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Phone: 630-834-3668
Prairie Path Foot & Ankle Clinic

Q
Why do diabetic patients get ulcers on their feet?

A

There are a few reasons why diabetic patients are more susceptible to getting ulcers, or sores, on their feet.

-diabetic neuropathy: due to the decreased sensation, or diabetic neuropathy, patients are unable to feel an area of irritation of pressure, perhaps due to ill-fitting shoes, that may rub against a bony prominence.  In a non diabetic patient, this may cause irritation and cause the patient to change shoes.  However in a patient with decreased feeling, the area of pressure breaks down into a sore and break in the skin. 

-decreased blood flow: many patients with diabetes have concurrent peripheral vascular disease.  This PVD may cause a decrease in blood flow to the affected are, so if there is an area of irritation,  there may be a lack of blood flow to help heal it, causing the area to open up into an ulcer. 

-fluctuation in blood sugars: the unsteady blood sugar levels affect the healing factors that go into healing a wound.  Once the skin is irritated, the breakdown further occurs due the skin's inability to heal as quickly. Click here for an informative video regarding diabetic foot care. 

With these reasons in mind, prevention is the best cure.  See our doctors here at PPFAC for a thorough exam.  We will give you tips on prevention and will help keep your feet ulcer free.