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Knowing the Difference Between a Foot Wound and Foot Ulcer

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Knowing the Difference Between a Foot Wound and Foot Ulcer

Learn more about the difference between foot wounds and ulcers and find out when you should talk to a provider.

Have you ever had a stubborn cut or sore on your foot that just wouldn’t go away? If so, you may have been suffering from a foot ulcer rather than just a wound from a typical foot injury. But what exactly is the difference between the two? Although wounds and ulcers may appear similar, a foot ulcer might be a symptom of a more serious condition.

A foot wound is an injury caused by cuts or abrasions, and it eventually heals itself. A foot ulcer, however, is an internal or external foot sore that fails to heal. Some foot ulcers start off as wounds, but worsen because of an underlying condition that you may not even be aware of.


Some of the most common causes of foot ulcers are:

  • Diabetes
  • Poor circulation
  • Inflammatory diseases, like vasculitis and lupus
  • Nerve damage
  • Bone and muscle abnormalities

In particular, diabetes is one of the most common causes of foot ulcers. Because of glucose imbalances in the blood, people with diabetes can experience numbness in their feet and slow wound healing. Diabetic foot ulcers can sometimes be a warning sign for kidney or heart problems – and if left untreated, some ulcers may require surgery or even lead to amputation. So, if you have diabetes, it’s important to be on the lookout for any cuts, bruises, or blisters on your feet and speak to your health care provider about your concerns.


How ACPNY Can Help

When you visit AdvantageCare Physicians (ACPNY) with foot wound or ulcer concerns, the attention you receive will go beyond the surface-level problem. Your Podiatrist will be part of a Care Team who looks at your whole health picture to make sure any underlying causes aren’t overlooked, and then creates the right treatment plan for your specific needs. And, if your issue is related to diabetes, your Care Team might also include specialists, such as endocrinologists and nutritionists, to ensure that your condition is fully examined and treated.


In many cases, treatments for foot wounds and ulcers may be as simple as foot baths or frequent wound dressing changes. But if your condition requires surgery, ACPNY also offers access to in-practice providers who specialize in wound care, ulcers, limb salvage, wound grafting, and digital or partial foot amputations. So, when you come to ACPNY for care, you can be confident that you’ll be guided to providers with expertise on your specific issue.


If you’re concerned about foot wounds, ulcers, or any other foot issues, schedule an appointment with your Primary Care Provider or a Podiatrist today.