A member asked:

How can you tell if you have foot ulcers?

10 doctors weighed in across 5 answers
Dr. Brian Sabb answered

Specializes in Sports Medicine

Visual inspection: The best way is visual inspection. If you have any concerns for ulceration, check your own feet. This is of particular importance in patients with peripheral neuropathy as is seen in diabetics. Regaular inspection is important. Look for skin cracking, thinning, hot or warm areas, redness and swelling, blood, and toe nail problems. Any questions, see your pcp or specialist.

Answered 10/5/2015

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Dr. Payam Rafat answered

Specializes in Podiatry

See a physician.: All diabetics could develop a foot ulcer. Patients with diabetes are particularly susceptible to foot ulcers primarily because of neuropathy, vascular insufficiency, and due to a diminished healing ability. Patients with diabetes lose the protective sensations for temperature and pain. Impairing awareness of trauma such as abrasions, friction, and blistering, can lead to ulceration.

Answered 9/28/2016

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Dr. Stuart Plotkin answered

Specializes in Podiatry

Skin breakdown: An ulcer is graded from 0 to 4 Grade 0 is blood within the skin. Grade 1 is an opening in the skin that is probably oozing blood, Grade 2 is deeper Grade 3 through muscle Grade 4 up to bone. There may be no pain if you are a diabetic. You need to eyeball your feet make sure there is no skin breakdown. They often occur in an area that has a deep callous- but not always

Answered 10/23/2017

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Dr. Scott Keith answered

Specializes in Podiatry

By Your Senses.: Foot ulcers rarely go undetected on healthy individuals. Clearly, they can not only feel them but also see them. In patients with neuropathy, they may not feel the ulcer, but may see them or at least see the blood on their socks. In severely compromised patients, seeing and feeling are diminished, so now they can only smell them. Clearly, discovering ulcers is not the same for all concerned.

Answered 10/5/2015

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Dr. Edward Hellman answered

Specializes in Orthopedic Surgery

Look: Ulcers are visible and represent a breakdown in the protective layer of the skin to various degrees. They can always be seen. If you have an area of discomfort that you can not visually inspect, have someone else take a look at it.

Answered 10/5/2015

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