Can Compound Vitamin A Cure Diabetic Foot Ulcers?

Author: Lee Dobbins
One of the unpleasant complications of diabetes is what is known as a diabetic foot ulcer. These foot ulcers are very uncomfortable, and can become very serious if not treated correctly. The ulcers are a sore on the skin, like any other ulcer and need to be treated with care so that infection does not set in. Recently some studies have shown that a compound of Vitamin A might be able to help.

Normally a Compound of Vitamin A called Topical Retin-A (also known as Tretinoin) is used to treat acne problems. However according to a report from the Archives of Dermatology Compound of Vitamin A enhances the healing process of patients with foot ulcers who also suffer from diabetes.

However previous studies have shown that Topical Retin-A can help to enhance the healing of wounds of patients who suffer from diabetes and some of the results from these studies have been discussed by various different scientific groups. In fact one group of researchers has been trying to find out whether Tretinoin is really helpful to those patients or not.

The research that was carried out involved 24 volunteers who were suffering from diabetic foot ulcers but showed no evidence of infection or circulation problems to their extremities. During this research some of the patients were assigned to a daily treatment of Topical 0.05 Tretinoin solution for 4 weeks, whilst the rest of the control group were treated using a saline solution. Every 2 weeks each group was assessed to see how the ulcers were.

Of the 22 volunteers who completed the research they were affected by a total of 24 foot ulcers and of this 18 came from the control group (2 of 11 ulcers) and 46 came from the other group (6 of 13 ulcers) had completely healed at the end of the 16 week research program. Although some patients experienced some mild pain at the site of their ulcer, most reported no adverse events.

In fact the researchers carrying out the study were pleased with the results, however they were some what concerned because Tretinoin is an irritant and they thought those taking part would become irritated by it and would not be able to continue on with the research program. However, it seems that this problem did not seem to arise in most cases.

So the conclusion that seems to have come from this research carried out is that diabetic foot clinics will use Retin-A (Compound of Vitamin A) to treat diabetic foot ulcers when other therapies that they have tried do not work. Vitamin A might not be the end all and be all for a cure, but it can help and is unlikely to hurt!
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About the Author
Lee Dobbins writes for where you can learn more about treating ulcers including diabetic foot ulcers.

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