Arterial ulcers, also known as “ischemic ulcers,” are caused by the insufficient blood supply to the lower extremities. This is also known as “peripheral vascular disease.”
It is often caused by risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, and high cholesterol. They are more common in men and the elderly.
The skin and tissues of the feet and ankles are deprived of oxygen. The overlying tissue dies, leaving the area with an open sore — an ulcer. In addition, due to insufficient blood supply, even minor cuts and abrasions cannot heal and often develop into ulcers.
Arterial ulcers are usually painful and can cause pain at night. Left untreated, arterial ulcers can lead to severe complications, including gangrene (death tissue), amputation of toes, and even the lower leg.