Diabetic Foot Ulcers

This type of ulcer is a complication of Diabetes. It’s a break in skin integrity where harmful bacteria can easily invade and multiply. The cause is often peripheral neuropathy or peripheral vascular disease. The ulcers most commonly associated with Diabetes are neuropathic, arterial and venous.

Neuropathic ulcers are caused by frequent friction on parts of the foot where there is the most weight. It often occurs on the bottom of a great toe or 1st metatarsal head. This type of ulcer is often painless, surrounded by a callous, and round in shape.

Ischemia, or decreased arterial blood flow to the feet causes arterial ulcers. These are most serious and are often located on the heels, tips of toes, between toes, sides or soles of feet, lateral malleoli, and metatarsal heads.

Venous ulcers happen due to lack of return of venous blood flow to the heart and accumulation of this blood in the lower legs. This makes the skin dry, itchy, dark in colour, swollen, and flakey. The site of venous ulcers is often on the lower legs and inside of the ankles.

Footwear that does not fit is a big cause of foot ulcers. Things to watch out for to prevent ulcers are: decreased circulation and lack of sensation.

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