello sir today our doctor is telling that they will cut the leg what to do sir ?

  5. tatenda mlambo

    I' south Africa i need to come and get mY diabetic ulcer treated is it possible

  6. Dennis Huffman

    Urgent answer: Are there any other stronger prescriptions that can help heal diabetic leg ulcers or sores besides Keflex or Doxycycline which are actually infection killers and yes I understand that those 2 meds counteract each other, the skin is healing but burns and tingles but I can feel the skin tightening from the healing and it itches.

  7. Javier Mancheno

    Thanks a lot Dr. Taylor = Dr. Schneider in German ,you are an A+ communicator ! Thanks for your wonderful and useful video in the practical sense for us diabetic people !

  8. Legion 16

    Thanks for the work you are doing to help people live a more normal lifestyle

  9. Dr D

    I got a massive hole (ulcer) on my big toe. From using a foot peel. It was supposed to just remove the dry skin. I followed the directions You wear the plastic sock for 1 hour. Then wash the feet. Did all that, and 24 hours later i had blisters all over my feet. Both feet. I’ve never seen blisters like these. I treated them wrapped them, careful not to break them. 2 days later they were worse, Pain was / is indescribable!!
    The blisters drained on their own and i was and still am in shock by the massive holes they left. Foot moisture like baby feet again it claimed and i ended up with massive holes. I still have one in my toe, it still is very deep and taking a while to heal. A very long while.
    I just needed to share this, bc i bought these at walmart. I thought they were safe. And if you are a diabetic, i don’t want to think of how bad this could be. I Did not think for a moment that id end up with massive holes in my feet and 4 mos later I’m still suffering and its still a hole in my toe!
    Be safe! Take care!

  10. Areos

    sir, is it okay if I always clean the wound??

  11. James Rogers

    Can you still live a long life after a foot ulcer

  12. James Rogers

    I'm freaking out they say you die in t
    Less than 5 years after getting diabetic foot ulcer?

  13. Hirmanie Mathura

    What is the ointment that causes growth for healing

  14. Dhushyanth Reddy

    If to foot ulcer we can use to dressing for hydrogen peroxide or tincture.iodine….Pls answer me sir

  15. kira light

    If I have diabetes and foot ulcers. Can I prevent my foot from amputation even if I have foot ulcer?

  16. Tara B

    So terrified of developing a foot ulcer. I'm very clumsy and often drop things on my feet. Even bad fitting shoes can cause ulcers. I'm so scared.

  17. Oldschoolmetal

    Doc thanks for the video. Ive had all five of my toes removed and part of the bone. I started with only a tiny cut that got infected. Bandages on to tight causes a wound on top of my food. I went to hyperbarrics but since i had bad blood flow and they took me down to deep it caused other wounds. I had gang greene osteomolitis and mrsa. I had a wound vac and pic line for vancamycin. Ive been off my pic line dec 23 wound vac 28. Ive been going through this since april 3. Every time i thought i was getting better i got worse. I was septic at one time. Im so much better and almost healed. I started taking juven for my wounds. It works miracles but a little expensive. Blood sugar is under control now but i get light headed from low blood pressure 90 over 60 most times. Is there a way to correct that. Thank you..

  18. Santee Moontaz Digpaul

    Thanks so much Sir for such precious information

  19. Massi

    Please guys take this so seriously, I lost my friend to this bloody Foot Ulcer. Doctors in England are not back to work due to Covid 19. So we all didn’t know about foot ulcer, another incident happened and we thought it’s that. The infection killed him at the age of 60😢😢

  20. Waylon Brown

    Dr. What is your take on Manuka honey or Aloe Vera for healin?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *