Foot Ulcers & Blisters: What's the difference?
March 13, 2019
Blisters and Foot Ulcers are both common consequences of diabetic neuropathy. The nerve damage caused by neuropathy eliminates sensation at the extremity of the body - and the lack of sensation, especially the lack of pain, can sometimes hide injuries. The problem is that when injuries are not noticed on time, they can cause Ulcers or blisters. To avoid amputation, you need to know how to identify and prevent Ulcers and blisters.
How to identify ulcers and blisters?
The definition of a blister is a small pocket of clear fluid, either serum or plasma within the upper layers of the skin. They can appear after burning or freezing your skin. They can also be the result of skin frictions or exposure to chemicals. The main types of blisters are friction blisters, blood blisters, and heat blisters.
People with diabetes can develop blisters similar to burn blisters. The exact cause of diabetic blister is unknown. It may be the result of wearing the wrong size of shoes or high blood level. The most common reason is fungal infections. These blisters can occur on the fingers, hands, toes, feet, legs, or forearms. Diabetic blisters usually are painless and heal on their own.
A foot ulcer can be a depthless red hole on the surface of the skin but can also be very deep. A deep foot ulcer may be a crater that extends through the full layer of the skin. It may involve tendons, bones and other deep structures.
What are the risks?
If the blister breaks, germs can get into your foot. These germs can cause not only infection on the skin, but also in the bone. Bone infections are complicated to treat. If they worsen, they can end up with an amputation.
People with diabetes and people with poor circulation are more likely to develop foot ulcers. Healing a foot ulcer can be difficult. Even a small foot ulcer can become infected if it does not recover quickly. In case an infection occurs in an ulcer, you should treat it right away. Otherwise, you risk to develop:
- An abscess (a pocket of pus)
- A spreading infection of the skin and underlying fat (cellulitis)
- A bone infection (osteomyelitis)
- Gangrene. Gangrene is an area of dead, darkened body tissue caused by reduced blood flow.
How to prevent Ulcers and Blisters?
The way to prevent foot ulcers and blisters is the same. Here a few things you can do to avoid it:
- Wash your feet carefully in gentle soap and water and dry them thoroughly. Then put a small amount of antibiotic ointment on a dressing and cover the wound.
- If you have even a small reason to be concerned, call someone on your medical team. You'll probably get a foot exam and possibly an antibiotic to prevent infection.
- More Iron - blood circulation favorize healing
- Last, stop wearing the shoes that caused the blister. A comfortable pair of shoes is one of the best investments you can make. Also, remember, they must correctly fit your feet at the store. This kind of careful attention can prevent future problems.
If you liked this article, you might also want to read 5 Diabetic Foot Issues To Look Out For or Do Your Diabetic Neuropathy Symptoms Worsen At Night? Tell us in the comments if you ever had ulcers or blisters in the past and how you healed it.