Foot and Leg Ulcers
An ulcer is a wound or sore that resists healing, or heals, but then returns. Ulcers in general are slightly more prevalent in older adults, but generally occur as a result of serious injury or when associated with poor circulation or diseases in which poor circulation is common.
The great majority of foot ulcers are associated with diabetes, as minor ailments become a problem due to poor circulation and lack of sensation because of the nerve damage that results from the disease. For more information about diabetic foot care, click here.
About 80% of leg ulcers are venous ulcers, which occur when the valves of the leg veins fail and cause congestion in the veins. They are most common among older adults.
Various medical conditions can lead to the development of foot and leg ulcers. Generally, anyone with diabetes or any type of circulation or clotting issue, such as arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis, should take special care to tend to foot wounds, ingrown toenails, corns or calluses, to prevent these ailments from becoming ulcers. Other conditions that can put someone at risk for developing foot or leg ulcers include:
Lymphedema (a buildup of fluid in the legs and feet)
Lupus, scleroderma and other rheumatological or inflammatory conditions
Pressure due to lying in one position for a long period of time (also called bed sores)