A diabetic foot ulcer is a wound or a sore opening, usually formed and found in the foot area at the bottom of the feet. A diabetic foot ulcer is found in 10% to 15% of patients diagnosed with diabetes.

To detect a diabetic foot ulcer, look for a red round-shaped creature formed on the foot skin and is bordered with a thickened round caused to the skin. Though the small-sized ulcers are not much visible, larger-sized ulcers are easy to spot.

what is diabetic foot ulcers


  • Foot deformities
  • Ill-fitted or tightly-fitting footwear
  • Poor glycemic control
  • Poor circulation of blood
  • Underlying peripheral neuropathy
  • Dry skin or cracked skin
  • Bad foot hygiene and improper foot care

How Is it Formed

Diabetic foot ulcers, commonly found in many diabetic patients, are formed due to the collective effect of certain factors, which are the duration of diabetes, poor circulation, lack of sensing or feeling in the foot, irritation due to pressure, swelling or friction, due to past trauma, or injury.


  • Mild to intense pain
  • Foul smell
  • Redness in the area
  • Swollen skin
  • Skin affected with discolouration.
  • Discharge of pus or fluid
  • Toenail or skin changes such as blisters, cuts, calluses and sores.
diabetic foot ulcers symptoms


  • Medical history
  • Conducting physical medical exam
  • X-Ray test
  • MRI scanning test
  • Blood test

Regular exercising to control blood sugar
Daily foot examination
Keep a check on the inside of your shoes.
Keep the inside of shoes clean of foreign objects or seams
Yearly Foot exams
Neglect numbness or other nerve damage signs
Forget proper foot care, including wearing custom orthotics or diabetic shoes, if prescribed.
Treat foot ulcers, corns or calluses at home.
Excessively stay crossed legs.
Avoid barefoot walking



Wound care - Diabetic wounds requires proper care and dressing. It is advised to apply topical antibiotic ointment to the wounds.

Physiotherapy - To improve blood circulation in feet, massage, hot or cold therapy and exercises are important.

Medications - Pain and inflammation relieving analgesics, corticosteroids, and anti-inflammatories


Usually, diabetic foot ulcers are treated non-surgically only. Especially when the ulcer is not severe, some diabetic foot ulcers can require a surgical approach.  

In such situations, the surgery options available can be associated with deformities correction like bunions, hammer toes and bony bumps and excision or shaving of the bones.

  • Achilles tendon lengthening
  • Debridement 
  • Vascular surgery

Risk and Complications

  • Different Foot deformities
  • Various skin-related infections
  • Forefoot gangrene or full foot gangrene
  • Sepsis
  • Sudden abscess formation
  • Results in foot amputation
diabetic foot ulcers risks and complications


If a diabetic foot ulcer is detected in a patient and is left interested or neglected for too long, it can raise major complications. These complications can be ischemia that can lead to tissue death, and skin infections.


Treatment for Diabetic foot ulcer is covered under health insurance. However, the amount of coverage will depend on the type of policy, and the treatment advised by the doctor.

It is important to know that medical treatment for diabetic foot ulcers will not be covered under the insurance policy, it will only cover the cost or expenses of the surgical treatment, but to claim this, you will have to be hospitalized for 24 hours.

diabetic foot ulcers treatment insurance plan


Diabetic foot ulcers are open wounds that occur in almost 25% of diabetic patients. Half of these patients require hospitalization because of infection or other ulcer-associated complications. Foot ulcers are not managed by diet, exercise, and insulin injections. 

Prevention of diabetic foot ulcers involves maintaining good foot hygiene, regularly inspecting the feet for cuts or sores, wearing properly fitting shoes and socks, and avoiding walking barefoot. Maintaining good blood sugar control, quitting smoking, and staying physically active can also reduce the risk of developing these ulcers.

It is important to seek medical attention promptly if you have diabetes and notice any signs of a foot ulcer or other foot injury. With proper care and management, diabetic foot ulcers can often be treated successfully and the risk of complications minimized.

Frequently Asked Questions

The most common cause of diabetic foot ulcers is poor control of the body’s glucose levels. Poor circulation, irritation, lack of sensation in the foot, and pressure or trauma are some of the other causes of diabetic foot ulcers.

Diabetic foot ulcers are round and red craters in the foot skin. Severe ulceration of the foot leads to exposure of tendons and even bones. Initially, foot ulcers are just blisters, cracks, and cuts or white spots in some foot areas.

There are many factors responsible for the formation of diabetic ulcers in foot, like lack of sensation in the foot, foot deformities, irritation, long term diabetic condition.

The fastest way to heal the diabetic foot ulcer are: Wash hands thoroughly using soap and water, stop bleeding by applying pressure using a clean cotton, apply skin cream or antibiotic as prescribed by the doctor. DO not forget to cover the wound with a bandage.

Medications for diabetic foot ulcers include cephalexin, amoxicillin-clavulanate, or clindamycin. Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, or linezolid may be used in case of methicillin resistance is suspected.

Antibiotics like Neomycin and Gentamycin are best ointments for diabetic foot ulcers as they provide good antibacterial coverage when applied topically on the foot ulcers.

The healing time for a diabetic foot ulcer can vary depending on the severity of the ulcer and other factors such as the individual's overall health, but it typically takes several weeks to several months for an ulcer to heal completely.

Complications that can arise from diabetic foot ulcers include infections, nerve damage, reduced blood flow, tissue death, and amputation.

Treatment options for diabetic foot ulcers may include cleaning and dressing the wound, offloading pressure from the affected area, controlling blood sugar levels, using antibiotics to treat infections, and surgical interventions such as debridement or skin grafts.

Yes, diabetic foot ulcers can lead to amputation if left untreated or if the infection or tissue damage is severe. However, with proper treatment and management, the risk of amputation can be reduced significantly. It is important for individuals with diabetes to regularly monitor their feet for any signs of ulcers or other complications and seek medical attention promptly if any issues arise.