Ulcers, or open sores in the skin, occur when the outer layer of skin is injured and the deeper tissues become exposed. There are many causes, ranging from improperly fitting shoes to long periods in bed after an injury that breaks the skin. Ulcers are common in patients with diabetes, neuropathy, or vascular disease. Open wounds can increase the risk of developing infection in the skin, or even in the bone. Symptoms include drainage, odor, inflammation, and thickened tissue. Pain may or may not be present. Treatment involves the removal of unhealthy tissue. Special shoes and padding may be used to remove pressure from the area. If an infection is present, antibiotics may be prescribed.
“Diabetic foot ulcers occur in approximately 15% of patients with diabetes. Of those, 6% will be hospitalized due to infection or other related complications.”