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Causes of the Appearance of Ulcers on the Legs of Diabetics

Ulcers on the feet are a condition that is often experienced by diabetics and is usually difficult to heal. In some cases, infected feet sometimes make sufferers have to perform amputation. So, what causes ulcers on the feet of diabetics? Read more in the review below.

Causes of the Appearance of Ulcers on the Legs of Diabetics

Causes of ulcers (ulcers) on the feet of diabetics

Ulcers (ulcers) on the feet of diabetics or what is often called diabetic ulcers are now a very serious problem in the world of health. Ulcers on the feet of diabetics can occur if there is a previous injury.

The following are common causes of ulcers on the feet of diabetics, including:

  • High blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia).
  • Peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage).
  • Blood circulation is not smooth.
  • Irritation or sores that occur on the feet.

Peripheral neuropathy is a condition that occurs due to damage to the peripheral nerves. These nerves are outside the brain and spinal cord and carry information between the brain and the rest of the body.

High blood sugar levels can damage these nerves, causing numbness, tingling, or burning in the extremities (lower body), such as the feet.

For example, a person with diabetes may have an injury such as a blister but not realize it because they don’t feel any pain in their feet. This is what can leave the wound untreated, causing the blister to worsen and develop into an ulcer.

Damage from spikes in high blood sugar levels can also increase risks that affect the circulatory system, such as peripheral arterial disease.

Such conditions can block blood flow and result in poor blood circulation. As a result, diabetic foot wounds are less able to heal and fight infection.

Also Read: 10 Skin Diseases That Can Be Experienced by Diabetics

Risk Factors for Ulcers on Diabetic Feet

Factors that can increase this condition include:

  • Elderly.
  • Have diabetes for a long time.
  • Obesity.
  • Smoke.
  • Have high blood pressure.
  • Inflammation.
  • Poor blood circulation in the legs.
  • Changes in the number of white blood cells.
  • Shoes that don’t fit or are of poor quality.

Why is it difficult for diabetics to heal ulcers?

This condition is due to blood vessels not being able to provide maximum nutrition, especially the legs where it is often referred to end arteries or the very end of the artery. is the easiest area to become ulcers.

If the wound does not receive nutrition from blood vessels, healthy cells from around the wound will die due to lack of oxygen.

If left unchecked, more and more dead cells will cause the feet to swell, turn red, and over time they will become black which will become more widespread.

Besides that, high blood sugar levels are the best medium for germs to live and reproduce. If left untreated, the germs that develop can cause infection.

Also Read: Beware, These are 9 Long-Term Complications Due to Type 2 Diabetes

How to Treat Ulcers on Diabetic Feet

Routinely checking the skin is very important, especially for diabetics. Detecting and treating foot injuries early can help prevent infection and keep the wound from getting worse.

The goal of treatment is to heal the wound and relieve pain. Treatment plans are usually individualized based on the medical condition causing the ulcers. If you are unable to correct the cause, it is very likely that the condition will recur after treatment.

There are two treatments for foot ulcers: surgical and non-surgical. For foot ulcers in the early stages, non-surgical treatments may be effective. More advanced ulcers (especially infected ones) may require surgery.

The following non-surgical treatments for ulcers on diabetic feet include:

  • Topical wound care, so that the wound becomes closed and moist.
  • Antibiotics.
  • Antiplatelet or anticlotting drugs.
  • Wear compression garments.
  • Dry the wound.
  • Take pressure off the foot by wearing a cast and shoes. You may need to use crutches or a wheelchair.

Treatment with surgery for people with diabetes, including:

  • Debridementis the removal of infected tissue.
  • Plantar exostectomyis the lifting of the soles of the feet.
  • Tendon lengthening Achilles (tendon stretch).
  • Metatarsal osteotomy (metatarsal bones of the big toe are cut and realigned).
  • Tenotomy (removal of scar tissue).
  • Reconstructive surgery using skin grafts.

Apart from checking the condition of diabetic feet independently, be sure to visit your doctor regularly to get the right diagnosis and treatment.

  1. Anonymous. 2022. Foot and Toe Ulcers. (Accessed January 4, 2023)
  2. Anonymous. 2021. Diabetic Ulcers: Causes and Treatment. (Accessed January 4, 2023)
  3. Tee-Melegrito, Rachel A. 2022. What to know about diabetic ulcers. (Accessed January 4, 2023)

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