What problems do foot ulcers pose for people with diabetes?

A diabetic foot ulcer can begin with something as small as a cut or blister that exposes the underlying tissue, inviting infection. Elevated blood glucose as part of diabetes can damage blood vessels and compromise the body’s healing capacity, allowing infection to take hold.

Several factors may be at play in making foot ulcers a problem among people with diabetes. Nerve damage from diabetic neuropathy can cause reduced sensitivity or loss of feeling in the feet, allowing even minor cuts to become infected or develop into ulcers without the patient noticing.

In addition, many people with diabetes have peripheral arterial disease (PAD), a hardening and narrowing of the blood vessels in the legs. Ulcers may develop and worsen because blood flow is insufficient to heal cuts or sores on the feet.

If you have diabetes and develop a wound or sore that does not close within a few days, it could be a diabetic foot ulcer. Pain may not necessarily be a symptom. Many times, the first thing you may notice is some drainage on your socks. If you think you have a diabetic foot ulcer, see your doctor.
This content originally appeared online at Baptist Health South Florida.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.