Foot ulcers are one of the major problems mostly seen in elders which have negative impact on their lifestyle. According to recent studies, it is estimated that around 4 million people are suffering from foot ulcers every year and condition like diabetes, kidney failure, high BP and others are said to initiate them. Let us in brief learn about foot ulcers, its causes and effects.
Ulcers, as we all know these are the painful open sores. Foot ulcer is a condition where the superficial layers of the skin on the foot breaks and it can also penetrate to deep inside and affect bones, tendons and other structures. People with foot ulcers experience symptoms like swelling, burning and itching sensation in the affected areas. Foot ulcers are classified into different types based on location, appearance of the ulcer and its surrounding skin. 3 different types of foot ulcers are venous stasis ulcers, neurotrophic and arterial.
There are different stages of foot ulcer, in early stages of foot ulcers, people may experience signs like inflammation or pain around the bony areas. In second stage if the pressure increases, it leads to blisters or cracking of the skin. in third stage people may face haemorrhage from broken skin and it can also lead to loss of skin tissues between skin and muscle or skin loss. Foot ulcers are very difficult to treat and if it is not treated properly, it may lead to a condition called chronic foot ulcer. If poorly treated, foot ulcers may become infected and lead to several serious conditions like an abscess, bone infection and gangrene. If foot ulcers are not treated, it may also lead to loss of leg.
5 causes of foot ulcer
Several factors like health conditions, habits, lifestyle and so on act as origins for foot ulcers. Most commonly seen causes of foot ulcers include
- Diabetes– People with diabetes whether it may be type 1 or type 2 are more prone to foot ulcers. This is because, in long run diabetes leads to complications like neuropathy and circulation disorders which further triggers foot ulcers.
- Damaged nerves– If a person sits in one position for longer periods, it increases pressure on the tissues and harm them. When nerves get damaged, they fail to send signals to brain regarding any damage or discomfort to the tissues which in long run may trigger foot ulcers.
- Problems with circulation– Circulation system plays crucial role in supplying oxygen rich fluids throughout our body. When this circulation is impaired, then it damages tissues and leads to conditions called peripheral artery disease, which further rise ulcers.
- Abnormal bone or muscle structure– Any deformities in foot can increase pressure and lead to ulcers. Several conditions like claw fet, ill fit shoes, arthritis, feet with fractures and others can trigger foot ulcers.
- Sedentary lifestyle and smoking– Smoking triggers several health problems like peripheral artery disease, nerve damage and so on which further lead to foot ulcers. sedentary lifestyle, sitting in one position for long periods can trigger foot ulcers.
Why are people with diabetes prone to foot ulcers?
Foot ulcers are more common in diabetics and it is estimated that one in six people suffering with diabetes face foot ulcers. Diabetes in long run leads to neuropathic and vascular complications which alters circulation to the feet and leads to loss of sensation. These diabetes foot ulcer causes like nerve damage, lack of circulation and pressure leads to foot ulcers.