To know if you have a diabetic foot ulcer, it’s important to understand both the key causes and symptoms of diabetic foot ulcers. A foot ulcer is an open sore on the foot. These often develop under a callus from pressure and rubbing. They may also result from an injury or trauma to the foot. They usually occur on the bottom of the foot, as that is the part of the foot that makes contact with the ground. Foot ulcers are a result of the skin and tissue of the foot breaking down, leading to an open sore that can get infected if not treated promptly. These types of wounds are common among diabetic patients due to nerve damage and loss of sensation, known as neuropathy. Once you lose the feeling of the foot, you can no longer feel the rubbing or injury to the foot. Typically a blister from walking tells us to slow down or stop walking to allow the area to heal. However, with neuropathy, the body can no longer tell us there is a problem. Diabetes and smoking can cause poor circulation, which slows down healing
There are a number of common symptoms of a diabetic foot ulcer:
- Irritated skin (redness in the area) from friction while walking
- Pain, (may even occur with neuropathic patients although they typically do not feel pain)
- Bleeding on a sock or floor
- Odor and/or swelling
- Tissue that looks black or discolored
Here at Ocean County Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates, we often see patients with diabetic foot ulcers who have had the wound for months or even years. If you have any of the symptoms above or suspect that you might have a foot ulcer, you should be seen by a doctor as soon as possible to avoid further damage and possible infection. Patients with neuropathy should be evaluated every 2-3 months for early detection of foot ulcers and preventative measures to stop the development of foot ulcers. Our Wound Care doctors are highly skilled and believe in a comprehensive approach to healing the ulcer and keeping it in remission. We frequently employ advanced wound care treatments to provide our patients with excellent healing rates and ensuring wounds do not keep coming back.
If you believe you have a diabetic foot ulcer, call one of our convenient locations today to book an appointment at 732-838-FEET (3338). We look forward to restoring you to the best quality of life possible.