What Is Foot ulcers?
Open sores formed on foot are called foot ulcers. In foot ulcers, red coloured craters are formed on the foot skin. Sometimes, the foot ulcers can go deep within the skin, affecting the bones, tendons and other deep-rooted tissues.
Diabetic patients and people suffering from poor blood circulation are more prone to the foot ulcers. In such cases, it becomes difficult for foot ulcers to heal quickly hence, proper care is required. If not treated properly, foot ulcer can turn into an infection.
Infection, when not taken care of, can turn into:
- Gangrene: It is a dark, dead area of a body tissue formed due to improper flow of the blood.
- Osteomyelitis: It is an infection in a bone.
- Abscess formation.
What Are The Symptoms Of Foot ulcers?
Few Symptoms of foot ulcers:
- Red coloured pit like wound is formed on the feet.
- Mostly foot ulcers are formed on the foot's bottom or side area or sometimes on a toe tip.
- Usually, the ulcer is enclosed by a boundary of a callused and thickened skin that is developed over with time.
- In severe cases, ulcer reaches deep to the tendons and bones.
- Ulcers are painful when the foot nerves are normally functioning, otherwise, the ulcers are not painful.
- Foot become swollen and red sometimes.
- Foot ulcers may result in an unpleasant odour that comes from the feet.
- Fluid leakage from the wound is also visible in some cases.
- Walking becomes difficult.
- Feet discoloration is witnessed. Sometimes, feet become blue, red or black in colour.
- Many times, fever can also be experienced.
What Are The Causes Of Foot ulcers?
Certain factors causing foot ulcers are:
- Putting pressure at one point by prolonged lying or sitting in one position.
- Certain diseases like lupus, vasculitis, rheumatological conditions, and scleroderma can result in foot ulcers.
- Arteriosclerosis can cause poor blood circulation resulting in foot ulcers.
- Kidney failure can be one of the causes of foot ulcer.
- Lower blood sugar level is one of the most common factors of foot ulcers.
- Hypertension can also cause foot ulcers.
- Foot ulcers may be a genetic problem as well.
- Nerve damage can be one of the reasons of foot ulcers as it decreases the foot sensitivity and causes wounds.
- Smoking currently or in past may result in foot ulcers.
- Sometimes, particular medications can result in foot ulcers.
- Few other causes of foot ulcers are certain medical conditions like heart disease, Sickle cell anaemia, high cholesterol and bowel disorder.
What Are The Things One Should Do To Manage Foot ulcers?
A few tips for foot ulcer care:
- Keep examining your feet to observe any further calluses, cut, wound or blister.
- Take care of proper hygiene of the feet. Keep the feet clean by regularly washing them with a soap that is mild or suggested by a doctor and then rinsing them with warm water. Follow it by drying the feet thoroughly, focusing amid the toes.
- Keep the feet well moisturised by using a mild or doctor suggested lotion.
- Always put on comfortable, soft and well-fitted shoes. Check if the shoes are clean from inside before putting them on.
- Wear socks that have good absorbent properties. Change them as soon as they get sweaty or wet.
- Toe nails should be trimmed and kept clean. Always use sanitised nail clipper to avoid further infection.
- Good workout regime can help in increasing the blood flow that can help in curing the foot ulcers.
- Maintain your blood sugar level.
What Are The Things One Should Avoid To Manage Foot ulcers?
- Do not put moisturiser between the toes while moisturising the feet.
- Do not smoke, as smoking causes decreased blood flow resulting in the foot ulcers.
- Do not roam barefooted. Always put on socks and shoes while walking to avoid the risk of hurting the ulcers further.
- Do not exert your ulcerated foot by putting pressure on it or by walking continuously for a long time.
- Do not chip off the broken hanging nail and also, do not slash the corners of the nails.
What Are The Best Foods For Foot ulcers?
- Protein rich foods: Protein helps in repairing the body tissues hence, it plays a vital role in foot ulcer management. Certain protein rich foods that are good in healing foot ulcers are poultry, shellfish, eggs, lean meat, fish and nut butters like cashew butter, peanut butter, almond butter etc.
- Beet juice: A lot of antioxidants are present in beet juice. Also, beet juice makes the blood vessels' wall relaxed which further improves the blood flow in the body. Improved blood flow in turns helps in healing the foot ulcers.
- Garlic: Consuming raw garlic can help in decreasing the high blood pressure and prevents arteries from hardening which improves the blood flow. Good blood flow improves the healing rate of the foot ulcers.
What Are The Worst Foods For Foot ulcers?
- Foods containing nitrate: Blood vessels present in the body helps in carrying chemical components and cells which are must for healing the wounds. Foods rich in nitrate can damage these blood vessels. Excessive nitrate in the blood can result in a condition known as atherosclerosis. In this condition, fatty plaques are formed in the blood vessels. This result in rupturing of the vessels, causing the delay in the healing process, certain disorders of bleeding, strokes and heart attacks. Few nitrate containing foods are bacon, most of the deli meats, and hot dogs.
- Spicy food: Spices delays the wound healing process by interrupting the process of blood clotting which is a must for the healing of a wound. Please note that spices like ginger and turmeric are normally beneficial, but these spices prevent blood clotting causing hindrance in the healing process of a foot ulcer.
- Sugar containing foods: Foods having high sugar content should be avoided as it may increase the chances of increase in blood sugar level which increases the risk of foot ulcer. High blood sugar level may also decrease the recovery rate of a foot ulcer.
What Are The Medicines For Foot ulcers?
What Are The Tips To Manage Foot ulcers?
Maintaining proper hygiene is the key to healthy feet. People who have more foot ulcers should avoid medications that may cause foot ulcer. Most importantly people who are suffering from high blood sugar are more prone to foot ulcers, and they should take extreme care of even a small ulcer wound. Diabetic people should maintain their blood sugar level for avoiding foot ulcers and increasing the rate of healing of the wounds.