Arterial ulcers, also called ischemic ulcers, are caused by poor circulation to the lower extremities of the body, including the feet. When the body can’t carry nutrient-rich blood to certain areas of the body, arterial ulcers can develop. This lack of blood flow causes the skin and tissue to die, and the area forms an open wound. Our Texas podiatrists can evaluate the condition and recommend treatment for the ulcer based on your specific needs. Understanding arterial ulcers

Risk Factors and Signs of an Arterial Ulcer

There is an increased risk of arterial ulcers for those with a variety of medical conditions, including diabetes and peripheral vascular disease.

Other Risk Factors

  • Vasculitis
  • Poor circulation
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Renal failure
  • Hardening or thickening of the arteries
  • Foot deformity
  • Age
  • Smoking

Arterial ulcers typically appear on the outer leg or ankle, as well as areas of the feet such as the heels, between the toes, and on the tips of the toes.

Signs of an Arterial Ulcer 

  • Pain around the area of the ulcer
  • Yellow, black, or brown color
  • Round shape with a punched-out appearance
  • Well-defined margins

Arterial Ulcer Treatment Options

A podiatrist will examine your feet and legs to diagnose the type of wound you have. Imaging tests may be ordered, and an arterial doppler may be used to see if there is a decrease in blood flow to the arteries and veins in the feet and legs.

To treat an arterial ulcer, blood flow must be restored to the affected area. There are various treatments such as surgery to increase blood flow and circulation. If an arterial ulcer becomes infected, a podiatrist can determine the best type of treatment to prevent the infection from spreading to the bone. When the infection cannot be controlled, amputation may be needed.

To Help Reduce Your Risk of an Arterial Ulcer

  • Check your feet daily for signs of discoloration or sores
  • Quit smoking
  • Maintain a healthy blood sugar level, and keep your blood pressure well managed
  • Wear shoes that fit properly
  • Keep active, and avoid sitting or standing for long periods
  • See a podiatrist at the first sign of a problem

Contact Our Texas Podiatrists for Help

If you have signs of an arterial ulcer, contact Alliance Foot & Ankle Specialists for a consultation today. We can answer any questions you have and develop an individualized treatment plan based on your specific needs. To request an appointment, contact our Grapevine or Keller office by filling out our convenient online form, or by calling our office at 817-481-4000.