Preventing Common Foot Wounds

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Did you know?

  • Nearly 7 million Americans are living with a chronic wound.
  • The foot and lower leg are common locations of sores, ulcers and chronic wounds.

What should you look for?

  • Keep an eye on any sore, cut or scrape on the foot that is not healing as expected.
  • People living with nerve damage might not be able to feel pain, heat and cold.

Types of Wounds

  1. Diabetic Foot Ulcer: May occur due to diabetes and complications of diabetic neuropathy. These sores can appear anywhere on the foot, but are most common on the big toes, balls of the feet or heels.
  2. Venous Stasis Ulcer: Caused by damaged veins. Most likely to occur on the ankle or leg area.
  3. Arterial Ulcer: Due to arterial insufficiency. These sores may occur between, or on the tips of, toes or on the outer ankle.
  4. Pressure Ulcer: Caused by lack of movement in the feet or improper shoes. Most commonly observed in the heels or ankle area of the foot.

Are you at risk?

Anyone can develop a foot ulcer, but you are at greater risk if you are living with:

  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Deformity of the foot
  • A history if prior foot ulcers
  • Previous amputation

Check for Wounds Every Day

  • Foot ulceration precedes 80% of non-traumatic lower extremity amputations.
  • The mortality rate 5 years post amputation is 50%.


Daily foot inspections are key to prevention. Proper foot wear, a healthy diet and maintaining healthy glucose levels can help keep your feet sore-free. If you or someone you love is experiencing a non-healing wound, find a Wound Care Center® near you.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention