Causes of Foot Ulcers
If you have diabetes or another condition that affects blood flow, your nerves or blood vessels may become damaged over time. That nerve damage can cause you to lose feeling in your feet (peripheral neuropathy). Yet the effects of forces exerted on your feet -- primarily pressure and shear -- while standing, walking or doing other activities continue to act on your feet, and may result in blisters, lesions (skin breaks) or sores, despite the fact that you cannot feel them.
Blisters, lesions and sores can lead to foot ulcers. Also, if you lose feeling in your feet, you may not notice bruises or breaks in the ankle or foot bones that can cause joints to collapse, leading to serious gait alterations over time.
A foot lesion can also lead to an infection. If your blood vessels are damaged due to peripheral arterial disease (PAD) or another condition, your feet may not get enough blood and oxygen. This means if you do get an infection, your foot may not heal properly.
Fortunately, taking the right preventive steps can help protect you from foot ulcers and their consequences.