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What Do Diabetic Sores Look Like?

By China Zmuida ; Updated July 27, 2017

Having diabetes can be a serious medical condition, especially when the disease is left unmanaged. Sores (ulcers) in diabetics usually appear upon your feet. Even the slightest cut or blister development upon your foot can result in a serious and dangerous complication. Without proper treatments, skin conditions such as sores can result in amputations of your toes, foot, or leg.

Early Detection

According to the American Diabetes Association, up to 33 percent of diabetic sufferers will suffer from some form of skin complication as a result of the disease. The development of a skin complication may even be an indicator that diabetes is present. It is important to seek immediate medical attention if an ulcer is developing to prevent further damage to your lower extremities.


An ulcer can easily develop due to neuropathy damage. According to the Mayo Clinic, neuropathy or nerve damage, occurs when your blood vessels become injured. As a result of neuropathy, your feet can't detect pain anymore; which makes the development of a cut, callus, or crack upon your foot dangerous. Early signs of neuropathy include tingling sensations, numbing of your feet, or burning, and pain. It is important that if you're diabetic, to pay close attention to your feet, especially if a wound develops.

Diabetic Ulcers

An ulcer upon your feet will usually begin to develop on the areas that receive the most pressure, such as the bottom of your foot. However, an ulcer can develop anywhere upon your foot, especially when you have an impaired feeling of your affected foot. The coloration of an ulcer can either be pinkish red, or brownish black. You may notice that the border of your ulcer is puffed, while the skin around the ulcer is severely callused.

Wound Care

Treating an ulcer will require for you to keep pressure off of the affected area. If your ulcer is severe, your physician may remove damaged tissue, especially if you developed an infection. It is essential to keep your ulcer clean. Your physician will instruct you on how to change bandages, as well as using compression wraps. Compression wraps help reduce the incidence of swelling and inflammation.

Ulcer Prevention

To avoid developing a skin complication, always wash your feet daily in warm, soapy water. This will help combat against infection development. Keep your feet lotioned, which can prevent against dry skin, and cracking between your heels and toes. Always inspect your feet for blisters, cracks, or sores. If you begin to develop a sore upon the foot that doesn't heal, a sore that oozes pus, skin that becomes red, inflamed or hot to the touch, or you develop a fever, seek immediate medical attention.

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