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By Crofton Podiatry
November 13, 2018
Tags: Diabetes   Ulcers   gangrene   smoking   drinking   nerve damage  

Who can be affected by foot ulcers? Foot ulcers are usually a result of poor circulation, nerve damage, and/or prolonged pressure on the foot. Those who have conditions such as peripheral arterial disease, kidney failure or diabetes are prone to developing foot ulcers due to complications of these diseases. Excessive smoking, drinking or sitting (yes, sitting) can also increase the risk of developing foot ulcers.

What is a foot ulcer? An ulcer is a sore or wound that is slow to heal. The skin can begin to break down and the wound can get deeper, even to the point of exposing bone!

When does a diabetic person get foot ulcers? Once a diabetic person experiences loss of sensation due to nerve damage and poor circulation, ulcers can begin to cause problems. 

Where do foot ulcers appear? Most commonly, ulcers tend to form under the balls of feet, along the arch, on the toes, and on the heels. These are areas that experience the most pressure throughout the day.

Why is it a big problem to have foot ulcers? When left untreated, foot ulcers can become severely infected, leading to gangrene and even amputation.

…and finally, How does having diabetes lead to foot ulcers?

When you have diabetes, your body has a hard time controlling sugar levels.

The direct effect is that having high blood sugar levels damages your nerves. This leads to neuropathy, which causes you to lose feeling in your extremities. When you cannot detect discomfort or pain in your feet, the rest of your body does not have the information it needs to heal sores or wounds.

A diabetic’s body also doesn’t send normal signals to regulate the circulation of fluids and blood, so the ulcer does not receive the nutritive healing factors it needs. If the ulcer becomes infected, it’s that much more difficult to heal!

As you walk and put pressure on your feet, it can cause that part of the skin on your foot to begin to break down and become an ulcer. If you have peripheral neuropathy, you may not even notice it until a couple weeks later, when it’s likely infected.

That’s why it’s important to do foot checks often and take good care of your feet when you have diabetes. If you notice the beginnings of a possible ulcer, consult with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll, at Crofton Podiatry before you experience complications. Make an appointment by calling (410) 721-4505 or contact us online. Our podiatry team is ready to assist you at our office in Crofton, which also serves the surrounding areas of Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie, MD.

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2411 Crofton Lane, Suite 25
Crofton, MD 21114

Podiatrist - Crofton, Crofton Podiatry, 2411 Crofton Lane, Suite 25, Crofton MD, 21114 (410) 721-4505