Foot ulcers result when skin wounds fail to heal properly and become infected. This condition, common among diabetic patients, presents in one of four stages:
- Stage 1: Red wounds appear over the bony area.
- Stage 2: Blisters, peeling or cracked skin forms.
- Stage 3: The skin breaks, sometimes leaking bloody drainage.
- Stage 4: Broken skin deepens to the muscles, tendons and bones.
Foot ulcers begin as pressure-induced calluses on the bottom of the foot. As the foot experiences increased pressure, the calluses grow. Eventually, the calluses separate, filling the layers between them with fluid that becomes infected.
Ulcers may be classified according to four types:
- Neuropathic ulcers affect the nerves and often cause loss of sensation in the feet.
- Arterial ulcers stem from poor circulation. They can be very painful and easily infected.
- Venous ulcers result from compromised veins, often inside the ankle, that heal slowly.
- Decubitus ulcers are products of prolonged pressure. The most common type is bed sores.
Dr. Marso’s recommended treatments for ulcers may include:
- Regular debridement (wound cleaning).
- Medicated compression treatments.
- Specially-prescribed shoes.
- Orthotic inserts.
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