Foot ulcers can be caused by several chronic conditions. The word ulcer just refers to a sore that is created when the skin of the foot breaks down and opens up to expose the tissue and sometimes the bone underneath. While people who suffer from diabetes are at risk to develop foot ulcers, they are also found in people with other conditions including peripheral artery disease, neuropathy, pressure overload, and other foot conditions like callosities and fissures.
If you have had an ulcer in the past, then you know what to look for, but if this is new territory for you, these are some of the common symptoms of foot ulcers:
- fluid that drains from your foot into your sock or shoe,
- irritation or sore spots, and
- unusual odors.
In some cases, the wound may be surrounded by black tissue which is an indication that not enough blood is flowing to help heal the wound. For people who suffer from neuropathy, they may not be able to feel some of the discomfort associated with foot ulcers and may need help to determine if there is a problem.
In addition to diabetes and other medical conditions, foot ulcers can be caused by the following risk factors:
- shoes that fit poorly or rub against parts of the feet,
- tobacco and alcohol use,
- heart, kidney, and eye disease, and
- improper hygiene including not caring for toenails and not washing or drying the feet thoroughly.
Foot ulcers can be serious if they become infected or continue to expose more of the foot’s tissue over time. A doctor can determine the right course of treatment for your situation and can also help you prevent foot ulcers from occurring.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or foot pain in general, you may need diabetic foot ulcer treatment. The doctors at District Foot & Ankle can treat wounds you may have and help you learn to prevent foot ulcers. Contact us to schedule an appointment.