MD Podiatrist Discusses Contributing Factors for DFUs

“Two common contributing factors to the high incidence of diabetic foot ulcers: peripheral neuropathy and peripheral arterial disease,” said Dan Michaels, DPM. The nerve damage resulting from peripheral neuropathy can cause numbness in the hands and feet, leading to foot ulcers. “For example, if they step on something like a needle or a rock they might not notice it, or they’re wearing a pair of shoes that are too tight or are starting to cause a blister. They don’t feel it and just continue walking, and they develop an infection or a wound that goes deep through the skin,” Dr. Michaels explained.

Peripheral arterial disease, another common condition in people with diabetes, is linked to foot ulcers because it causes the arteries in the legs and feet to calcify. That calcification can lead to gangrene or infections as well,” Dr. Michaels said.