Ulcers are wounds that are slow to heal and can be a major problem if they are not treated promptly. Foot ulcers are a type of ulcer that typically forms on the bottom of the foot, where prominent metatarsal heads are subject to increased pressure. As a result, the skin becomes callused and when subjected to shearing forces, separates into layers, fills with fluid, and becomes infected.
Ulcers are classified into four stages based on their depth of penetration into the skin. Stage 1 is characterized by reddening of the skin over bony areas, which doesn’t go away even when pressure is relieved. Stage 2 involves blisters, peeling, or cracked skin with partial thickness skin loss involving the top two layers of the skin. Stage 3 is characterized by broken skin and bloody drainage involving full thickness skin loss including the subcutaneous tissue. Stage 4 is the most severe stage, which involves breaks in the skin involving skin, muscle, tendon, and bone and is often associated with a bone infection called osteomyelitis.
Foot ulcers have four major causes: Neuropathic, arterial, venous, and decubitus ulcers. Neuropathic ulcers are caused by nerve problems characterized by a loss of sensation in the feet. Arterial ulcers are caused by poor blood circulation resulting in painful ulcers that are often found on the tips of toes, lower legs, ankles, heels, and tops of the feet. Venous ulcers are caused by compromised veins that develop on the inside of the ankle and are slow to heal. Decubitus ulcers occur due to prolonged pressure on one area of the foot and are often seen on the backs of the heels of people who are confined to bed for long periods of time.
Foot ulcers can be a significant problem for diabetics, and it’s essential to seek medical attention promptly. Contact casts are sometimes applied to diabetic feet to relieve the pressure on bony prominent areas, allowing ulcers to heal. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the damaged tissue from the ulcer.
If you experience foot ulcers or any of the symptoms associated with foot ulcers, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately. Dr Gilbert Huang DPM is an experienced podiatrist who can diagnose and treat foot ulcers and help prevent them from returning. He specializes in treating foot and ankle conditions and works with patients to develop individualized treatment plans to meet their specific needs.
In conclusion, foot ulcers are a serious medical condition that requires prompt attention to ensure proper healing. With the right treatment, foot ulcers can be cured, allowing patients to get back to their daily lives with confidence. Remember to seek medical attention right away if you experience any symptoms of foot ulcers, and don’t hesitate to contact Dr Gilbert Huang DPM for expert care.