It is estimated that as many as 25% of people with diabetes develop a foot ulcer at some point in their lives, and ulcer risk tends to increase with age. The major contributing factor to this risk is loss of sensation in the feet, usually caused by peripheral neuropathy, or nerve damage in the feet and legs. This common complication can change or reduce the sensation of pain, heat, and cold in the feet. For example, if someone with neuropathy were to walk on hot pavement, he might not be able to feel the heat, so there would be an increased likelihood of burns or blisters — which, in turn, could easily go unnoticed and untreated due to the lack of sensation.