What is a diabetic foot ulcer?

An ulcer is an open sore. People with diabetes are more likely to get foot ulcers for three reasons. First, many people with diabetes have lost some feeling in their feet because of nerve damage, so they might not notice tiny cuts or cracks in the skin that could lead to serious problems. Second, many people with diabetes also have circulation problems, so it is hard to get oxygen, white blood cells, and antibiotics to the wound to help it heal. That's why many people with diabetes find that any wound, even the smallest one, can take a really long time to heal. In fact, without an adequate blood supply, foot ulcers may never heal. Finally, high blood glucose levels also hinder healing.
Foot ulcers can appear any place on your feet, though most often they are on the bottom or side of your big toe and on the ball of the foot. Prevention is essential. Pamper your feet. Keep them clean, dry, and protected from injury. Watch them like a hawk. If you see any sign of an open cut or sore, no matter how small, contact your health care provider immediately. You might also ask for a referral to a podiatrist, someone who specializes in treating foot problems.

Continue Learning about Diabetes Complications

How to Break the Link Between Diabetes and Cancer
How to Break the Link Between Diabetes and Cancer
Diabetes. We know many of you get anxious about it because it can lead to heart attack, blindness, gastrointestinal problems, depression, kidney dysfu...
Read More
What should I know about complications from diabetes?
Dr. Athena Philis-Tsimikas, MDDr. Athena Philis-Tsimikas, MD
Diabetes complications are more common in some populations than in others, says endocrinologist Athe...
More Answers
10 Complications of Diabetes
10 Complications of Diabetes10 Complications of Diabetes10 Complications of Diabetes10 Complications of Diabetes
Other conditions can arise after a diabetes diagnosis. Know how you can stay healthy.
Start Slideshow
Why Is Diabetes So Devastating?
Why Is Diabetes So Devastating?

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.