Identifying and Preventing Foot Ulcers

Ulcers of the lower legs are the #1 reason why people with diabetes land in the hospital. Ulcers, or deep non-healing wounds – are common among our diabetic patients here at Montgomery Foot Care Specialists. People with diabetes are prone to conditions like poor circulation, peripheral arterial disease, and foot deformities. All of these are risk factors for developing ulcers.

Why do ulcers form?

Ulcers can develop in the feet in several ways:

  • biomechanical issues or bone structure can cause “hot spots” anywhere on the feet
  • pressure from poorly-fitting shoes perpetually irritates the skin in one spot
  • arterial disease can prevent proper blood flow, causing even a minor break in the skin to progress into a chronic wound
  • trauma to the foot that doesn’t heal

Not just a diabetic’s problem

Foot ulcers are possible in anyone with nerve damage or circulation issues. Your risk of foot ulcers also increases if you’re overweight or you’ve been a smoker for many years. But your risk increases dramatically if you have diabetes, especially if you’ve had it a long time. Longtime sufferers of diabetes are more likely to have the nerve and circulation problems that often bring on sores that don’t heal.

Ulcers are preventable

Ulcers aren’t inevitable, even for those with diabetes. The key is to find trouble spots on your feet before they ulcerate and become infected. If you’re at high risk for developing foot ulcers, follow these preventative measures:

  • examine your feet every day
  • note any areas where the skin is red, cracked, blistered, or callused
  • feel for areas of tenderness or pain
  • wear diabetic shoes if necessary
  • make regular appointments with expert podiatrists Dr. Heidi M. Christie and Dr. Chanda L. Day-Houts for a complete foot examination at our Montgomery County podiatry office

A whopping 85% of all lower-limb amputations begin with a foot ulcer, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association. So, quick action is vital. We want to do everything we can to treat your wound before amputation is even a thought. For excellence in wound care of the feet, call us in Montgomery, Alabama at, (334) 396-3668 or contact us online.