by Dr. Brant McCartan
By definition, a break in the surface of the skin is a dermatological ulcer. If the break in your skin is on your foot, it may be time to see a podiatrist. Ulcers can occur for a variety of reasons. Sometimes they can be a sign of something serious. Ulcers may also take very long to heal on their own and can even become infected. These little annoyances need to be taken care of as soon as possible!
There are many types of foot ulcers ranging from pressure ulcers to ischemic (or vascular) ulcers, all of which can be addressed by your podiatrist. Pressure ulcers come about from increased friction over certain areas of the foot. Because each foot is different, bones may angle out and protrude on the many surfaces of the foot. If you wear a pair of shoes that rub against this prominence, your foot could ulcerate. If the boney protrusion is on the bottom of your foot, you may ulcerate from simply walking or standing on your foot. But, no need to fear. Your podiatrist can help figure out the aggravating factor to your specific feet. Your doctor may help you find different shoes or even use specific types of padding to take the pressure away and promote healing.
Many vascular disorders can contribute to ulcer formations. Limited blood flow to your foot may cause a toe (for example) to get insufficient oxygen and nutrient supply. This may cause tissue to die and ulceration to occur. These types of ulcers are not only signs of larger issues, but dangerous in and of themselves, as they are tough to heal. The earlier these ulcers are detected by your doctor, the easier they are to manage. With this in mind, it is very important to schedule an appointment to have an ulcer checked out as soon as possible. This is especially the case if you have been diagnosed with other systemic disorders like diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), and even high cholesterol.
In any case, if you find an ulcer on your foot, give us a call as soon as possible. Our doctors can help diagnose the causing factor, alleviate your pain, and promote proper healing.