Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Diabetic Skin Ulcer Overview

Another name for Diabetic Skin Ulcer is Decubitus Ulcer.

What is a decubitus ulcer?
A person with a decubitus ulcer has a crater-like sore on the skin, caused by pressure against the skin. Skin ulcers form when the blood supply is decreased to a portion of the skin. Decubitus ulcers form when constant pressure against the skin reduces the blood supply. Without blood supply, the skin will not heal. Decubitus ulcers are more common in skin that lies over bones. The elderly are at greatest risk for pressure sores. Other risk factors for decubitus ulcers include diabetes, dementia, anemia, and any condition that causes a weakening of the immune system.

What are the symptoms of a decubitus ulcer?
Symptoms of decubitus ulcer include a skin ulcer or open crater in the skin. Other symptoms include fever, skin redness, skin swelling, pain, and tenderness.

How does the doctor treat a decubitus ulcer?
The treatment of decubitus ulcers depends on depth of the skin ulcer. Treatment may include wound care, protective bandages and pads, whirlpool baths, oral antibiotics, and topical antibiotics. Surgery, such as debridement and skin grafts may be necessary for more severe decubitus ulcers.

Continue to Diabetic Skin Ulcer Incidence

Last Updated: Feb 8, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Diabetic Skin Ulcer References
  1. Brem H, Tomic-Canic M, et al. Healing of elderly patients with diabetic foot ulcers, venous stasis ulcers, and pressure ulcers. Surg Technol Int. 2003;11:161-7. [12931298]
  2. Duimel-Peeters IG, Halfens RJ, Berger MP, Snoeckx LH. The effects of massage as a method to prevent pressure ulcers. A review of the literature. Ostomy Wound Manage. 2005 Apr;51(4):70-80. [16089061]
  3. Ratliff CR; WOCN. WOCN's evidence-based pressure ulcer guideline. Adv Skin Wound Care. 2005 May;18(4):204-8. [15920372]
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