Risks of a Diabetic Foot

risk of diabetic foot

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Risks of a Diabetic Foot


People with diabetes have an increased chance of developing foot problems such as a foot ulcer. This is commonly known as a ‘diabetic foot’.

Categorizing the foot as Low, Medium or High risk – if the foot is low risk,we will usually monitor the foot annually, if the foot is medium or high risk, further assessments will be completed throughout the year.

What increases my risk of having diabetic foot problems?

You are at low risk for diabetic foot problems if:

  • your blood-glucose levels are kept as low as possible
  • you look after your feet
  • you have feeling in your feet
  • your feet have a good blood supply
  • you do not smoke.

You are at medium or high risk for diabetic foot problems if:

  • you have lost some feeling in your feet
  • you have reduced circulation in your feet
  • you have hard skin on your feet
  • the shape of your feet has changed
  • diabetes is damaging your vision
  • you can’t look after your feet yourself
  • you have had ulcers before
  • you have had other complications (risk of amputation).

What are the signs and symptoms of diabetic foot ulcers?

Foot ulcers are open sores or wounds that occur most often on the ball of your foot or on the bottom of your big toe.  They may also develop on the side of your foot, usually because of poorly fitting shoes.  The ulcers are usually painless.  Not all diabetic foot ulcers become infected but people with diabetes are at high risk of developing infection of the ulcer and the surrounding skin (cellulitis).

Depending on the severity of the wound and the presence of infection, a diabetic foot ulcer can be classified in 4 ways:

  • Uninfected – the wound does not have signs of infection.
  • Mild infection – the area around the wound may be warm to the touch, red, slightly swollen, painful or tender, and the wound may produce a little pus.
  • Moderate infection – foot infection that involves the deeper layers of your skin, into the muscle, tendons, bone or joints.
  • Severe infection – foot infection that causes sepsis (which is a life-threatening complication of infection).  The symptoms of sepsis are high body temperature (fever), fast heartbeat, and heavy or quick breathing.

If the foot ulcer does not heal, becomes worse or badly infected, or if the infection spreads to nearby bones or joints, this can lead to gangrene.  The only solution then may be to surgically remove (amputate) the affected part.

Are you suffering from this condition?  At The Chelsea Clinic, we can help.  One of our podiatrist can assist and then recommend what treatments are best to get you back on track.  Podiatrist South Kensington
Schedule an appointment here or you may call us at +44 (0) 207 101 4000


We hope you have a feetastic day!

-The Chelsea Clinic and Team



Check our blog about Diabetic Foot Ulcer

Check our blog about Diabetes

Read our blog about Understanding Diabetic Foot Ulcer Classification

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