The number of people with diabetes is increasing in both the United States and around the world. Diabetes currently affects nearly 26 million Americans. Because diabetes causes too much sugar (glucose) to stay in your bloodstream, it can damage many parts of the body, including the heart, blood vessels, nerves, eyes, and kidneys.
What is a diabetic foot sore?
Diabetes and high blood sugar can lead to foot problems in two ways:
- Nerve damage (also called neuropathy) can lead to loss of sensation in your feet and legs. Because of nerve damage, you may not feel cuts or sores, making it easy for them to become infected.
- Poor circulation in your feet and legs is caused by narrowing of blood vessels (also called peripheral artery disease or PAD). Because your vessels aren’t bringing enough blood with oxygen and nutrients, your body will be slow to fight off an infection and heal.
A diabetic foot sore usually starts out on the bottom of the foot, and becomes deeper and sometimes even infected. The effects of diabetes can slow wound healing anywhere on the body, so small cuts and blisters can easily develop into deep sores.
About 1 out of every 4 people with diabetes develops a diabetic foot sore in their lifetime
Because many people with diabetes who develop diabetic foot sores have lost the ability to feel pain, pain is not a common symptom. Even if pain is not felt, look out for the following symptoms:
- Drainage on your socks
If you suspect a diabetic foot sore, contact your doctor immediately.
Are you at risk?
Anyone who had diabetes can develop a diabetic foot sore. However, people who have diabetes plus the following risk factors are more likely to develop a diabetic foot sore:
- Older males
- People of Native American, African American, or Hispanic descent
- People who use insulin
- People with diabetes-related kidney, eye, or heart disease
- People who are overweight
- People who use alcohol
- People who use tobacco
- People with diabetic nerve damage (neuropathy)
Preventing diabetic foot sores
Prevention is the key to keeping healthy feet and reducing the likelihood of diabetic foot ulcers.
Learn about prevention
Practicing good wound care
Unhealed foot sores can lead to further complications. Timely treatment and good wound care are essential.
Learn about treatment
Important Safety Information
People who use 3 or more tubes of REGRANEX (becaplermin) Gel may have an increased risk of death from cancer.
- You should talk with your healthcare provider about the possible benefits and risks to you if you use more than 3 tubes of REGRANEX Gel
- If you already have cancer, you and your healthcare provider should carefully consider whether you will use REGRANEX Gel
REGRANEX Gel is a man-made protein medicine that is used with other ulcer care practices (such as good wound care) to treat diabetic sores (ulcers) of your legs or feet that are deeper than just your skin, in people who have good blood supply to the legs.
- It is not known if REGRANEX Gel is effective for the treatment of pressure ulcers or ulcers that are due to poor blood flow (circulation)
- It is not known if REGRANEX Gel is safe and effective in children under 16 years of age
Do not use REGRANEX Gel if you have a skin tumor at the area where you apply the product.
Before you use REGRANEX Gel, tell your healthcare provider if you:
- Have cancer
- Have poor blood flow to your legs and feet
- Have allergies to any of the ingredients in REGRANEX Gel. See the Medication Guide for a complete list of ingredients
- Have any other medical conditions
- Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if REGRANEX Gel will harm your unborn baby
- Are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if REGRANEX Gel passes into your breast milk
- Take any medicines (including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements). Especially tell your healthcare provider if you apply other medicines to diabetic ulcers of your legs or feet
If you decide to use REGRANEX Gel, use the product exactly as your healthcare provider tells you to use it. This includes following your healthcare provider's instructions about not putting weight on the affected leg and foot (non-weight bearing).
- REGRANEX Gel is for use on skin ulcers only. Do not use REGRANEX Gel in your mouth, eyes, or vagina
- See the Medication Guide for more information REGRANEX Gel may cause serious side effects
- People who use 3 or more tubes of REGRANEX Gel may have an increased risk of death from cancer
Common side effects of REGRANEX Gel include:
— Red skin rash
— Burning at the application site
- Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. These are not all the possible side effects of REGRANEX Gel. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at www.fda.gov/medwatch or at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects to Smith & Nephew at 1-800-441-8227
Keep REGRANEX Gel and all medicines out of the reach of children. Do not use REGRANEX Gel for a condition for which it was not prescribed.
Do not give REGRANEX Gel to other people, even if they have the same symptoms that you have. It may harm them.
Read the Medication Guide before you start using REGRANEX Gel and each time you get a refill. This information does not take the place of talking to your healthcare provider about your medical condition or your treatment.