An ulcer is a slow-healing open wound or sore. Ulcers can develop anywhere on your body, but they’re most common on legs, ankles, and feet.
Ulcers aren’t always painful, but they do pose a serious risk to your health. They’re dangerous because they either don’t heal, heal very slowly, or heal and come back consistently.
Slow-healing wounds like ulcers increase your risk of infection and tissue damage — and in severe cases, an ulcer could necessitate amputation. To avoid complications and protect your health, it’s important to get expert wound care.
Find the latest in wound treatment at The Foot & Ankle Specialists. Lisa Burson, DPM and Joe Aoun, DPM offer comprehensive wound care and diabetic foot care for patients of all ages.
Ulcers are a type of wound. Although acute injuries like cuts and scrapes can cause wounds, ulcers typically form because of underlying health conditions. Poor circulation and other venous conditions lower your body’s ability to heal itself, and this can lead to slow-healing foot and ankle wounds.
Most foot ulcers fall into one of these main categories:
Arterial ulcers can develop anywhere on your feet, like your heels, toes, or nail beds. They can affect anyone with poor circulation in their feet, especially people who have venous insufficiency or diabetes. Arterial ulcers are some of the most painful and most easily infected.
Neurotrophic ulcers are most common in people who have diabetes, and they’re sometimes called diabetic foot ulcers. You may be at greater risk for a neurotrophic ulcer if you have diabetic neuropathy in your lower extremities or if you have another type of impaired sensation.
Neurotrophic ulcers usually appear in the pressure points on the bottoms of your feet. They might be pinkish red or brownish black in color.
Venous stasis ulcers account for up to 90% of all leg ulcers in the United States. If you have a history of blood clots, varicose veins, or leg swelling, you could be at risk for venous stasis ulcers.
These ulcers often develop on your calf, just above your ankle. They may appear red or yellow, and they can have significant fluid drainage.
Ulcers are common. In fact, about 15% of people with diabetes develop a foot ulcer.
Ulcers can cause pain, swelling, itching, and burning sensations, but professional wound care helps minimize symptoms and prevent dangerous complications.
Lisa Burson, DPM and Joe Aoun, DPM specialize in comprehensive wound care for feet and ankles. We perform a careful assessment of your wound and develop a treatment plan to maintain and improve your health.
We start by removing dead or damaged tissue around the wound. We thoroughly clean the area to reduce the risk of infection and apply dressings to keep bacteria and dirt out. If you have an infection or your risk of infection is high, we may prescribe antibiotics.
Ongoing wound care is important because it helps your body heal. We continue monitoring your ulcer, making recommendations to improve blood flow and encourage healthy tissue growth.
If you have diabetes, get started on a proactive diabetic foot care plan now. Not only can diabetic foot care reduce your risk of developing an ulcer, but it can prevent complications like infection or amputation if you do have one.
No matter what type of ulcer you have, professional wound care is essential. Learn more about our wound care services with a consultation at The Foot & Ankle Specialists. Call the office nearest you, or request an appointment online now.