Diabetic Foot Ulcer: Causes
Ulcers are slow healing wounds on the skin. Diabetic foot ulcers occur on the feet of people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Up to 15% of people with diabetes are at risk for developing foot ulcers. Diabetic foot ulcers usually occur on the bottom of the foot.
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Diabetes can damage the nerves of the legs and feet. This may make it difficult to feel a blister or sore. If you don't care for a sore it may become larger and infected.
Diabetes also can causes problems with blood flow. Poor blood flow can make it difficult to heal.
The ulcer itself is usually caused by:
- Repetitive trauma or pressure on the foot
- Puncture wound on the foot
- Objects in the shoe that can damage the skin (such as a small rock)
Ulcers that do not heal or develop a severe infection may lead to amputation of the foot. About 80% of leg amputations in the US started off as diabetic foot ulcers.
Last reviewedSeptember 2013by Kim Carmichael, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.