Foot Ulcers Explained
A foot ulcer is a patch of broken down skin that appears on the feet or the lower leg. They are fairly common, and anyone can suffer from a foot ulcer. There are different types of foot ulcers, and numerous things that you need to be aware of, which is why we have put together this post. Read on for all of the information you need to know.
Diabetic foot ulcers
Roughly 15 per cent of diabetic patients experience diabetic foot ulcers are some point in their life. Those with diabetes are more likely to get foot ulcers because peripheral diabetic neuropathy means that they have reduced nerve functioning. As a consequence, the nerves that carry pain sensation from the feet to the brain do not work as effectively.
These sores are caused by vascular (blood vessel) and neuropathic (nerve) complications of the disease. If you are diabetic and you notice an ulcer on your foot, it is important to act quickly, as your risk of lower-extremity amputation is eight times as higher than the average patient.
Most diabetic foot ulcers are painless, which is why patients do not report them to a medical professional straight away. However, they will be visible, and thus should be easy to spot. In some cases, the ulcer may start to become black in colour, which is because there is not enough healthy blood flowing to the foot. In the most serious instances, gangrene can occur.
There are some risks that can increase the likelihood of diabetic foot ulcers. This includes not taking good care of your feet, walking barefoot, wearing footwear that does not fit properly, insufficiently controlled diabetes, poor blood circulation, neuropathy, high blood pressure, which in turn is linked to erectile dysfunction and needing testosterone therapy, high cholesterol, being overweight, not exercising, and smoking.
Vascular foot ulcers
Now let’s take a look at vascular foot ulcers. Vascular is a term that is used to describe anything that relates to a vessel or vessels, particularly those that carry blood. Vascular ulcers are usually recurrent or chronic. A lot of people over the age of 65 years old regularly experience vascular ulcers of lower extremities, which causes them to visit the podiatrist on a regular occasion.
There are numerous causes of vascular ulcers, including poor circulation and venous insufficiency, which is the slowing of blood circulation in the veins and congestion, which is caused by a failure of the valves in the leg’s veins. It is worth noting that around 80 per cent of all leg ulcers are caused by veins not working.
If you notice an ulcer, it is important to seek treatment as quickly as possible. There are also steps you can take to stop the ulcer coming back, including keeping the skin in good condition, giving up smoking, exercising, eating a healthy diet, elevating the legs whenever possible, and wearing compression stockings during the day. Your doctor will also give you any specific advice they feel is relevant to the ulcer you have experienced.