What is a foot ulcer?

A foot ulcer is breakdown of the bottom layer of the skin (dermis) on the foot. This full thickness wound or crater provides a direct route to your bloodstream and other deeper structures like bone. Foot ulcers are usually very deep, painful and dangerous. If neglected a foot ulcer will lead to infection and this infection may spread to the bone and other parts of the body.

Do you suffer from foot ulcers?

Signs & symptoms of a foot ulcer

The following signs or symptoms can indicate a foot ulcer on the foot:

  • A deep crater or wound on the foot usually in a weight bearing area or area prone to pressure
  • Swelling, redness and inflammation around a wound on the foot
  • A smelly discharge seeping from a wound on the foot
  • Thickened skin or callus around the wound on the foot
  • Foot ulcers are usually very painful but some people may not feel them if they have neuropathy (no feeling in their feet)
  • In advanced stages of an infected ulcer patients may experience fever and chills
Foot ulcer treatment Camberwell

Causes of foot ulcers

Foot ulcers on the feet can be caused by either excess pressure, poor blood supply (arterial) or poor blood flow in veins (venous).

Neuropathic ulcers are pressure ulcers caused in patients who have neuropathy (no feeling in their feet) and can be common in diabetic patients.

Pressure ulcers, which result from large ongoing forces, are most commonly seen by our podiatrists at our Melbourne clinic. They are most common over bony and high pressure areas, such as on top of the toes, between the toes and under the forefoot.

Foot ulcer diagnosis

Foot ulcers are easily diagnosed clinically by our podiatrists in Melbourne, who are experts in identifying skin conditions of the foot without the need for further tests. Foot ulcers often form under callus and corns and thus are often missed by patients. They are usually only exposed following podiatry treatment and removal of the thickened layer of skin.

Diabetic patients, especially those high risk with peripheral neuropathy (no sensation in the feet) or poor blood supply are more prone to getting foot ulcers.

Podiatry treatment for foot ulcers

Our Melbourne podiatrists can help manage, treat and heal foot ulcers. Podiatry treatment usually involves reducing any overlying callus, cleaning the ulcer and dressing it with an antiseptic to prevent infection. If the ulcer is infected then antibiotics will be required to minimise the spread of infection.

To heal a foot ulcer our podiatrists will need to address the cause of the ulcer. In the case of pressure ulcers our podiatrists use specific padding, which is applied the foot to offload the affected area and allow for healing. In some cases special splints, insoles or orthotics may also be needed to help an ulcer to heal and to help prevent it from returning.

Foot ulcers are dangerous as they can easily lead to a foot infection, which may then spread to other parts of the body. So if you think you have a foot ulcer don’t delay in seeking early consultation with a podiatrist.

Call us Melbourne Podiatrist

Has a podiatrist checked your feet for foot ulcers?

At our Melbourne foot clinic our podiatrists are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions affecting the foot, ankle and lower leg. This includes foot ulcer diagnosis and treatment.

So if you are suffering from a painful foot ulcer don’t delay! Book an appointment with one of our friendly podiatrists today!