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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.

By Crofton Podiatry
November 21, 2017
Category: Diabetes
Tags: corns   calluses   Diabetes   Ulcers   gangrene  

As part of American diabetes month, we wanted to share with you how it can affect your feet. High blood sugar levels caused by diabetes can damage your nerves, leading to  neuropathy. This direct problem can lead to complications from even the smallest injuries or conditions.

It starts with neuropathy.

When diabetes is not properly controlled, your nerves are at risk for damage. In particular, the legs and feet begin to tingle, burn, and/or lose feeling completely. Treatments can be used to slow down progression and relieve symptoms, but once it has begun its course, diabetic patients become more at risk for foot complications because of neuropathy, including:

  • Poor circulation – Because the nerves signal how the body functions, damaged nerves can mean that blood does not reach certain parts of the body. You may experience decreased blood flow to the feet, which means that fighting infection and wounds is more difficult.
  • Ulcers, Gangrene – With neuropathy, it is more likely that cuts or injuries can go unnoticed. A seemingly small issue can become more complicated, since the healing process is slowed down due to poor circulation. Ulcers can form and deep infections can even get to the point of causing gangrene. When this problem is left untreated, amputation may become necessary to prevent further complications.
  • Calluses, Corns – Because you lose feeling in the feet, you may not realize how much friction your feet endure in your shoes. It can cause calluses and corns that thicken part of your skin. Ultimately, they can begin to break down and become an ulcer if left untreated. You should use a pumice stone when you see calluses and corns on your feet, and seek help from our podiatrist if you cannot get a good handle on it.
  • Dry Skin – The skin on the feet can become irritated or dry, without you realizing it. The lack of sensation and nerve damage contribute to your body not replenishing oils and moisture to the feet’s skin. Pay attention to your feet and moisturize after daily foot washing.

Remember to check and wash your feet daily, being careful not to burn your feet in hot water. This is an important part of taking care of diabetic feet. If you notice problems with your diabetic feet, consult with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll at Crofton Podiatry before complications worsen. Make an appointment by calling (410) 721-4505 to receive a thorough assessment. Our team is ready to assist you at our Crofton, MD office, which also serves the surrounding Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie areas.




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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