Understanding Sores on Feet: Causes, Types, and Symptoms

September 28, 2023 1:39 pm Published by

Sores can appear on your feet for a number of reasons. While sores on the bottom of your feet are fairly common, you may also see sores on the sides of your feet and near the tips of your toes. Below, we’ll discuss foot sores, types, and treatment options so you can get your feet feeling in tip-toe shape again!

Causes of Sores on Your Foot

In most cases, the symptoms of your foot sores (including location) are connected to the cause of the wound. 

Sores on your foot may appear due to:

  • Ill-fitting shoes
  • Underlying health issues
  • Injury or damage to your foot
  • Too much pressure on one area of your foot

If you wear thin socks and gradually get a sore on the back of your heel, it may be caused by a shoe or sandal strap that is rubbing against your skin. However, there are other causes of foot sores that can be trickier to identify— but we’ve got your feet sores covered below!

Types and Symptoms of Foot Sores

Foot Ulcers: Diabetes-related and Ischemic

Ulcers that refuse to go away or come back with a vengeance may be caused by an internal underlying problem. There are two main types: arterial (ischemic) and diabetic foot ulcers.

Arterial Ulcers

An arterial ulcer may occur when a lack of blood flow to your feet causes skin cells to break down. Although they do occur on your feet, they can also form on other areas of your body. Arterial ulcers are usually related to peripheral arterial disease but can also be caused by high blood pressure, renal failure, and other internal problems. These sores can be red, yellow, or black and are usually cool to the touch with no bleeding.

Diabetic Sores on Feet

Diabetic foot ulcers occur in people with diabetes and are caused by any of the following: 

  • High blood sugar levels
  • Deformities of the foot
  • Lack of foot care
  • Poor circulation
  • Ill-fitting footwear

If you have diabetic foot, you’re likely to experience a decreased, or sometimes absent, sense of feeling in your feet along with tingling or burning foot pains.

Pressure Sores on Feet

When pressure cuts off blood flow to certain areas of your feet, a sore may form. Areas of your feet that must take significant impact such as your heel or big toe are more likely to form pressure sores. If left untreated, infection may occur, causing additional symptoms such as redness and pain. 

Red Sores on Feet

Red sores could be blisters on your feet (fluid-filled sores), athlete’s foot, or even irritated bug bites. The cause could be more serious, such as melanoma. Foot melanoma may be red in appearance and the spot will have an irregular shape. Other rare foot conditions may be the culprit for redness and pain.

How To Treat Sores on Your Feet

For mild sores on your feet that are not caused by an internal problem, you can wash the area with a gentle soap and keep your feet clean and dry. Since the wound is on your feet, you may want to use gauze and a regular bandage to prevent infection and promote healing. Check that your shoes fit correctly and that they provide the support and cushioning your feet deserve.

In most cases, advanced sores on your feet should be diagnosed and treated by a podiatrist. Treatment may include:

  • Professional wound care
  • Antibiotics
  • Compression
  • Surgical procedures when necessary

Help With Sores on Feet & More

Identifying the cause and type of foot sores is the first step to understanding your treatment options. If you have sores on your feet that have not gone away or have come back, we can help you soar instead of sore. Schedule an appointment with Foot & Ankle Group today.

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