Are you one of the millions of Americans living with diabetes? If so, you’re also at an increased risk of developing an open wound or ulcer. Even if you don’t have diabetes, ulcers can still develop on your legs and feet. At Lincoln Park Podiatry in Lincoln Park and Lake View in Chicago, Illinois, Dr. Debra Young, and Dr. Michael Williams specialize in treating wounds and ulcers of the legs and feet. Make your appointment today by calling or clicking.
An ulcer is an open sore or wound that develops on your feet and legs. The type of ulcer you have depends on its location, appearance, and the color of the surrounding skin. Although anyone can develop a leg or foot ulcer, you’re at a higher risk if you have diabetes or another chronic condition.
At Lincoln Park Podiatry, the team diagnoses and treats three different types of leg and foot ulcers:
It’s estimated that venous stasis ulcers affect between 500,000-600,000 Americans every year. People with a medical history of blood clots, varicose veins, and leg swelling are particularly vulnerable. Symptoms include swelling, redness, and a green or yellow discharge.
Neurotrophic, or diabetic ulcers, occur in people with diabetes. If the condition persists untreated, high blood sugar levels can permanently damage your peripheral nerves. If you’re unable to feel sensation in your feet, you might suffer a cut or puncture wound and not realize it. Over time, a wound may become infected and cause a neurotrophic ulcer to form.
Arterial, or ischemic ulcers, occur due to poor circulation. Arterial ulcers are marked by redness and swelling and usually develop on the feet and toes. Additionally, arterial ulcers are very painful, especially when you’re sitting or laying down.
The most common cause of leg ulcers is diabetes. However, other common causes include:
Leg ulcers also have a genetic component. For example, if your parents or grandparents suffered from ulcers, you’re more likely to as well.
To diagnose your ulcers, the wound specialists at Lincoln Park Podiatry physically examine your feet and toes and review your medical history. They might also order a series of diagnostic imaging tests such as X-rays or an MRI.
After determining what type of ulcer you have, your provider develops a treatment plan tailored to your individual needs. Depending on your symptoms and the severity of your wound, this might include prescription antibiotics, topical wound care therapy, or custom orthotics. If you have a wound that’s growing or infected, surgical intervention might be necessary.
To access high-quality wound care, call or click and make an appointment at Lincoln Park Podiatry today.